The Great Sikh Misals – Sikh Fine Art Calendar 2017
“The Sikhs secured possession and control of the Punjab and every one of them seized upon the places which he could. It seems as if the agents of fate and destiny had distributed the land of the five rivers among them with their own hands. It was effected indeed neither by the generosity of Ahmad Shah (Durrani) nor by the kindness of Muhammad Shah (Mughal emperor).” Khushwaqat Rai “Tarikh-i-Sikhan” 1811 translated by Bhagat Singh in “History of the Sikh Misals”
Eighteenth century Punjab, a period of time between the demise of the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh and the rise of Sikh Raj under Maharaja Ranjit Singh was an eventful period of Sikh history.
The inhabitants of the Punjab were under constant strain from multiple sides – especially the tyrannical Mughals, the plundering Afghan invaders and the advancing Marathas.
The Sikhs valiantly fought these powers in small jathas (groups). In 1748, the jathas merged themselves into a unified Dal Khalsa, giving them unity and cohesion.
By 1768, the Sikhs had overpowered all their enemies and won possession of major territories of the Punjab. During the end of the century, inter-misal rivalries saw the consolidation of territories and the emergence of the Sikh empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The founders of the misals were originally free lancers and veteran espousers of freedom from oppression. As their possessions and followings increased they acquired the character of chieftainships. These confederacies did not exist in their full strength at the same time, but one misal gave rise to another.
An aspiring chief could separate himself from his immediate derah (camp) to form, perhaps, a greater one of his own.
It is often said, “those who make history seldom live to write it”. This could not be truer for the Sikh misals.
Some historians suggest that Ranjit Singh’s was the first and probably the only royal house in the Punjab, the others being just the feudal chiefs. But the other Sikh rulers were in no way, less sovereign.
Each Sikh chief was independent of others and had direct dealings with the neighboring independent states. The contemporary historiographers had no hesitation in mentioning the proud epithets of Sultan-ul-qaum and Badshah for the chiefs of the Misals and calling their principalities as royal houses.
No contemporary records have been left by misals themselves. This series of paintings of these valiant misal leaders by artist Devender Singh for the Kapany Collection is an addition to this history.
We are excited to share with you an exclusive preview of “The Great Sikh Misals” our 2017 Sikh Fine Art Calendar, which commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Sikh Foundation.
This golden anniversary edition showcases twelve paintings of the great misal leaders of eighteenth century Punjab.
These magnificent paintings by renowned artist Devender Singh were especially commissioned to celebrate and add to the history of this eventful period.
The calendar is priced at $10 per copy (shipping and handling extra).
For orders of 100 or more calendars, we offer FREE custom printing of your/business name. This will be 2 lines of text, in a one-inch strip at the bottom of the front cover as well as on the December page. The pages in between are cut shorter so that your name is visible all year around. The calendar size is 15.5″ wide and 23.5″ high and is printed on glossy art paper.
To avail of this elegant gift celebrating Sikh heritage, please send us the quantities you would like to reserve and the text you would like printed by Aug.11th 2016.
Text credit: History of the Sikh Misals by Bhagat Singh