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Recommended Reading for Sikh History - Banda Singh Bahadur, Sikh Misals and Sikh Empire

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Following the establishment of the Khalsa identity in 1699 by Guru Gobind Singh, a period of Sikh rule begins to take shape and becomes more apparent with the rise of Banda Singh Bahadur post 1708. Shortly before and after the shaheedi (martyrdom) of Banda Singh, the Sikh population undergoes mass persecution and periods of guerrilla warfare against the invading Durrani Empire.

However, as history tells, this period is drawn to a close with the establishment of the twelve Sikh Misals and its eventual evolution into the Sikh Empire and rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh sees the decline of Sikh rule in Punjab, as his successors fail to maintain the integrity previously held against the British Empire. This period of rule concludes around 1849, when Punjab is taken over by the British following the first and second Anglo-Sikh wars.


During 1708 to 1849, the Sikh population as well as the Punjab itself undergoes mass development with regards to culture, society and religion. Below are a selection of books that are recommended to further understand the intricacies and developments of this time period. There is a small selection of primary sources as well as texts that have drawn from the information withheld within these primary sources.

Life and Times of Banda Singh Bahadur

  • Life of Banda Singh Bahdur by Dr Ganda Singh

  • Banda Bahadur and His Times by Rajpal Singh

  • Banda Singh Bahadur and Sikh Sovereignty by Harbans Kaur Sagoo

  • Baba Banda Singh Bahadur: Battle Strategy Against Mughal Forces by Surinder Singh

  • Life and Exploits of Banda Singh Bahadur by Sohan Singh

  • Rise of Sikh Power in the Punjab by Sohan Singh Seetal

  • Sikh History from Persian Sources by Jagtar Singh Grewal

Twelve Sikh Misals

  • The Sikh Misals and the Punjab by Sohan Singh Seetal

  • Rise of Sikh Power in the Punjab by Sohan Singh Seetal

  • A History of the Sikh Misals by Bhagat Singh

  • Misl, Sikh State and the Institution of the Khalsa by Dr J. C. Dua

  • The Eighteenth Century in Sikh History: Politcal Resurgance, Religious and Social Life, and Cultural Articulation by Karamjit Kaur Malhotra

  • Dynamics of Society and Culture During Khalsa Raj by Renu Bala

  • Sikh History from Persian Sources by Jagtar Singh Grewal

The Sikh Empire and Maharaja Ranjit Singh

  • The Empire of the Sikhs by Patwant Singh

  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh: Polity, Economy and Society by Jagtar Singh Grewal

  • The Historical Study of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Times by Dr Kirpal Singh

  • The Camel Merchant of Philadelphia by Sarbpreet Singh

  • Hari Singh Nalwa: Champion of the Khalsaji by Vanit Nalwa

  • The First Anglo-Sikh War by Amarpal Singh

  • The Second Anlgo-Sikh War by Amarpal Singh

  • Dynamics of Society and Culture During Khalsa Raj by Renu Bala

  • Maharani Jind Kaur by Dr Bakhshish Singh Nijjar

Visit our store to see our available books from this list.

Furthermore, the above list is by no means complete and additions will be regularly made. If you would like to suggest any notable books on these subjects then please feel free to contact us.



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