A Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s mausoleum is located near Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. This place is called Samadhi of Ranjit Singh. The place where Ranjit Singh was cremated; construction was started on that spot by his son Kharak Singh. Later in 1848, his youngest son Duleep Singh completed the construction. The tomb reflects the Sikh architecture. In the structure of this tomb, gilded cupolas, domes and round the tomb an ornate balustrade can be seen. Ashes of Ranjit Singh are in the shape of lotus contained in a marble pot. That pot is placed under the marbled marquee in center of tomb inlaid with pietra dura. Pietra dura is a technique of inlaying the highly polishing, cutting and fitting the colored stones to create images.
In the early half of the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to power in the Indian subcontinent and was the founder of Sikh Empire. He established his empire in Punjab region. His empire existed from 1799 to 1849. Ranjit Singh was born in Gujranwala, Punjab on 13 November 1780. The Sikhs ruled much of Punjab at time under the Khalsa system, who made factions among the territory, known as misls. Maha Singh, father of Ranjit Singh was the commander on a misl who around his headquarters at Gujranwala controlled a territory in west Punjab.
Ranjit Singh’s mother and mother in law raised him after the death of his father Maha Singh. Ranjit Singh made the Lahore its capital after capturing the city from Bhangi Misl in 1799. In the next some years, from Sutlej to Jhelum, he brought the whole central Punjab under his way. Later he created Sikh Empire by conquering the other misls.
To establish an empire, Ranjit Singh started the process of unification in 1799. Turing point in his career was occupation of Lahore from Bhangi Misl. On 12 April 1801, at the age of 20 he was crowned by a descendent of Guru Nanak, Sahib Singh. Gradually he conquered all the Sikh Misl of west of the Satluj.
He also spent some years fighting other rulers. The army of Sikh empire under the Ranjit Singh was composed of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus. He also drew his commanders from different religious communities as his cabinet ministers were. Ranjit Singh was influenced by the European methods but never wanted to discard the inherited systems of his forefathers. His military was a blend of old and new ideas.
After the 40 years of rule, he died in 1839 and left his seven sons. Both Sikhs and Hindus held ceremony of his cremation. Some of his wives committed sati with his body.
Now in June 2013, lot of Sikh Yatris entered Lahore to participate in ceremony of his Samadhi. Later these Sikh Yatris (pilgrims) will visit Nankana Saab and Hassan Abdaal.