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The Sikh Empire was a major power in the Indian subcontinent, centered in the Punjab. It was founded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1799, and lasted until the end of the Anglo-Sikh wars in 1849, when it was dissolved by the British Empire.
Founded when the warlord Ranjit Singh captured the city of Lahore, thus becoming Maharaja, the Empire soon flourished and became a major power in the region, controlling land from the present-day Afghan-Pakistan border in the west to Tibet in the east. During this time, the Empire came into contact with the British Empire, and the two enjoyed a strong diplomatic alliance for nearly forty years.
Throughout the Empire's history, it was supported and protected by the Indian Assassins, including Arbaaz Mir, as they attempted to keep British ambitions in check, as several officers and representatives to the Crown were secretly Templars attempting to spread their influence into the Empire. General Francis Cotton was one such Templar agent, and managed to poison the Maharaja during a diplomatic meeting in 1839.
With the Maharaja's death, the Empire began to crumble, both internally and externally. Political mismanagement and ideological divisions weakened the government, giving the powerful British East India Company a chance to launch the Anglo-Sikh Wars. After a fierce four year war, the Empire was finally conquered by the British and made into a collection of princely states and the Province of Punjab.