The word ‘Misal’ is and has been used to mean loose papers tagged or stitched together forming a sort of file. Golden Temple, Amritsar is the most sacred place of Sikhs. Sikhs used to come to Amritsar to celebrate the festival of Diwali every year. At Akal Takhat of Amritsar, a separate file of every Misal was created in which the names of the conquered territories by that Misal were registered. Later on the word Misal was considered as the name of the military of a Sikh ruler and and his territory. There is some confusion as for as the number of the Misals is concerned. It is believed that there were 11 or 12 Sikh Misals. The Misals were named after the names of the villages of their leaders. Some of the Misals were named after the names of their famous leaders.
Faizalpuria Misal This Misal was founded by Nawab Kapur Singh prior to any other Misal. He had seized a village named Fazulapur near Amritsar. So his Misal was called Faizalpuria. This Misal ruled over Jallundhar, Nurpur, Behrampur, Patti etc territories. Nawab Kapur Singh himself was very famous among the Sikhs and had played an important part in various Sikh military adventures. He died in 1753 and was succeeded by Khushhal Singh. Khushhal Singh and Budh Singh were some other famous leaders of this Misal.
Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was the founder of Ahluwalia Misal. This Misal ruled over Sultanpur, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Noormehal ect territories. After Jassa Singh Ahluwalia’s death this Misal was lead by Bhag Singh and then by Fateh Singh. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia was a very brave Sikh military general and was the military leader of the combined Sikh military. Nawab Kapur Singh of Faisalpuria Misal and Jassa Singh of Ahluwalia Misal were the two most prominent Sikh personalities of that age and lead their community during the most crucial times.
Bhangi Misal was founded by a Jat named Chhajja Singh but Bhim Singh organized it militarily. Hari Singh and Jhanda Singh were the famous leaders of this Misal. They conquered many territories and expanded their rule. This Misal ruled over Lahore, Amritsar, Gujarat, Sialkot etc territories.
Ramgarhia Misal This Misal was founded by Khushhal Singh and Nand Singh. Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was its most famous leader. He conquered the famous fort of Ram-Rauni of Amritsar. He repaired this fort and renamed it Ramgarh. This Misal ruled over Hargobindpur, Kalanaur, Batala, Kadian, Riyarki etc territories. Jassa Singh died in 1803 and was succeeded by Jodh Singh.
Kanheya Misal This Misal was founded by Jai Singh. He was a brave warrior who had conquered the territories of Mukerian, Hazipur, Pathankot and Gurdaspur and had thus expanded his kingdom. His grand-daughter, Mehtab Kaur was married to the Ranjit Singh of Sukerchakya Misal. After Jai Singh’s death his daughter-in-law (widow of Gurbakhash Singh) Sada Kaur succeeded him.
Chharrat Singh was the founder of Sukarchakya Misal. He was a brave warrior who had conquered Gujranwala, Aemnabad, Vazeerabad, Dadan Khan, Jalalpur territories and had thus rose to prominence and had increased the prestige of his Misal. Chharrat Singh was succeeded by Mahan Singh. He annexed many territories into his kingdom and expanded his rule. In 1797 Ranjit Singh took the reigns of Sukarchakya Misal into his hands.
Phulkian Misal Phulkian Misal ruled over Patiala, Nabha and Jind etc territories. The founder of this Misal was a Jat named Phul. His elder son Tilok founded the princely state of Nabha and Jind while heirs of second son Ram, established the state of Patiala. Patiala’s Baba Ala singh, Amar Singh and Sahib Singh, Jind’s Gajpat Rai and Bhag Singh and Nabha’s Hamir Singh and Jaswant Singh were some of the famous Phulkian rulers.
Gulab Singh had founded the Dallewalia Misal but Tara Singh Gheba was its most prominent leader. This Misal ruled over Phillaur, Rahon, Nakodar etc territories.
Gurmata was the central institution of the Sikh Misalas. Decisions were in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Sikh Book). The Sardars (leaders) of all the Sikh Misals used to gather in Amritsar and this gathering of the nobles used to take all the important decisions of the Sikhs during the time of Misals. The election of the Dal Khalsa, military planning against the enemies of the Sikhs, solving the mutual disputes of the Sardars of various Misals and succession disputes were some of the most important works that Gurmata performed. Every Misal had its Sardar (chief) who was assisted by many Misaldars. Misaldards used a have their own army and helped the Sardar to win the new territories. In initial times the most eligible person Misaldar was elected as the Sardar of the Misal but later on the post of the Sardar became hereditary. If some Sardar died with a heir to his position, his brother, nephews or his widow used to succeed him. The Sardar used to have full rights to handle the internal matters of his Misal but he never strictly. They treated their subjects like their family members. Sardars of all the Misals had issued coins in the name of first and tenth Sikh Guru. Nambardar, Patwari and Chhokidar used to be the government employees at the village level. Panchayat had all the administrative rights at the village level. After the harvest season the tax was collected twice in a year. It used to be the 1/3 or ½ part of the total production. Sardars used to give special attention towards the betterment of the farmers. According to a historian ‘ in no country, perhaps, is the rayat or cultivator treated with more indulgence.Share