Sharan Kaur Pabla was a Sikh martyr who was slain in 1705 by Mughal soldiers while cremating the bodies two older sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, after the battle of Chamkaur. She was from the village Raipur Rani which is 2 KM from the famous town of Chamkaur.
Historical Background: Guru Gobind Singh Escapes Chamkaur Fort
Guru Gobind Singh escaped the fort of Chamkaur on the night of December 22, 1705. According to a local legend, he briefly stopped at Raipur on his way to Machhiwara. Here he asked a lady by the name of Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla to perform the last rites of the martyred Sikhs, which included two of Guru Gobind Singh's own sons , Sahibzada Ajit Singh and Sahibzada Jujhar Singh .
Battle of Chamkaur in the Living Bardic Tradition
Bibi Sharan Kaur Goes to Battlefield
Cremates the Sahibzadas and her Husband along with other Martyrs of Chamkaur
As the story goes, Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla performed the last rites of the thrity two martyrs of Chamkaur including two elder Sahibzadas and her husband Bhai Pritam Singh Pabla.
Martyrdom of Bibi Sharan Kaur
According to one account, Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla was so grief stricken that she herself jumped in the funeral pyre and ended her life.
According to another view she did not self-immolate but was slain by Moghul soldiers and thrown in the funeral pyre of Sahibzadas, when she and her other accomplices from Raipur, were caught cremating the bodies of Sahibzadas.
Jauhar style Self-Immolation
A third account says that she did indeed jump into funeral pyre in a Jauhar style self-immolation. Her own husband Bhai Pritam Singh Pabla, who was one of Guru Gobind Singh's warriors, was with the 10th Guru inside the Chamkaur fort resisting the Moghul attack. She had also discovered him among the dead.
She tried to cremate all the martyrs in a single funeral pyre. As soon as the funeral pyre was lit she was discovered by Moghul and Ranghar soldiers who wanted the bodies of the soldiers - martyrs according to Sikh tradition- to rot in open air in order to terrorise Hindu/Sikh population who refused to apostasize or give out the whereabouts of Guru Gobind Singh.
It is said that realizing that the intentions of the Moghul soldiers were to outrage her modesty , she jumped into the funeral pyre of the martyrs , which included her husband Bhai Pritam Singh Pabla, to save her honour.
Sharan Kaur was a Saini and there are a number of Saini villages around Chamkaur Sahib where the monumental battle between Sikhs and Moghuls took place . Pabla is one of the major clans of Sainis.
Possible Ancestor of Sardar Nanu Singh Saini of Phulkiyan
She is also sometimes linked as a possible ancestor with Sikh nobleman of Phulkiyan, Sardar Nanu Singh Saini, whose family later owned sizeable land in the village Raipur in addition to their other estates in Phulkiyan.
This village also has the funerary shrines or 'smadhs' of the following Sikh martyrs:
Shaheed Jathedar Naunihal Singh
Shaheed Mastan Singh
Shaheed Santokh Singh
Shaheed Malkiat Singh
Baja Wala Mahi
Note: The lyrcist of Bajan Wala Mahi song, sung by Nachchatar Gill, is Harwinder Oharpuri, who also happens to be a Saini of Bhela clan. Oharpur is a well-known Saini dominated village of district Nawanshehr.
A Gurudwara Commemorates Bibi Sharan Kaur's Martyrdom
In 1945 a Gurudwara was built in village Raipur to commemorate Bibi Sharan Kaur Pabla.
1. The Battle of Chamkaur (22 December 1705), The Panjab past and present, Volume 20, pp 276, Devinder Kumar Varma, Punjabi University. Dept. of Punjab Historical Studies, 1986
An artist's imagination depicting Guru Gobind Singh sending his eldest son Sahibzada Ajit Singh to battlefield. Sahibzada Ajit Singh achieved martyrdom in this battle along with his brother Sahibzada Jujhar Singh and many other Sikh warriors. Sharan Kaur Pabla of village Raipur performed the last rites of 32 of these Sikh martyrs, which included her own husband Bhai Pritam Singh Pabla. Guru Gobind Singh is also said to havve escaped to Machchiwara passing through neighboring villages, instructing Sharan Kaur Pabla on the way to arrange the funeral of Sikh martyrs.