ATAR SINGH KALIANWALA (d. 1851), was soldier and feudatory chief During Sikh Empire, He was son of Sandhu Jat Jagirdar Sardar Dal Singh of Naherna, a military commander under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Atar Singh`s ancestors belonged to the village of Karial, in Sheikhupura district, now in Pakistan. His great great grandfather, Sardar Sahib Singh, had been given a jagir by Bhatti Jat ruler Sardar Charat Singh of Sukarchakia. Sahib Singh`s son, Hakumat Singh, and grandson, Kaur Singh, served the Sukarchakia’s. Kaur Singh`s son, Dal Singh, served with honour in the Kasur, Multan, Kashmir and DeraIsma`il Khan campaigns.

His son,Sardar Atar Singh, was sent in 1834 to Peshawar under the command of Prince NauNihal Singh. While there, Diwan Hakim Rai, who was chamberlain to the Prince and a great favourite, won over some of the sardars under the command of Atar Singh to his camp. On this Atar Singh left the army without permission and came to Lahore to complain to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ordered him to rejoin his regiment, then in Bannu. Upon Atar Singh`s refusal to do so, the Maharaja confiscated all his jagirs which were later partially restored by Maharaja Kharak Singh.

Maharaja Sher Singh, on the return to Lahore of Atar Singh after consigning Maharaja Kharak Singh`s and Prince Nau Nihal Singh`s ashes to the River Gariga, gave him in Pindi Gheb and Miroval jagirs valued at over a lakh of rupees, subject to the service of two hundred horse. Atar Singh was made Adalati (chief justice) of Lahore and the surrounding districts, and received command of the Pindiwala irregular cavalry which had been first raised by Milkha Singh Pindiwala. He took part in the first Anglo Sikh war. After the treaty of Bharowal, he was appointed a member of the Council of Regency formed in December 1846 which position he retained till the annexation of the Punjab (1849). Atar Singh died in December 1851.

References and Sources :-

  • Suri, SohanLal, `Umdat-ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89
  • Griffin, Lepel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
  • Gupta, Hari Ram, Panjab on the Eve of First Sikh War. Chandigarh, 1956
  • Khushwant Singh, Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab. Delhi, 1971
  • The Sikh Encyclopedia.
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