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Life of Banda Singh Bahadur - Ganda Singh

‘Life of Banda Singh Bahadur’ is one of the unique works focussed specifically on the details regarding the personality and history of Banda Singh Bahadur. There are few works like this and Ganda Singh’s is held in high regard. This particular edition is a fourth edition published by Punjab University Patiala in 2016. Ganda Singh follows the life of Banda Singh, from his early childhood, life as an ascetic, through to his conflicts with the Mughals to his eventual martyrdom.


Following a short introduction to the early life of Banda Singh, Ganda Singh focusses specifically on the union between Guru Gobind Singh and Banda Singh in Nanded. Little time is spent on this subject however its importance cannot be stressed enough. The chapter title alone, ‘At the Feet of the Master’ demonstrates the mindset and humble beginning of Banda Singh’s life as a Khalsa. By shedding his ego, Banda Singh finds himself devoted to Guru Gobind Singh and with the blessing of the Guru, he is able to rise and begin is journey of bringing righteousness to the Punjab.

Essential to this work is Ganda Singh’s unique approach to the use of non-Sikh literary sources. His understanding and assessment of Persian and other sources fuels the work with an alternative view of Banda Singh’s life. This view is not necessarily negative, as the motives of the authors were not all hostile. Furthermore, Ganda Singh is critical of such sources, highlighting their inaccuracies and accuracies.

Ganda Singh also spends time discussing the events of specific battles fought by Banda Singh and narrates the events applicable to the timeline of Banda Singh’s life. In essence, this work flows as a story, where the reader is immersed within these events. Prior to a selection of appendices, Ganda Singh summaries the character and overall life of Banda Singh. This chapter alone gives a concise summary of his impact on the Khalsa during the early 18th Century.

This book is recommended to anyone who seeks to understand specific elements of the life and exploits of Banda Singh Bahadur. This work draws from a vast amount of sources and is one that contains a well rounded view of his life.