MAHARANI DATAR KAUR OF LAHORE (d. 1838), also known as Raj Kaur or more popularly Mal Nakain, was the second wife of Bhatti Jat ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh. She was the youngest and the only daughter of Sardar Ran Singh Nakai and his wife, Sardarni Karmo Kaur. She was the granddaughter of Sardar Natha Singh (d. 1768) brother of the legendary Hira Singh Sandhu (1706-1767), founder of the principality of Nakai Misl in 1748. She had three eldest brothers Sardar Bhagwan Singh, the fourth ruler of the Nakai Misl; Sardar Gyan Singh who became the fifth chief of the Nakais and Khazan Singh

Sandhu Jat ruler Ran Singh Nakai, and was married to the Maharaja in 1798. Though Ranjit Singh married several other women, Mai Nakain remained his favourite. She was the mother of the heir apparent, Kharak Singh, Later Maharaja Of Lahore.
The Maharani took charge of the Sheikhupura Fort after her 6 year old son Kharak Singh conquered in and in 1811 she was formally granted it as her jagir by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
She took active interest in the affairs of the State and accompanied her son, Kharak Singh as a fellow commander during the expedition to Multan in 1818.
She was the grandmother of Maharaja Nau Nihal Singh (1821-1840), a famous Lahore Empire ruler.
Maharani Datar Kaur died on 20 June 1838, at Lahore. Her Samadh, was built, during the last days of the Secular Sikh Raj.
Later her daughter In law Maharani Chand Kaur (d. 1842), and the Rani Sahib Kaur, wife of Nau Nihal Singh, were cremated, at the same spot. Today the site has become part of Islamia College, Civil Lines, Lahore grounds.

References :-

  • Suri, Sohan Lal, Umdat-ut-Tawarikh Lahore, 1885-89
  • Ganda Singh, ed., Maharaja Ranjit Singh (First Death Centenary Memorial Volume). Amritsar, 1939
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