RANJIT SINGH, MAHARAJA (1780-1839), native Indian ruler, was born on the 2nd of November 1780, the son of Sirdar Mahan Singh, whom he succeeded in 1792 as head of the Sukarchakia branch of the Sikh confederacy.
Known as "The Lion of the Punjab," Ranjit Singh died of paralysis on the 27th of June 1839.
In his private life Ranjit Singh was selfish, avaricious, drunken and immoral, but he had a genius for command and was the only man the Sikhs ever produced strong enough to bind them together.
The observatory of Raja Jai Singh is a notable building of the year 1693.
The subsequent history of Benares contains two important events, the rebellion of Chait Singh in 1781, occasioned by the demands of Warren Hastings for money and troops to carry on the Mahratta War, and the Mutiny of 1857, when the energy and coolness of the European officials, chiefly of General Neill, carried the district successfully through the storm.