The origins of Budha Dal begin with Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who, from Akaal Purakh, received the Mool Mantar and Mool Pentra. This Mool Pentra was the basis of Shastar Vidiya, and led to the militarisation of the Sikhs in years to come.

    Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught this Vidiya to Baba Budha Sahib Ji, and Baba Sri Chand Ji received the blessings of the Guru in terms of the Bani. Hand in hand, these 2 important elements were taught to Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

    The 6th Guru's father, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji had created the Akaal Sena, or army of God; a Sikh army that also included Hindus and Muslims which fought against the tyranny of the time, be it Mughal or any other.

    Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji created a mounted cavalry, which would later be known as the Budha Dal. He created this Fauj in the memory of the great Baba Budha Sahib Ji, with the blessing of Baba Sri Chand Ji. He prophesied that a great army would be created under the name of Baba Budha Sahib Ji. This mounted cavalry, along with an infantry, was based at the Akaal Takhat, and alongside the 6th Guru, fought in 4 victorious battles.

    Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji also fought 2 major battles with his father, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, and thus his name changed from Tyaga Mal to Tegh Bahadur. Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji's great sacrifice led to an imbalance in the equilibrium of nature, where his holy blood was spilt, and now only a greater force of good would emerge.

    His son, the great Shehanshah, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj created the Khalsa in 1699, taking the previous Akaal Sena, and branding it the Shiromani Panth Akali Budha Dal, fulfilling the prophecy of his grandfather, and instilling the name of Baba Budha Sahib Ji throughout history. Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj and his Dal Panth fought many wars against the tyrannical forces of the Indian subcontinent. Guru Gobind Singh Ji's Nihang Fauj included great warriors such as Baba Deep Singh Ji and Baba Banda Singh Ji Bahadur, along with the 5 Pyare.

    Although, it is impossible to dismiss the fact that it was indeed the young and brave Sahibzada Baba Fateh Singh Ji who brought the Roop (image) of the Nihang Budha Dal Fauj in Gurdwara Sri Dumalgarh Sahib (located in Anandpur Sahib).

    The Budha Dal, which in it's existence before being split by Jathedar Akali Baba Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji, the 3rd Budha Dal Jathedar, contained both the Budha Dal and Tarna Dal. The glorious leaders of these armies were not mere men, but kings in their own right, who practiced their sovereignty in the name of the Guru, living a Gursikh lifestyle, whilst commanding armies to combat tyranny, and spread the flag of the Khalsa Raaj.

  • 1st Jathedar Baba Binod Singh Ji

    Baba Ji was the first Jathedar of the Khalsa Panth and was from the 7th generation of Guru Angad Dev Ji (2nd Guru of the Sikhs). He accompanied Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in every battle and lead the army by front. In the battle of Gurdas Nangal Baba Binod Singh had a narrow escape while unfortunately Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was imprisoned and was martyred. Baba Binod Singh too was martyred while leading his army in a battle. His Gurdwara is situated in Sialkot (Pakistan).

  • 2nd Jathedar Baba Darbara Singh Ji

    The second Jathedar of the Khalsa Panth, Baba Darbara Singh ji was born in a village known as Dal. Baba Darbara Singh and Gharbara Singh were two sons of Bhai Nanu Singh ji, whose forefather belonged to Guru Hargobind’s family. At the age of 12, he went to Sri Guru Gobind Maharaj at Anandpur Sahib At the age of 16, he was entitled as Diwan. He served Guru ji for 16 years and also became the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht for 12 years. He lived a long life of 90 years, and before his Akaal Chalana (passing), he handed over his Jathedari to his successor Nawab Kapoor Singh ji. He was martyred in 1734. His gurudwara is situated in the village Kahlawa.

  • 3rd Jathedar Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji

    Jathedar Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji was the third Jathedar of the Khalsa Panth, Baba Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji was born in 1697, in a village named Kaloka, Distt Shekupura (Pakistan), in a house of Chowdhary Dalip Singh. He along with his father and brother took Amrit, the elixir of immortality and knowledge sublime, and became a saint. In 1726, he joined the jatha of Baba Darbara Singh Ji.
    In 1733, he conquered Faizulpur and renamed it as Singhpur. In the same year, he was entitled “Nawab”. In 1734, he divided the Khalsa Panth into two groups,
    BudhaDal and TarnaDal (it was further divided into 5 different groups). He also formed 12 different sub-groups, or Misls, of the Panth. Bahi Jassa Singh and Bahi Thraj Singh were named as among the leaders of these groups. He remained as the Jathedar for a period of 20 years. He passed away in 1753. His Gurdwara is situated near the village of Baba Tal.

