Indian maharaja, founder of the Sikh state of Punjab. After succeeding his father as a Sikh ruler at the age of twelve, he seized Lahore from the Afghans in 1799 and proclaimed himself maharaja of Punjab in 1801. He proceeded to make the state the most powerful in India, securing the holy city of Amritsar (1802) and expanding his control north-west with the capture of Peshawar (1818) and Kashmir (1819). At the end of the Sikh Wars, following his death, most of his territory was annexed by Britain.
Subjects: Religion — World History.