|Commanders and leaders|
|Maharaja Ranjit Singh||Amar Singh Thapa|
Conquest of Kangra fort
The Maharaja recalled Diwan Mohkam Chand from the Kangra expedition in March 1809 and directed him to reach Phillaur. After settlement of affairs with the British government, Maharaja Ranjit Singh again turned his attention towards Kangra. The Gurkha general Amar Singh Thapa with a large army had been at war for quite some time with Raja Sansar Chand in the Kangra valley and had besieged the fort of Kangra. Sansar Chand lost hope for life. Therefore, he sent his brother Fateh Singh to the Maharaja to seek help. The Maharaja demanded the possession of the fort of Kangra in return for help; to which Sansar Chand agreed. The Maharaja's army set-out and reached Kangra. The hill Chiefs who were well- acquainted with the routes of the hilly terrain were ordered to block all passages so as to stop all means of procurement of provisions and equipment for the Gorkha army. Ludwig F. Stiller in his book 'The Rise of the House of Gorkha' published in 1973 has stated that Thapa offered to pay Ranjit Singh if he would withdraw his army. Stiller alleges that Ranjit Singh made a counter proposal that if Thapa withdrew from the area, he would cooperate with the Gorkhas against the British. To make matters more interesting, Hari Ram Gupta in 'History of Sikhs, the Sikh Lion of Lahore' mentions that after the defeat at Kangra, Amar Singh Thapa tried to seek help from British in conquering Punjab. The British rejected his proposal and also expressed their displeasure to ruler of Patiala for his willingness to help Thapa against Ranjit Singh. HR Gupta adds that during the Gorkha war of 1814-16, Amar Singh applied to Ranjit Singh for assistance against the English. The Maharaja gave no reply.
War with the gurkha army
Supply routes of the Gurkha army had been closed since the last few days. The Maharaja finding an opportune time launched an attack and occupied their positions about a mile (1.06 km.) in front of the fort. A pitched battle ensued. The Gurkhas fought dauntlessly. The sikh suffered heavy casualties but the Gurkhas had to retreat. Thereafter, they gave a pitched battle near the Ganesh Valley. The Maharaja sent another army division there. The Gurkhas had made elaborate preparations in order to rub the blot of their former defeat and to restore their national honour. A fierce bloody battle took place. After the artillery fire abated, hand to hand swordy duels followed. The Sikhs suffered heavy losses but the gorkhas had to suddenly retreat due to the lack of supplies.
The end of Although the Sikhs were numerically superior they suffered heavy losses but managed to hold the fort.campaign
- Raj Pal Singh (2004). The Sikhs : Their Journey Of Five Hundred Years. Pentagon Press. p. 139 & 140. ISBN 9788186505465. https://books.google.com/books?id=ra19YSPDliQC&pg=PA140&dq=hargobind+jahangir&hl=en&sa=X&ei=8diGVN_VJ5STuATmvoKYCQ&ved=0CEUQ6AEwCDgU#v=onepage&q=hargobind%20jahangir&f=false.
- Henry Thoby Prinsep (2011). Origin of the Sikh Power in the Punjab, and Political Life of Muha-Raja Runjeet Singh. Cambridge University Press. pp. 152–161. ISBN 978-1-108-02872-1. https://books.google.com/books?id=E8bz-gg6mD4C.
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