Misl Dallewalia

DALLEVALlA MISL derived its name from the village of Dalleval, near Dera Baba Nanak on the left bank of River Ravi, 50 km northeast of Amritsar to which its founder, Gulab Singh (Gulaba Khatri before he converted a Khalsa), belonged. At the time of the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748, Gulab Singh who had already fought bravely against Nadir Shah in 1739 and in the Chhota Ghallughara in 1746, was declared head of the Dallevalia dera, later called misl. The Dallevalla and Nishananvali jathas were stationed at Amritsar to protect the holy city. In 1757 when Ahmad Shah Durrani was returning homeward laden with the booty from Delhi, Mathura and Agra, Gulab Singh made frequent night attacks on his baggage train. Commanding a band of 400 men, he plundered Panipat, Rohtak, Hansi and Hissar.

On the death in 1759 of Gulab Singh, his trusted associate, Tara Singh Ghaiba, succeeded him as head of the misl. Tara Singh proved to be an able leader of men and a fearless fighter. One of his first exploits was to attack a detachment of Ahmad Shah Durrani's army and rob it of its horses and arms while crossing the Beus river near his native village, Kangt in Kapurthala district. In 1760, he crossed the Sutlej and seized the towns of Dharamkot and Fatehgarh. On his return to the Doab, he took Sarai Dakkhani from the Afghan chief Saif ud-din of Jalandhar and marched eastwards seizing the country around Rahon. He made Rahon his headquarters now. He next captured Nakodar from Manj Rajputs and several other villages on the right side of the Sutlej, including Mahatpur and Kot Badal Khan. In 1763, Tara Singh joined the Bhangi, Ramgarhia and Kanhaiya misls against the Pathan Nawab of Kasur and, in the sack of the town, collected four lakhs of rupees as his share of the booty. He joined other Sikh sardars in laying siege to Sirhind (January 1764) and razing it to the ground after defeating its faujdar, Zain Khan.

The Dallevalla misl under Tara Singh and his co-generals and associates held a major portion of thc upper Jalandhar Doab, and thc northern portions of Ambala and Ludhiana, with some portions of Firozpur. Tara Singh's cousin Dharam Singh captured Kohlan and a cluster of villages in the centre of which he founded the village of Dharamsinghvala where he set up his permanent headquarters. Other members of thc misl seized Tihala, on the left bank of the Sutlej. Saundha Singh from among them captured Khanna in Ludhiana district; Hari Singh took Ropar, Sialba, Avankot, Sisvan and Kurah. He also occupied the forts of Khizrabad and Nurpur. Buddh Singh of Garh Shankar captured Takhtgarh. Desu Singh of the misl occupied Mustafabad, Arnaull, Siddhuval, Bangar, Amlu and Kullar Kharial. In 1760, he established his headquarters at Kaithal. van Singh of the same clan captured Sikandra, Akalgarh and Barara. Sahib Singh and Gurdit Singh, two Sansi brothers, seized Ladva and Indri. Bhanga Singh became master of Thanesar and Bhag Singh and Buddh Singh took Pehova. Tara Singh Ghaiba however remained the central figure of the misl. He became a close friend and associate of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and took part in his early Malva campaigns. After his death in 1807 at the age of 90, Dallevala territories were annexed by Ranjit Singh.


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