He was the man who designed Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1892. Even the persons connected with the college (I have been a student there for four years and a teacher for six years) hardly know anything about him. There was little I could say about Bhai Ram Singh until I had read this book.

He was one of the outstanding Indians in the late 19th century, much sought after he designed buildings in the princely states of Jind, Nabha, Patiala, Bhawalpore, Jammu and Kashmir, Mysore and so on. For more than two decades, he dominated the architectural scene without a rival.

In Lahore, he designed the Chiefs College, Lahore Museum, the Mayo School of Arts, Punjab University Senate House and scores of other buildings, including the Governor’s House in Shimla. At Lyallpur, he designed the College of Agriculture. He was the chief designer of buildings in Punjab in those years and the man who built those was Sir Ganga Ram. Between the two of them, they shaped pre-1947 Lahore. Apart from the walled city and some Mughal buildings that existed earlier, the rest of the city was built in terms of what he designed.

Those concerned with city planning and architecture know that Sir Ganga Ram had a memorable role in the making of Lahore. He was popular in any case, as apart from being a remarkable builder, he was also a philanthropist. The medical college and hospital, founded in his name a couple of years before Partition, still run under his name. A good deal has been written about him, but it took only this author couple to rediscover Bhai Ram Singh.


It wouldn’t be bad even to name some college of art or architecture after him. Meanwhile, for students of art and architecture in India, the book is available from Manohar Publishers in Delhi.