Bhai Taru Singh was born around 1720 in Amritsar during the reign of the Mughal Empire. He was raised as a Sikh by his widowed mother and had one sister, Tar Kaur. Singh was engaged in agriculture at Poolha, Kasur, Lahore District, where he had a small farm and grew maize. Upon witnessing Sikh fighters save a poor girl from the clutches of the Mughal oppressors, Bhai Taru Singh decided to become initiated into the Khalsa. During this time, Sikh revolutionaries were plotting the overthrow of the Mughal governor of Punjab, Zakaria Khan. Singh and his sister gave food and other aid to the gursikhs (devout Sikhs of the Guru). An informant reported them to Zakaria Khan and the two were arrested for treason. Some sources, however, say that a mahant (akin to a 'great priest') was the one to have tipped off Mughal authorities because Bhai Taru Singh was harboring Sikh fighters. Though his sister's freedom was bribed for by the villagers, Singh refused to seek a pardon.