The town of Dehra grew up round the temple built in 1699 by the heretical Sikh Guru, Ram Rai, the founder of the Udasi sect of Ascetics.
Moreover the spirit of the sepoys during the Sikh wars was unsatisfactory, and led to excessive casualties amongst the British officers and soldiers.
From the commencement of his reign he found himself involved in disputes with Ranjit Singh, the Sikh ruler of the Punjab, who used the dethroned Saduzai prince, Shuja-ul-Mulk, as his instrument.
Towards the end of the century the heretical Sikh Guru, Ram Rai, expelled from the Punjab, sought refuge in the Dun and gathered round him a crowd of devotees.
His religion requires the Sikh to carry five articles - kes, the knot of hair on the head; the kanga, a comb; the kard, a knife; the kach, a pair of short trousers peculiar to the Sikh; and the khara, an iron bangle on the wrist.
The establishment of Singh Sabhas, of Sikh newspapers, and the spread of education have largely tended in the same direction, but the strict ethical code of Sikhism and the number of its obligatory divine services have caused many to fall away from the faith: nor does the austere Sikh ritual appeal to women, who generally prefer Hinduism with its picturesque material worship and the brightness of its innumerable festivals.
It is the headquarters of the Sikh religion, containing 264,329 Sikhs as against 280,985 Hindus and 474,976 Mahommedans.
He organized a powerful force, which was trained by French and Italian officers such as Generals Ventura, Allard and Avitabile, and thus forged the formidable fighting instrument of the Khalsa army, which afterwards gave the British their hardest battles in India in the two Sikh wars.
Mahommedan (62,458,077), Buddhist (9,476,759), Sikh R (2,195,339), Jain (1,334,148), Christian (2,923,241), Parsee (94,190), and Animist (8,584,148).
Together with the two other deras (settlements), Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Fateh Khan, it gave its name to the territorial area locally and historically known as Derajat, which after many vicissitudes came into the possession of the British after the Sikh War, in 1849, and was divided into the two districts of Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan.