Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign was also
known for all round development, secular
values and patriotic fervour. Keeping all
these aspects in mind, the Amritsar has
come up with many such things that reminds
one of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's rule.
The National Council of Science Museums in
cooperation with the State government has
recently set up Maharaja Ranjit Singh
panorama, which is only second of its kind
in the country. Spread on a sprawling 4.5
acres of land in the historic Rambagh
heritage Garden, the panorama with its
long, cylindrical architecture, is an
all-captivating marvel for visitors.
Inside, there are three sections that take
a person back in time through 200 years of
The main attraction, however, is the
life-like panorama of the various major
wars, which comes alive through the 12
meters high and 100 meters long panoramic
painting depicting six major battle
expeditions of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
At the entrance to the main panorama, a
visitor comes across the most-attractive
Darbar-e-Khalsa (or, Court of Khalsa) of
Ranjit Singh. The scene is the replica of
a rare picture adorning the walls of the
The battle expeditions were presented with
a lively three dimensional diorama on the
foreground consisting of many mannequins
of warriors, soldiers, horses, camels,
weapons and so on.
The battles include his victory at Lahore,
the capture of Kangra, the battle for the
fort of Attock, victory at Multan, the
conquest of Kashmir and the battle of
The Maharaja's Grand Durbar at Lahore has
also been recreated in the panorama hall
through a large three dimensional
presentation where Maharaja is seen with
his chiefs, nobles and also the poor and
destitute celebrating Dussehra with a
great zeal and zest.
The other landmark is the vibrant life
span of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It has
been presented through eight smaller
dioramas in the ground floor halls. Theses
include Maharaja in childhood, Maharaja's
marriage, capture of Zamzama, gold
cladding of Shri Harmandir Sahib,
acquisition of Koh-i-noor and
modernization of his army.
computers alongside the main hall of the
Panorama have been installed to help
visitors to identify the important Sikh
generals and courtiers of the Maharaja.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a Sikh born in
1780 in Gujranwala in modern day Pakistan,
into the Sansi-Sandhawalia family.
At that time, much part of Punjab State
was under Sikh rule who had divided the
territory among factions known as misls.
Ranjit Singh's father Maha Singh was the
commander of the Sukerchakia misl and
controlled a territory in west Punjab
based around his headquarters at
Ranjit Singh succeeded his father at the
young age of 12. After several campaigns,
his rivals accepted him as their leader,
and he united the Sikh factions into one
state and he took the title of Maharaja on
April 12, 1801 (to coincide with Baisakhi
day), with Lahore having served as his
capital from 1799. In 1802 he took the
holy city of Amritsar.
He then spent the following years fighting
the Afghans, driving them out of western
Punjab. He also captured Pashtun territory
Maharaja also hired European mercenaries to
train his troops, creating a powerful
military force whose presence delayed the
eventual British colonization of Punjab.