Ten unknown facts about Maharaja Ranjit Singh the Sikh Empire.
1. Founded the Sikh Empire by uniting 12 Sikh Misals/Clans.
2. As a Child suffered from smallpox which resulted in the loss of one eye.
3. Captured Lahore in 1799, turning point of the Sikh Empire and crowned Maharaja in 1801 at age 20
4. Had many children but those that were recognized were Kharak Singh, Sher Singh, Peshawara Singh and Duleep Singh
5. Had 20+ wives; Notables were Rani Mahtab Kaur, Rani Raj Kaur, Ranji Ratan Kaur, Rani Daya Kaur, and Maharani Jind Kaur
6. Ran an idiosyncratic empire, allowing men from other religions to hold commanding positions.
7. Built an empire which had the highest gross domestic product in the world and most scholars and intellectuals, surpassing the Europeans.
8. In the Sikh Empire places of worship belonging to the enemy were never destroyed. The empire was secular therefore Sikh faith never forced upon its subjects.
9. After Forty years of the Sikh Empire came to an end. Deceit, corruption, and a lack of planning for the future by the great Maharaja himself caused the empire to abruptly demise.
10. There were a total of 41 foreigners who served in the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Source: Sikh Bulletin