  • 4th Jathedar Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia

    The fourth Jathedar of Budha Dal Sardar Jassa Singh Aluwalia was born on 3rd May 1718 in the village Alu, Distt. Lahore (Pakistan). His father was Sardar Badar Singh Ji Kalal. In 1723, Badar Singh Ji passed away. In 1723, he along with his mother went to Delhi to stay with Mata Sunder Kaur Ji, and stayed there for 6 years. He took Amrit from Nawab Kapoor Singh Ji and joined the ‘Jatha’.
    On 14th Oct. 1745, he lead one Jatha in a battle. He attacked Kapurthala and conquered it, and made it his capital. On the 26th April 1761, he conquered Lahore and floated his own currency. This was one of the acts of authority in making the economy flow.
    On the 5th of Feb 1762 in a village Kuparhidhe near Malerkotla, he lead the Panth and rescued many Hindu women from the Mughals.

  • 5th Jathedar Baba Naina Singh Ji

    The fifth Jathedar Baba Naina Singh Ji came into the Budha Dal at the age of 20 years. His brother was Bhup Singh who was also a Saint, and had two sons – Chidth Singh and Kharagh Singh. Kharagh Singh remained with Baba Naina Singh ji. Baba Naina Singh, who was born in a village named Khudi Kurd, near Barnala belonged to a Sidhu family.
    Kudi Khurd was established under a queen named Rani Chand Kaur, wife of King Ala Singh. The Gurdwara of Baba Naina Singh Ji is situtated on the banks of river Bibay Kasar in Amritsar. Baba Naina Singh Ji took the young Akali Phula Singh in as his apprentice when the young child was orphaned, and steered him to becoming one of the greatest generals alive.

  • 6th Jathedar Akali Phula Singh Ji

    The sixth Jathedar of Budha Dal was born on the 14th Day of January 1761 in a village Sinha. His father was sardar Ishwar Singh died when he was just 9 years old. Akali Phula Singh Ji took Amrit from Baba Naina Singh Ji and remained with him at Anandpur Sahib. In 1800AD he came to Amritsar and fought a war with a group of Shia Muslims who were brought by Charles Metcalfe. He defeated this army, and Metcalfe insisted Ranjit Singh to take action, however Ranjit Singh was unable to challenge the wise yet battle-hardened Akali Phula Singh. In 1809. He fought many other battles with the Mughal rulers alongside Maharaja Ranjit Singh Ji.
    In the battle of Nowshera in 1823, he gained Shaheedi (martyrdom). His Gurdwara is situated on the banks of river Loonday. When he was martyred, he was a Jathedar of Akal Takhat.
    A famous passage of Akali Phula Singh is found in the Naveen Panth Parkash:
    ਫੂਲਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਨਿਹੰਗ ਬਹਾਦਰ। ਚੇਲਾ ਨੈਣਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਾ ਨਾਦਰ। ਬਿਦਤਯੋ ਜਗਤ ਧਾੜਵੀ ਭਾਰਾ। ਅੰਗਰੇਜੀ ਪਹੀਆ ੳਨ ਮਾਰਾ॥ (ਨਵੀਨ ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼)
    Phoola Singh Nihang was a Brave Nihang, One of the most fearless disciples of Naina Singh He was known as a gallant and fearsome warrior by people For He had destroyed a whole English Cavalry Regiment.

