The Kingdom of the Sikhs,
or the Sarkar Khalsaji, was a manifestation of the spiritual path initiated by Guru Nanak that was eventually crystallized into the tradition of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh. In 1799, the Sikhs established their kingdom in that part of the Indian subcontinent most traumatised by the invaders.
The Sarkar Khalsaji stretched from the banks of the Satluj to the very foothills of the Hindu Kush Mountains in the trans-Indus region. Hari Singh Nalwa was the Commander-in-chief at the most turbulent North West Frontier of Ranjit Singh's kingdom. He took the frontier of the Sarkar Khalsaji to the very mouth of the Khyber Pass. For the past eight centuries, marauders, who had indulged in loot, plunder, rape, and forcible conversions to Islam had used this route into the subcontinent. In his lifetime, Hari Singh became a terror to the ferocious tribes inhabiting these regions. He successfully thwarted the last foreign invasion into the subcontinent through the Khyber Pass at Jamrud, permanently blocking this route of the invaders. Even in his death, Hari Singh Nalwa's formidable reputation ensured victory for the Sikhs against an Afghan force five times as numerous.
Hari Singh Nalwa's performance as an administrator and a military commander in the North West Frontier remains unmatched. Two centuries on, Britain, Pakistan, Russia and America have been unsuccessful in effecting law and order in this region.
Hari Singh Nalwa's spectacular achievements exemplified the tradition established by Guru Gobind Singh such that he came to be hailed as the 'Champion of the Khalsaji'.
Source: Nalwa, V. 2009. Hari Singh Nalwa ― Champion of the Khalsaji, New Delhi: Manohar.