Nau Nihal Singh

Maharaja Nau Nihal Singh (9 March 1821 - 6 November 1840) was a Sikh ruler of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He was the son of Maharani Chand Kaur and Maharaja Kharak Singh, himself the eldest son and heir of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sher-e-Panjab and a grandson of Datar Kaur.

After the death of Ranjit Singh, Kharak Singh became king but was unable to keep control of the various factions within the kingdom. Prince Nau Nihal took control of the state himself.

In April 1837 at the age of sixteen he was married to Bibi Sahib Kaur, a daughter of Shaheed Sardar Sham Singh Attariwala (1790-1846) of the village of Attari in Amritsar district of Punjab.

Upon Kharak Singh's death, Nau Nihal Singh was in line to become Emperor. However, whilst returning from his father's funeral, he was injured when a building collapsed upon him. His body was taken to a tent away from the courtiers, who were not allowed into the presence of the prince. Eyewitnesses described his initial injuries as being small blows to the head which knocked him unconscious. Later, when the tent was opened Nau Nihal Singh was dead, his head having been smashed in, possibly with a rock. It is unclear whether the building's collapse was accidental or deliberate and who was responsible. He died at the age of 19.

His mother Maharani Chand Kaur became the Empress of Sikh Empire, from (1840-41) she challenged Sher Singh, the second son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Sher-e-Panjab, the stepbrother of her husband Kharak Singh, on the grounds that her co-daughter Nau Nihal, Singh's widow, Sahib Kaur, was pregnant saying that she should assume regency on behalf of the unborn legal successor to her husband's throne. In July 1841, Nau Nihal Singh's widow Sahib Kaur delivered a stillborn son. This ended whatever hopes Chand Kaur had of realizing her claims. But courtly intrigue had not ceased. Dhian Singh replaced the maidservants of the Dowager Maharani with hillwomen from his own country . The latter tried to kill her by poisoning her food and eventually finished her off on 11 June 1842, smashing her head with wooden pikes from the kitchen (some reports say they dropped a stone from a balcony crushing her skull.)

He also ordered the construction of a bunga (tower) in the complex of Tarn Taran Sahib One of the Holiest Sikh Shrines in the Majha Region of Punjab Kingdom.

Preceded by
Kharak Singh
Maharaja of the Sikh Empire
October 1839–November 1840
Succeeded by
Sher Singh

Name Singh, Nau Nihal
Alternative names
Short description
Date of birth 9 March 1821
Place of birth
Date of death 6 November 1840
Place of death

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