  • 7th Jathedar Baba Hanuman Singh Ji

    The seventh Jathedar of Budha Dal was born in 1756 in a village Naurang Singh Wala, Zira. Baba Hanuman fought a battle in 1845 against the British. He proved too much for the British. Many British soldiers were killed during this battle. As he returned to Patiala along with his army, he was fired at by the British cannons and 15,000 Sikhs were killed.
    However, Baba Hanuman Singh managed to escape unhurt and reached Ghudam and fought another battle with the British. In the battle of Kumbada (Suhana) he was executed along with 500 other Sikh soldiers. During his appointment as the Jathedar of Budha Dal he also served as the Jathedar of Akal Takhat (Amritsar). His Gurdwara is situated in Suhana. The iconic part of Baba Ji’s Shaheedi is that his leg was blown off by a cannon at the age of 90, yet he continued fighting till his last breath.

  • 8th Jathedar Baba Prahlad Singh Ji

    The eighth Jathedar of Budha Dal, Baba Prahlad Singh Ji was a son of Sardar Jagat Singh and Sardarni Bishan Kaur. In the year 1846 he was assigned as the Jathedar of the Budha Dal. He was one of the most successful Jathedar of his time. During his reign he became the Jathedar of Akal Takhat also. Later during his reign as a Jathedar, Baba Ji was attacked by Ala Singh, the ruler of Patiala, a state that had remained on the fence with the war between the Sikhs and Mughals/Pathans, for which the former had to response.
    They fought a very heavy war in which both of them lost their lives in action. After their death, rioting was a common sight. Military was brought in to control Singhs – many were killed and wounded during these riots and some were taken prisoners and were jailed in the Hyderabad fort. Few who survived were hiding in the woods.
    Some of the Sikhs remained under the Hukum of Guru and remained near Hazoor Sahib and Sikhs who were not involved in these rioting in Punjab kept the love for peace and prosperity flowing through the generations. The Gurudwara of Baba Ji is situated near the Gurudwara of Baba Nidhan Singh Ji at Shri Abchal Nagar Sahib.

  • 9th Jathedar Baba Gian Singh Ji

    Born in Mulanpur, Baba Gian Singh Ji came from a Deol family. He along with his friend Baba Prem Singh came to Punjab after taking Amrit. Baba Fathay Singh of Mahilpur, who was a well renowned Nihang Singh in Punjab gave five highly precious horses to Baba Gian Singh Ji as a sign of friendship. Baba Gian Singh Ji was given full support by Fathay Singh Ji to form a strong Sikh foundation in the Punjab. Before Baba Gian Singh Ji came to Punjab, Baba Fateh Singh Ji and Baba Sadhu Singh Ji had got back the Shad Bagh from the Sodhies. Now the fourth generation of Baba Gian Singh Ji is now taking care of Shaheedi Bagh.
    During the reign of Baba Gian Singh Ji people in general were sawing tobacco, Baba Ji didn’t approve of what they were doing for their earnings. He refused to take any eatables from these people. He advised that they should stop cultivating tobacco; instead they should produce other eatables and that would yield a healthier food. He had enough persuasive power to mould the entire general public to what he liked. The Gurdwara of Baba Gian Singh Ji is located at Sahib Shahidi Bagh, Anandpur Sahib.

  • 10th Jathedar Baba Teja Singh Ji

    Baba Teja Singh was born in 1839, son of Khazan Singh, and his mother was Sugo from Rawalpindi (Pakistan). He became the Jathedar of Budha Dal in 1907. He used to perform Kirtan in a very unusual manner by banging his Kara with a glass. He remained as the Jathedar of Budha Dal for 22 years. He led a normal life spanning 90 years and passed away in 1929. His Gurudwara is located in Amritsar, near the Burj of Akali Phula Singh.

  • 11th Jathedar Baba Sahib Singh Ji Kaladhari

    Baba Sahib Singh Ji Kaladhari was born in 1876, son of Kishan Singh and his mother was Athar Kaur. He graduated from Lahore and became the first Tehsildar of Patiala. After leaving his first job, he joined the Budha Dal, later on he became the Jathedar of Akal Takht. He suffered lot of injuries during his Jathedari. The British imprisoned him and his Jatha, thinking that he must be hatching a conspiracy to turn the British Empire. Baba Sohan Singh served him during the captivity period. He led a normal life spanning 66 years and passed away in 1942. His Gurdwara is located in Amritsar, near the Burj of Akali Phula Singh.

