Wadda Ghallughara refers to the 'Great Massacre or Holocaust or Sikh Genocide' of Sikhs in 1762 by muslim forces who were unable to stop or convert Sikhs to Islam.
Ahmad Shah Durrani, also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali, attacked India in January 1761. The third battle of Panipat took place between his forces and Marathas in which both sides suffered heavy losses, but Ahmad Shah Durrani emerged victorious. He looted and destroyed Delhi.
When Ahmad Shah Durrani started his journey to go back to Afghanistan, Sikhs attacked his forces, right from River Sutlej to the River Indus and liberated about 2000 women prisoners.
Sikhs also took away a major part of the looted wealth. Ahmad Shah Durrani decided to come back with a large force and destroy the Sikhs from the face of the earth.
Ahmad Shah sent a force of about 12000 to crush Sikhs in August, 1761, but Sikhs defeated that force.
In October, 1761 Sikhs defeated Obaid Khan, the Governor of Lahore and occupied Lahore. To take revenge, Ahmad Shah Durrani came back with a much larger force on 3 February 1762.
The Sikhs immediately vacated Lahore and decided to escort their families to the Lakhi Jungle of the Malwa region. About 40000-60000 Sikh men, women and children started moving towards Malwa region and crossed River Sutlej.
Ahmad Shah Durrani moved with a lightning speed. He asked Zain Khan, the Fauzdar of Sirhind and Bhikhan Khan, the Chief of Malerkotla to encircle Sikhs from the eastern side.
On 5 February 1762 Ahmad Shah with his forces crossed River Sutlej and attacked the slow moving Sikhs from the western side with 30000 horsemen. The forces of Sirhind and Malerkotla attacked from the other side with over 20000 men and artillery. At that time Sikhs had reached the site of Gurdwara Sri Wadda Ghallughara Sahib Rohira near the villages of Rohira and Kup. This was the site where the Wadda Ghallughara began.
The Sikhs formed a protective ring, around 4 km in length long, to surround and protect their families. The Sikhs continued to fight and move towards Malwa region. The muslim led Sikh Genocide and fighting continued for the whole day. Near Gurdwara Sri Wadda Ghallughara Sahib Rohira is a huge government built memorial to the Wadda Ghallughara. However, we would urge you to visit the Gurdwara Sahib first and foremost.
At Sunset, the Sikhs with muslim pursuers arrived at a large a pond, near the villages of Kutba and Bahmania, about 25 km West of Rohira and Kup where Gurdwara Sri Wadda Ghallughara Sahib Kutba is located. The attack stopped here when Ahmad Shah's exhausted forces took water. By this time, Sikhs had lost around 30000 men, women and children. Sardar Jassa Singh was inflicted with 22 wounds and Sardar Charat Singh (the grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) with 19. Every single Sikh warrior bore wounds from trying to defend their families.
The remaining Sikhs escaped towards Barnala and Ahmad Shah thought it prudent not to pursue them in the little known semi-desert with an army that had had no rest during the past two days and had suffered considerable loss of life in the daylong battle. Ahmad Shah carried 50 cartloads of Sikh heads to Lahore belonging to the slain in battle and erected large pyramids. He also took many captives. The two original volumes of the Holy Granth from Amritsar and Damdama Sahib were lost to the Afghans.
The Sikhs reorganized themselves in a short period and after 3 months in May 1762 they attacked Zain Khan at Sirhind and captured Sirhind. In October 1762 Sikhs, attacked the Afghan forces and pushed them out of Amritsar after they destroyed Sri Harmandir Sahib and filled the Sarovar with refuse and dead cows. Ahmad Shah Durrani died in 1772 by a cancerous wound on his nose. The wound is said to have been caused when Ahmad Shah was hit on the nose by a flying piece of brick when Sri Harmandir Sahib was destroyed with gunpowder.
Gurmat Gyan (Knowledge)
Other Gurbani Contributors
Live Gurdwara Kirtan