The lesser Holocaust, Chhota Ghalughara

Chhota Ghalughara

In order to avenge the death of his brother, Diwan Lakhpat Rai had got all the Sikhs of Lahore executed by scavengers on the 10th March, 1746 AD after that he marched with an army of fifty thousand and the artillery to wipe out the Sikhs. In those days, about Fifteen thousand Sikhs had taken shelter in the marshes of river Ravi near the pool of Kahnuwan in Gurdaspur District about 20 kms North west of current day Gurdaspur. The forces of Lakhpat Rai besieged the marshes and began pounding the area with cannons from outside. Finding themselves helpless against guns of the royal army, the Sikhs headed for the hills. The army moved in pursuit. The rations, the Sikhs had, were finished. Whenever they found an oppurtunity, the Sikhs robbed the army and went away.

One evening the Sikhs came out of the bushes and attacked the army but when the army went after them, they retreated a long way back. Sikhs_siegedThe army thought that the Sikhs had gone away. The detachment of the army went to sleep worrilessly. The Sikhs returned, took hold of the horses, rations and the weapons of the detachment and returned to take shelter in the bushes again. The Sikhs crossed the river Ravi and started for the towns of Parol and Kathua. The Sikhs were of the view that Hindu population of the hills would give them shelter but the hill people welcomed them with bullets and stones. They had also received order of Diwan Lakhpat Rai. "Whosoever gives shelter to the Sikhs will meet the same fate as that of the Sikhs."


The Sikh leaders decided, "Come what may, the Sikhs on foot should climb the hills and the horsemen should cut through the army and march towards Lahore." The hill people could not stop Sikhs. The Sikhs fought their way to Kulu and Mandi and reached Kiratpur in six months.

After the Sikhs on foot had climbed the hills, the horsemen fell upon the royal Army. In this confusion, one leg of Sardar Sukha Singh was broken by a cannon shell. Harbhajan Rai, Son of Lakhpat Rai and Nahar Khan, son of Yahiya Khan were killed. Piercing the army, the Sikhs started towards Lahore. They crossed the river Ravi with the help of rafts made of reeds and grass and returned to Majha. When Sikhs crossed river Beas at Sri Hargobindpur they had to face forces of Adina Beg. Sikhs of 18-19th century Giving him a taste of battle the Sikhs crossed river Sutlej from the ferry bank at Aliwal and heaved a sigh of relief after entering Malwa in June, 1746 AD.

In this lesser holocaust of two and a half months, seven thousand Sikhs attained martyrdom fighting while Lakhpat Rai took three thousand as prisoners to Lahore with him where he tortured them to martyrdon.


  1. Copyright © Santokh Singh Jagdev "Bed Time Stories. "