Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue unveiled at Lahore Fort

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue unveiled at Lahore Fort
Members of Sikh community from Pakistan and India pose for a picture in front of the newly installed statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Lahore Fort on June 27, 2019. (AN Photo)
Updated 28 June 2019

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue unveiled at Lahore Fort

Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s statue unveiled at Lahore Fort
  • The statue of great the Sikh ruler of Punjab is a gift to the people of the province from United Kingdom-based SK Foundation
  • It will help promote religious tourism, says Kamran Lashari

LAHORE: Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the 19th-century founder of the Sikh kingdom of Punjab, got a resounding tribute from history buffs when his life-size bronze statue was unveiled in the ancient Lahore Fort on Thursday.
The seven feet tall statue of one of the greatest Sikh conquerors and administrators has been installed with the wall of Haveli Mai Jinda, where his beloved wife Maharani Jind Kaur, once resided. Singh’s own cremated ashes are not far away from the place since they were enshrined in a building outside the citadel after he peacefully passed away in his sleep in 1839.
The Lahore Walled City Authority (LWCA) unveiled the statue in a graceful ceremony that was attended by Punjab’s minister for tourism, Raja Yasir Humayun, as the guest of honor.
The seven feet tall statue, which depicts the Maharaja on horseback, was unveiled to mark his 180th death anniversary. The sculpture took nearly eight months to complete and was sponsored by a United Kingdom-based historian and Sikh Khalsa (SK) Foundation head, Bobby Singh Bansal.
“The statue will help promote religious tourism and attract members of the Sikh community and Punjab lovers from all over the world. It is a good initiative of the SK Foundation and the LWCA is pleased to have this collaboration,” LWCA director general Kamran Lashari said.
Born on November 13, 1780, as Buddh Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh ascended to the throne in April 1801 and ruled his kingdom for 38 years. Historians widely view him as one of the greatest Sikh rulers of all time, pointing out that he successfully fought the army of Shah Zaman, a ruler belonging to the Ahmad Shah Abdali dynasty, in 1797 and 1798 to establish his rule.
He also captured Lahore in 1799, which later became the capital of his Sikh empire in 1801.
The approximate weight of the statue is 250-330 kilograms and its makers have created it with 85 percent bronze, 5 percent tin, 5 percent lead and 5 percent zinc.
The greatest warrior of his time, Singh hired European mercenaries to train his army since he did not trust the British. His first modern Indian army was called the Sikh Khalsa Army, which helped prevent the British from colonizing Punjab during his lifetime.
“It is a gift to the people of Pakistan to celebrate their rich history and to commemorate the maharaja’s 180th death anniversary,” Najam Saquib, director conservation, and planning at the LWCA, told Arab News.
“The SK Foundation UK, is working to promote the culture of Punjab and Sikhism. The statue is a gift for all Punjabis as Ranjit Singh was a Punjabi ruler. The installation of this statue is part of the promotional work being done for tourism,” Sardar Bobby Singh Bansal said on the occasion.