  • 12th Jathedar Baba Chet Singh Ji

    Baba Chet Singh was born in 1914, son of Sardar Gurdit Singh and his mother was Pradhan Kaur Sabo (from Talwandi). He served the Jatha with heart and soul. He bought a piece of land, in front of Anandpur Sahib Railway station, from the Sodhies and named it Guru Da Bagh (Guru’s Park). He led a normal life spanning 54 years and passed away in 1968. His Gurdwara is in Damdama Sahib, the place of his birth.

  • 13th Jathedar Baba Santa Singh Ji

    96 Krori Singh Sahib Baba Santa Singh, the 13th Jathedar was born in 1928. Son of Sardar Baghwan Singh and his mother Pritpal Kaur, belongs to the village Kila Miya Singh (Distt. Gujranwala, now in Pakistan). At the age of 10, he joined Budha Dal and served under the leadership of Baba Chet Singh Sahib. He started a printing press at Guru Da Bagh, at Anandpur Sahib to propagate the message of Gurus. He published many religious literatures such as a Budha Dal magazine and distributed them among the common people, free of cost. Now all publications are printed from Patiala. He has started, a monthly magazine) of Nihangs (Nihang Singh Sandesh).
    He was actively involved in getting a factory started in Patiala that is making various types of Shastars for the Nihang community. The factory makes Swords and Bhalas (Zepline). Many Gurudwaras and Sarovars were constructed under the able guidance of him. He has kept the old tradition of the Gurus by providing Langar to the general public at various Gurdwaras under a very soothing environment. He has bought many acres of land to serve his own community as well. Baba Ji became extremely ill with old age, and at the old age of 80, he left for his heavenly abode. It is said that at the time of his death, a great sandstorm hit Punjab, where even the land mourned the loss of such a great soul.

