Aug 26, 2009

Tomb of Ranjit Singh, Lahore (Punjab, Pakistan). 1863

Sikh chieftain Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) ruled the Punjab from 1799 to 1839 following his famous seizure of Lahore in 1799 and Amritsar subsequently in 1809. In the same year, he made a treaty with the British by which he agreed not to extend his domain south of the Sutlej River. However he built up a formidable army with the help of European officers and by the time of his death he controlled all of the Punjab north of the Sutlej as well as Kashmir. At the end of the Sikh Wars in 1849 most of his kingdom fell to the British. This photograph taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s shows a view of his tomb at Lahore. It was built on the site of his cremation to the west of the fort. It was begun by his son Kharak Singh and completed by 1848. It is a brick structure with red sandstone and white marble additions and combined Muslim and Hindu architectural styles in its construction. The central fluted dome is surrounded by small pavilions with the whole roof area enclosed by a marble balustrade.