Maharaja Ala Singh was the first ruler of the princely state of Patiala, in British India, who ruled from (1709–1765). He was born in 1691 at Phul, in present-day Bathinda district of the Punjab, in Jat sikh family to Chaudhary Ram Singh of Phulkian Misl. At the age of 16 year, he got married to Rani Fato later became Fateh Kaur, after taking Pahul in 1707. He was a great worrier and is well remembered for his battles and his establishment of Patiala
Ahmad Shah Durani attacked Barnala in the absence of the Maharaja, when he was at Moonak. The Durani conferred upon him the title of “Raja” and granted him an area comprises 30 villiages. Later he occupied many more villiage.In 1731 he took over Raj Kalan,Chhaji, Longowal, Dridhba, Sheron, Bhatinda and became a powerful Maharaja.In 1735 ,he took Khande Bate di Pahul and became Sikh. He laid the foundation of the city of Patiala and and built Mubark Fort. In the same year heading the Sikh confederacy he conquered Sirhind and surrounding territories. He died in 1765 at the age of 57, leaving the gaddi to his grandson Maharaja Amar Singh.
Maharaja Amar Singh
Maharaja Amar Singh turned out to be a great conqueror and soon he came to be revered and feared for his skill to win battles.Maharaja Amar Singh captured Pyal and Isru near Ludhiana with the help of his allies Sardar Jassa Singh and some trans – sutlej Sikhs.He attacked and besieged Kot Kapura. He led various other battles and developed considerable power and kingdom. He made various inroads into the territories of his adversaries. Amar Singh was just thirty five years old when he died in February, 1781 due to excessive drinking.
Maharaja Sahib Singh
Maharaja Sahib Singh assumed the throne in 1781 when he was just six years old. He got the throne at a time when the Kingdom had just got expanded and was rife with various challenges and differences. However, the Raja ruled for a long period of 32 years from 1781-1813. He was not the strongest of Patiala rulers and died in 1813.
Maharaja Karam Singh
Maharaja Karam Singh was born in 1798 and succeeded the throne after the death of his father Maharaja Sahib Singh in 1813. Known to be a good ruler and an able administrator, Maharaja Karam Singh ruled for a long period of 32 years. He was known to be a very religious person and was a devout Sikh. Many shrines were made under his rule in honor of the Gurus. The Maharaja is also known to have helped the British check the Gurkha incursions into the Punjab Hills in 1814. He was suitably rewarded with a large tract of land in the Himalayan foothills. Maharaja Karam Singh died on 23rd December, 1845 in Patiala.
Maharaja Narendra Singh
Maharaja Narendra Singh was the 5th Maharaja of Patiala, from 1845-1862. He was born on 26th November, 1823 and had married seven times. The Maharaja was a loyal friend of the British and provided valuable support and service to them during the great mutiny of 1867. He got various rewards and recommendations due to this service to the British regime. He was bestowed with territories, land, loan waivers and many more rewards.
Maharaja Mahendra Singh
Born on 16th September, 1852, he was the sixth Maharaja of Patiala. He ruled from 1862-1876. Maharaja Mahendra Singh had three wives. He was a minor when he stepped into the shoes of his father and the affairs of the Kingdom were looked after by a council of regency till 1870. The Maharaja did a lot of work in education and providing relief to famine- stricken areas. He was also honored with the Grand Commander of the Star of India in 1871. The Maharaja died in 1876.
Maharaja Rajinder Singh
Maharaja Rajinder Singh was the seventh Maharaja of Patiala and reigned for a period of 24 years. He was the King from 1876-1900. He was a reformist and a thorough gentleman who brought a fresh perspective and feeling to Indian rulers. He was instrumental in providing endowments for orphanages and a woman’s hospital. He was a sportsperson and had interest in games like polo, cricket, billiards and hockey. The Maharaja had a very unfortunate accident while riding in which he lost his life in 1900.
Maharaja Bhupindra Singh
The Maharaja was an avid cricket and polo fan. There are numerous noteworthy contributions in these fields by the Maharaja. He was a cricketer himself and was captain of the Indian Team that made a trip to England in 1911. He played in 27 first class cricket matches. The great credit of building the highest cricket ground in the world is also to the Maharajas name because of the construction in Chail in 1893.
Maharaja Yadavindra Singh
was the last ruler of Patiala Dynasty before independence of India. He agreed to the incorporation of Princely States into India on 5th May, 1948. He was instrumental in convincing the other princely rulers to join India after independence. He had a life full of glorious achievements as a sportsperson and an administrator. Maharaja Yadavindra was a great cricket enthusiast. He represented India in one Test match. He held various positions in cricket as well as other sporting disciplines. Some of them are
• President of British Indian Olympic Committee (1938-1947)
• President of the Indian Olympic Committee (1947-1960)
• President of BCCI
Maharaja Yadvindra Singh died of heart failure on 17th June, 1974 while in office at The Hauge where he was the Indian Ambassador to Netherlands.