Ranjit Singh (726)
Ranjit Singh (1780-1837), the Sikh hero, built up his empire covering Punjab, Kashmir, Ladakh and parts of Afghanistan, when the British were expanding their rule over other parts of India. He won battles even as a boy. Not literate himself, he chose his advisers and generals wisely. A Sikh by religion, he treated Hindus and Muslims as equal citizens. He ensured prosperity and justice to the civilian population, and built up a disciplined army capable of defense as well as attack. With Ranjit Singh at helm, the British thought it wise to make a treaty of friendship. After Ranjit Singh, they soon took over his territories.