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Author: Jean-Marie Lafont
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195661117
Printed in large format on art paper, and lavishly illustrated with 216 color illustrations, this volume elaborates on the catalog of the exhibition Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh organized to celebrate and commemorate the bicentenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
This book examines the achievements of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ruler of the last great Indian state which successfully resisted British expansionism until 1849. The main emphasis is on the dynamism and energy of the Maharaja and the Punjabi people in establishing a state in the Land of the Five Rivers. Ranjit Singh’s empire ultimately came to include Kashmir, Ladakh, and Peshawar, extending as far west as the Khyber Pass.
Ranjit Singh respected the ethnic and religious diversity of the people of the Punjab and successfully forged a political, social, and cultural synthesis among them. He also introduced innovative administrative measures in the political, economic, and cultural spheres of his kingdom. His secular policy was matched by his modernizing drive, seen most spectacularly in the military field where innovative measures were introduced with the help of French and Italian military officers who had served under Napoleon. Some of the most serious military challenges which the British encountered in their century-long conquest of India (1757-1849) occurred on the battlefields of Ferozeshah and Chillianwala.
In addition to the political, military, and economic aspects of Ranjit Singh's administration, the book also throws light on some of the little-known yet fascinating cultural achievements of his rule. These include the Imam Bakhsh Lahori School of painting, the discovery of Gandhara art, and the exploration of the Himalayas, which are presented here for the first time.
This volume elaborates on the catalogue of the exhibition 'Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh' organized by the Government of Punjab at the Rambagh Palace, Amritsar to celebrate and commemorate the bicentenary of the coronation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (13 November 1801 - 2001). It is lavishly illustrated with 216 color illustrations and six maps.
Foreword by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab
From the Director's Desk, by Inderjit Singh Sandhu
Chronology of Punjab history
Chronology of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
History of Punjab. History of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
The Court of Lahore
The Army of the Punjab. Phase I: Tradition and early modernization, 1799-1822
The Army of the Punjab. Phase II: The modernization drive, 1822-1839
Religion and Education
The Punjab: a Flourishing Country
Urbanization: Amritsar. Lahore. Other Punjab towns
Illuminated manuscripts and Miniature paintings
Archaeological excavations: Manikyala-Jhelum-Peshawar
Geological exploration of the Himalayas
Material medica of the Punjab
The Punjab in 1839
The Maharaja’s death: the days before. The years after