Ranjit Singh (rŭnˈjĭt sĭng) [key], 1780–1839, Indian maharaja, ruler of the Sikhs. Seizing Lahore (1799) and Amritsar (1809), he established himself as the leading Sikh chieftain. In 1809 he made a treaty with the British, by which he agreed not to expand his domain south of the Sutlej River. However, he built up a formidable army with the help of European officers and rapidly expanded his holdings to the north and west. By the time of his death he controlled all of the Punjab north of the Sutlej as well as Kashmir. At the end (1849) of the Sikh Wars most of his kingdom fell to Great Britain.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
More on Ranjit Singh from Infoplease:
See more Encyclopedia articles on: South Asian History: Biographies