Baba Banda Singh Bahadhar was a renowned Sikh warrior, who fought against the cruelty and injustice of the Mughals and was the first sikh of Guru Gobind Singh, who succeeded in hoisting the khalsa flag on the land of Punjab.

Some of the Persian writers had some doubts about the exact birth place of Banda Singh. The contradictions about this birth place first emerged from the  writer of "Ibratnama". Some writers claim it was places such as Mandher(poonch), Reasi, Gurdaspur, kalanohr etc but the more reliable and authentic sources have revealed Rajouri as the birth place. Rajouri was declared a district in 1968 and shares its border with Jammu, Poonch and Reasi. In the annals of history, Rajouri got several names like Rajpuri, Rajwari, Rajwada etc. A Chinese traveller considered Rajouri a part of kashmir. Through time, Rajouri was ruled by many rulers.

During the Mughal empire, the people from the hilly and remote areas were being helped and assisted by Banda Singh and Dhrue Dev( Raja of Jammu),  who had good and historic relations with the Banda Singh . Banda Singh and Dhrue Dev had a close relationship because both were strongly bent upon removing Mughal Officers from the Principality of Jammu. There is strong evidence from "Raj Darshani" a  Persian Source that during the reign of Rajput Raja Gaje Singh, Guru Gobind Singh ji  , after attending Rawalsar fare, visited Jammu on 1692 CE on the invitation of Raja Gaje Singh .Guru ji, probably stayed near the mubarak mundi, being guest of Raja. Guru ji after returning back to Punjab, honoured Raja Gaje Singh with a Turban and his younger brother Jaswant Singh with a small lance. Afterwards while attacking rivals in the battle field, Raja Dhrue Dev issued the taking of blessings in the form of supplication from the lance of Guru Gobind Singh. This was the basic symbiotic ties between the two warriors and both were deeply interested in evacuating Mughals from the Jammu territory.

Although the birth place of Banda Singh has already been sought out and researchers claim the birth place as Rajouri and the place located is  "Dandawali Bawali" near Dasal hill,  Gurdhan payen is preserved in the Judicial records of Fatehpur.  Banda Singh's fathers name was Ram Madhu Saran and mother's Ram Devi.  His parents named him as Lachman Dev. He was born on the 16th October 1670 near Dadan wali Bawali at Rajouri.  It is said Banda Singh was very witty, strong and brave from childhood. His birth near Dadan wali Bawali was also confirmed by an urdu Source "Dugger Desh". To locate his birth place, Baba Banda Singh Bahadhar Youth Organisation (Regd) Rajouri did tireless effort and hardwork .Elders from Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities had recorded their records in court that their elders used to say that Dadan wali Bawali was the birth place of Banda Singh Bahadhar. Banda Singh had one sister Shoba Devi and one brother Sehdev, who was issueless. His maternal uncle Basava Sunder also lived in Rajouri. Lachman Dev learnt the art of riding, archery, wrestling and swordman ship at Rajouri. The Dadan Wali Bawali's entry  is preserved in Khasra number :281,281/1 and 282.The land pertaining to these Khasra numbers is now a days under the control of army. 

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One day during a hunting expedition along with his brother Basava, he killed a female deer. Soon after the deer gave birth and both died on the spot after struggling for their life. This all happened before Lachman Dev and it shattered him to the core of  his heart and he left hunting for ever and subsequently he  joined the company of Janki prasad sadhu of Rajouri and became his disciple. In 1686 Madhu Das(Lachman Das) went to Lahore where he met Sadhu Ram Das and he became his disciple. Madhu Das got a chance to visit different parts of India and while travelling, he met many Sadhus and Saints and accordingly served them with deep devotion. Meanwhile Madhu Das had became a sadhu under the services of Augad Nath. He went to Haridver and got a chance to meet Guru Gobind Singh there in 1695 CE.  An Aurangzeb ruler had sent an invitation letter to Guru Gobind Singh, whose mention is testified to  in Zafarnama. Guru ji went South to meet  the Aurangzeb emperor but during the journey Guru ji got news of Aurangzeb's death. Guru ji on the request of Bahadhar Shah helped him by sending about 3000 Sikh fighters on 8 June 1707 CE and Bahadhar Shah got victory and became the ruler of Delhi and the new Emperor invited Guru ji to meet him. He honoured Guru Gobind Singh ji with priceless gifts with due respect in a huge gathering. Guru ji on September 1708 CE, went to Nander to meet Madhu Das. Madhu Das surrendered before Guru ji and desired to become disciple of Guru ji. Guru ji offered  "khande-de-Pahul" to Madhu Das and named him Banda Singh Bahadhar. Later Guru ji bestowed title of Chief commander of Sikhs and presented him personal weapons along with five commanders to move Punjab and take the ventage of Shahibzadas. Baba Banda Singh Bahadhar moved to Punjab along with the Sikh warriors and smashed Sirhind to the ground.

So to conclude on the whole, it can be said that Dadan Wali Bawali, at Rajouri is considered as the actual place of birth of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, which is also preserved in the revenue records and deemed historically correct by the most renowned historians.


Jasbir Singh Sarna

Jasbir Singh Sarna

Native of Kashmir, Independent historian, poet, Journalist. A well known writer with 62 published books in Punjabi and English. Retired Agriculture Officer

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