  • 14th Jathedar Baba Surjeet Singh Ji

    96 Krori Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji, the 14th Jathedar was born on the 7th of June 1945 in Murar, Amritsar. Before joining the Dal Panth, Baba Surjit Singh ji served in the armed forces of the Punjab police, from 1964 to 1969. After Baba ji quit the armed forces in 1969, they went to Anandpur Sahib, and served the Sangata there for three months before returning home. Baba Surjit Singh ji officially joined the Buddha Dal in 1970, whereupon he was given a horse and Shastar by the then 12th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal, Akali Baba Chet Singh ji. Baba Surjit Singh ji was initiated into the Khalsa Panth in 1972, by the Buddha Dal, who administered the Amrit or Khande-di-pahul to him.
    Baba Surjit Singh ji was then given one of hardest duties in the Buddha Dal, Ghoreyaan di seva, the selfless service of feeding, cleaning, and grooming the sacred horses of Guru sahib. Guru Gobind Singh Ji writes within Dasam Guru Granth Sahib, and in Sau Sakhi, that the seva of the horses is the highest in the Khalsa Panth. Guru sahib stated that one year of this seva is the equivalent to twelve years of any other seva. In this way, Baba ji achieved more than a lifetimes worth of seva during his janam. After this seva Baba Surjit Singh then participated in the karsewa of Sachkhand Sri Harimandar Sahib for two years from 1973-75.
    Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji followed a daily routine of doing seva around the clock, taking minimal rest. They would wake up for amritvela at 12am, have ishnan and then read Nitnem. After completing their Nitnem at 03:30 am Baba Surjit Singh ji would begin their seva and would continue this throughout the day. Baba Surjit Singh ji loved serving the Sangat and would serve them with complete love and devotion whenever he would be presented with the opportunity to do so.
    Baba Surjit Singh ji was later assigned the duty/seva of a Nagarchi Singh by the then Jathedar, Akali Baba Chet Singh ji. Again, in this new duty as a Nagarchi Singh, Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji served the Dal and carried out his duties wholeheartedly with enthusiasm.
    Seeing the love, devotion, and the years of service that Baba Surjit Singh ji put into the Buddha Dal, led Jathedar, Akali Baba Chet Singh ji to bestow the Farla, and thus make Baba Surjit Singh into a Mahakal Singh. Shortly after Jathedar Akali Baba Chet Singh ji left Earth for sachkand, Akali Baba Santa Singh ji was elected as the 13th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal. Jathedar Baba Santa Singh ji then entrusted Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji with many important tasks and duties. Baba Surjit Singh ji continued to serve the Buddha Dal and the Sangat wholeheartedly and at the same time carried on with his devotion towards Akal Purakh.
    Baba Surjit Singh ji would now wake up daily at 12 am and recite Gurbani until 8 am in the morning. Baba ji served Jathedar Akali Baba Santa Singh ji with great love, devotion and always obeyed their hukam. Seeing the great qualities within Baba Surjit Singh, Akali Baba Santa Singh ji appointed Baba Surjit Singh ji as his second in command. This now meant that Baba Surjit Singh would now be in charge of the chakkravarti Dal, - the moving Battalion, which consisted of the Guru’s horses, and Singhs. They would travel from village to village performing Akhand Paths and conducting Amrit Sanchars.
    The level of discipline within this Dal is one of the strictest. The level of bibek or physical cleanliness is of great importance, which means all food must be cooked on fire wood, in sarbloh - iron utensils, all water must be well drawn or from a river – not from pumps or taps. As per hukam of Dhan Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the chakarvarti Dal is never to stay in one place for more than three days, come wind rain or shine. So, you can imagine how difficult this tradition/maryada can be to uphold. Even during the turbulent times within Punjab during the 1980’s where Sikhs were being harassed and tormented by govt forces, Baba Surjit Singh upheld this maryada and prevented the tradition from being broken. In 2005 due to their failing health, Jathedar Akali Baba Santa Singh ji declared Baba Surjit Singh ji as the 14th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal.
    However, a false case was placed upon Baba Surjit Singh and Baba Ji was tortured and imprisoned. Due to the protests of Nihang Singhs he was subsequently released though, and anti-Sikh groups asked him to forfeit the leadership of the Budha Dal, to which Baba ji replied, ‘How can I be a traitor and overturn the order of my mentor Baba Santa Singh Ji?’
    On the 8th of August 2008 at the age of 90 Akali Baba Santa Singh the 13th Jathedar left their Earthly abode for Sachkand. After the nine days of paath for the passing of Baba Santa Singh, at the bhog, Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji was formally initiated as the 14th Jathedar of the Buddha Dal and on the 18th of August 2008 the formal dastar bandi ceremony took place.
    Baba ji remained in jail, along with 22 other Nihang Singhs (some who have never been charged and who are still in jail to this day). False witnesses, corrupt officials, and long court dates delayed Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji’s case.
    While in Patiala Jail, Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji led a life of example and inspired many people just has he had done before and changed the lives of many inmates within the Jail. He inspired many of them to lead a life of devotion and inspired many of them to shun their old ways of crime and to correct their wrong doings. Even the Jail authority and the officials noticed a change in their prison after Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji had been brought there as an inmate. Several Prison authorities recognised Baba Ji’s greatness and would seek his guidance as they respected him. Prisoners, the policemen inside the jail and even the jail warden, would seek his holy company. Even whilst in jail Jathedar Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji continued his daily routine, nitnem and remained in chardikalah. Baba Ji organized more than 40 Akhand Paths of Adi Guru Granth Sahib, Dasam Guru Granth Sahib and Sarbloh Guru Granth Sahib ji during a 5 year period.
    In 2011 Baba Ji fell ill due to the unhygienic food and unsanitary conditions within the Jail.
    By June 2013 Jathedar Baba Surjit Singh ji’s health started deteriorating significantly, and Baba ji was taken to P.G.I Hospital Chandigarh, for regular weekly check-ups. By 2014 his health worsened and he spent the best part of two or three days a week at the P.G.I hospital in Chandigarh. Finally, due to acute illness, Jathedar Akali Baba Surjit Singh ji breathed his last breath on the 3rd of September 2014 at the P.G.I Hospital, Chandigarh, Punjab.
    Panth Paatshah Akali Nihang Baba Surjit Singh was an exceptional leader and tremendous soul who changed the lives of so many people through his great guidance, wisdom and vast amounts of selfless seva.
    Baba Jis Antim Sanskar was performed at Gurdwara Lakhi Jangal Sahib, yet his memory, and great legacy lives on in all of those that he loved, and this love was always reciprocated.