A rich trader in India, Diwan Todar mal Jain, on December 26, 1704 purchased the priciest piece of land anywhere in world. I will let you know the price in today’s currency as well as the size of the land he bought, but before that, i will take you through pages of indian history, the days when Heroism shone at its brightest best and Villainy brought out its horrifying worst.
Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh ( aged 8 and 5 ) happened to be the younger Sons of Guru Govind Singh. In December 1704 they along with the mother of Guru Gobind Singh were strayed away from main forces while crossing the flooded river Sarsa, after Guru had to vacate the fortress of Anandpur. As Mughals gave chase to Guru ‘s forces, A cook in Guru’s household, Gangu, took three of them to his house in Kheri. There, overcome by greed to possess the gold coins that Guru’s mother was carrying with her, He blew their cover to Mughals.
They were arrested and next day, both young heroes were made to appear in the provincial court. They were sentenced to death by Qazi on being Sons of Guru Gobind Singh, whom they declared rebel against the Mughal empire. They were offered their lives on condition of forsaking their religion and accepting Islam. They were given a night to think over the matter.
Next day, they spurned the Governor’s offer to accept Islam, and chose death by getting bricked alive in the wall. Among the courtiers only Sher Mohammad Khan, governor of city raised his voice against the devilish plan. However no one paid heed to him and he had to leave the court in disgust.
The order was carried out next day, Two executioner brothers, Sashal begh and Bashal begh, carried out execution by bricking them alive.
Their Grandmother, who was captured along them, died when the news of execution is broken to her.
Diwan Todar Mal Jain, An affluent and successful businessman, who had good relations with many high ranking mughals, when came to know of this dastardly act, and that no one is willing to claim bodies and cremate them, decided to act.
He personally met with governor, Wajir Khan and expressed his desire to claim the bodies and cremate as per the customs. Wajir Khan taunted him and said that he can buy the land required for cremation, covering it by Gold coins standing vertically.
Todar Mal, accepted the offer and laid down the earning of his entire life so that Mother and Sons of Guru Gobind Singh can have proper cremation.
A mughal coin, diameter 2.1 cm, weight about 11 grams, 0.2 Cm thick.
Even if we take a piece of land as small as 6′ by 6′ (1.8 Meter by 1.8 Meter), land barely enough to cremate an adult and two young souls, it will require 77400 coins, weighing around 852 kilograms of Gold.
As of today a Kilogram of Gold is 52658.10 USD, totaling about 44864701 US Dollars (331.3 Crore INR) in today’s money.
Today Gurudwara jyoti Sarup stands at the place, Fatehgarh Sahib ( Earlier Sirhind ), where they were cremated. For showing the maturity beyond their short earthly years, they were affectionately called as “Baba” Zorawar Singh and “Baba” Fateh Singh. The honorific Baba in Punjabi / Hindi language is used for Wise old man / grandfather.
Later on, Guru Gobind Singh on learning about martyrdom of his sons, and the protest and refusal of the Sher Mohammad khan to be the party in execution of young souls, granted boon to his city, Malerkotla, that peace will pervade there and Sher Mohammad khan’s family will rule the city as long as kings and kingdoms will exist. Sher Khan’s family was ruling malerkotla till 1947 when all the kingdoms were merged into union of India. Malerkotla remained the island of peace ever after, even during the turbulent days of 1947, when British Indian nation was partitioned into India and Pakistan and a million persons were killed in riots in rest of Punjab, Malerkotla didn’t register a single casualty.
Todar mal earned the wrath of Wajir khan and had to leave his lavish home behind and move near today’s Ludhiana city. Six years later Sikhs under the leadership of stormed Sirhind killing Wajir khan and his courtier Sucha nand for their inhuman act. The city was thoroughly razed, so much so that not a single building survived the onslaught, except the one Jahaaj Haveli, belonging to Todar mal. Although it fell to disrepair later, and some parts crumbled, whatever survived, still reminds the affluence of It’s erstwhile master.