The Austrian traveler Charles von Hügel met Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835 at Lahore later wrote in his travelogue that Maharaja told him that it cost him Rs 60 lakh rupees and 12,000 soldiers to obtain this horse. The Maharaja knew Punjabi only and Charles spoke German, God knows who was the translator between them? What was said was probably lost in the translation. The reason I say so is as follows
- Sohan Lal Suri in Umdat ut Tawarikh writes that Yar Mohd Khan, Governor of Peshawar gave the horse to Maharaja in October 1827.
- The battle of Naushera fought in 1823 between Maharaja and Kabul ruler was one of the bloodiest one where 2000 of Maharaja’s soldiers and 3000 Afghan died. In this battle Yar Mohd Khan was neutral. He was a tributary of Maharaja. The battle was fought as Pathan governors of Peshawar and Attock were under Maharaja. And he had annexed Multan and Kashmir which were previously Afghan provinces.
- Based on what Charles wrote, there must have been 6 more battles which were as bloody as Naushera one. Which are those 6 battles?
- Yar Mohd Khan never fought with Maharaja. When Maharaja won Peshawar in 1818 (he entered the city unopposed), he gave its control to Jahandad Khan, governor of Attock. Yar Mohd Khan won back Peshawar from Jahandad Khan (he was also Afghan). And when Maharaja demanded tribute from him, Yar Mohd Khan readily gave the tribute of previous years and some fine horses.
- In 1827 Maharaja sent Budh Singh Sandhanwalia to tackle with Syed Ahmad Barelvi who had declared Jihad against Maharaja. Yar Mohd Khan again remained neutral in the battle.
- In 1829 Syed Ahmad Barelvi defeated Yar Mohd Khan, in battle of Zaidah. Yar Mohd Khan was seriously wounded and died after few days. General Ventura rushed to Peshawar as per Maharaja’s instructions gave the governorship to Sultan Mohd Khan (younger brother of Yar Mohd Khan). In 1830, Barelvi defeated Sultan Mohd Khan and next year Maharaja sent Prince Sher Singh and General Ventura who defeated Barelvi. The Syed was killed in the battle.