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Ranjit Singh - Maharajah of the Punjab
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The classic biography of one of India's greatest rulers , this is a memorable account of the pageantry and brilliance of the Sikh Kingdom at the height of its power, and a lively portrait of one of the most colorful characters in Indian history.
Ranjit Singh was in every way as remarkable a man as his two contemporaries Napoleon and Mohammed Ali. From the status of petty chieftain he rose to become the most powerful Indian ruler of his time. His empire extended from Tibet to the deserts of Sindh and from the Khyber Pass to the Sutlej. His army, which was trained by French officers, was one of the most powerful of the time in Asia, and was the first Indian force in a thousand years to stem the tides of invasions from the north-west frontiers of Hindustan.
Khushwant Singh's Ranjit Singh: Maharaja of the Punjab is the first detailed biography of the first and only Sikh ruler of the Punjab by a Sikh writer who has devoted many years of his life to research on Sikh history. Ranjit was neither a selfless patriot nor an avaricious freebooter. He was neither a model of virtue nor a lascivious sensualist. He was a full-blooded man and astute politician.
And in this classic work, Khushwant Singh presents Ranjit Singh as he really was: a man single-minded in his pursuit of power; a despot who did not take a single life in cold blood; an ugly man, blind in one eye and pitted with small-pox, who loved to surround himself with beautiful women and women, and had a passion for horses, strong liquor, nautch girls and precious stones.
Based on Persian, Punjabi and English sources and drawing upon the diaries and accounts of European travelers like Moorcroft, Sir Alexander Burnes, Masson, Fane and Emily Eden, this is a memorable account of the pageantry and brilliance of the Sikh Kingdom at the height of its power, and a lively portrait of one of the most colorful characters in Indian history.
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