Excelsior Convent School
Beyond Curriculum / Houses

Ranjit House

maharaja-ranjit-singhThe house was named after Maharaja Ranjit Singh (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839) became the first ruler of the Sikh Empire. The Sikh Empire was a major power on theIndian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. It was forged, on the foundations of the Khalsa, under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from a collection of autonomous Sikh Misls.

Rangit Singh was born on 13 November 1780 in Gujranwala (present-day Pakistan). He belonged to a Sikh clan of Northern India. According to some historians, he was born into a Jatt Sikh family while others claim that he was born into a Sansi Sikh family of Sukerchakia Misldars.

As a child he suffered from smallpox which resulted in the loss of one eye. At the time, much of the Punjab region was occupied and ruled by the Afghan Empire, particularly the region now lying inside Pakistan. Ranjit’s father Maha Singh served as chief of the Sukerchakia Misl and controlled a territory in western Punjab, based around his headquarters at Gujranwala. After his father’s death he was raised under the protection of Sada Kaur of the Kanheya Misl. Ranjit Singh was 12 years old when his father died at age 27, he succeeded him as leader of the Sukerchakia Misl at age 17 or 18. When 16, he killed his mother for infidelity to the memory of his father.

The Sikhs were becoming too troublesome for the Afghan rulers, and after several unsuccessful efforts to subdue them, Zaman Shah Durrani appointed Ranjit Singh as the governor of Lahore in the summer of 1799. “This became a landmark in Sikh history as well as in the life of Ranjit Singh.” The young “one-eyed” warrior would later become an implacable enemy of the Durrani leaders. He began building his own army and in a very short time he conquered the other misls of Punjab.