Amritsar, June 20 : Bollywood actor Raj Babbar began shooting of a television soap opera based on the life and times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of Punjab region. The Golden Temple here formed the backdrop for the inaugural shoot of 'Lord of the Five Rivers -- Maharaja Ranjit Singh'.
"Ranjeet Singh didn't call himself a ruler, but rather a slave of the guru. He never sat on the throne. He always followed the principles of the Khalsa. We are about to begin a soap opera based on his life. So, we seek blessings of the gurus and no better place than this to begin shoot," said Raj Babbar.
"I don't know about the television soap, but I am here because I am a ardent devotee of Maharaja Ranjit Singh," said Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab Chief Minister, who was also present along with the serial's producer Nadira Babbar.
Ranjit Singh, also called The Lion of the Punjab, succeeded his father at the young age of 12. After several campaigns, his rivals accepted him as their leader, and he united the Sikh factions into one large state.
Singh created the first modern Indian Army -- the Sikh Khalsa Army, a powerful military force whose presence delayed the eventual British colonization of Punjab.