SARDAR GURBAKSH SINGH OF KANHAIYA (c. 1759 – 1785) was the only son and heir of Jai Singh Kanhaiya, the Sandhu Jat ruler of the Kanhaiya Misl. Gurbaksh Singh was first married to the daughter of Sidhu Jat ruler Raja Harnir Singh of Nabha, later second marriage to Sada Kaur daughter of Gill Jat Jagirdar Sardar Daswandha Singh Gill. He was the father of Maharani Mehtab Kaur and thus, the father-in-law of Bhatti Jat ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh.Gurbaksh Singh conquered Jammu and made all the Hill state of Himachal Pradesh his feudatary.The Kanhaiyas, who had replaced the Bhangis as the most powerful misl, disputed Ranjit Singh’s father’s(Maha Singh of Sukerchakia Misl) right to Jammu, and in one of the many skirmishes between the two misls, Gurbaksh Singh was killed in battle against Maha singh in February 1785.
In the absence of any heir, Gurbaksh Singh’s widowed wife, Sada Kaur (an intelligent and ambitious woman) became the chief of the Kanhaiya Misl after her father-in-law’s death in 1789.She played an important role in Ranjit Singh’s rise to power in Punjab and used to lend support of the Kanhaiya misl to Ranjit Singh till 1821, when she developed differences with him and as a consequence lost her territory to him.

References :-

  • L.H Griffin, and C.F- Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
  • Seetal, Sohan Singh, The Sikh Misals and the Punjab. Ludhiana, n.d.
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