In the year 1959, he won a Bronze in the National Games held at Cuttack. That was his first taste of success. In the following year, he then hit the high spots with the National Games held at Delhi. He won a gold in the short sprint and a Silver in the 300 metres at the tournament. With this success he was to continue in following time the National Games. In the year 1960, he has won a Gold and a Silver at Madras, 4 Gold at Jabalpur in the year 1962 and 2 Gold and one Silver at Trivandrurn in the year 1963. His greatest triumph is considered to be the 1964 National Games held in Calcutta. In the tournament apart from scoring a stunning win over Milkha, he picked up four Gold Medals for an impressively personal tally. In the 1962 Asian Games held in Jakarta, he represented India. He won a relay gold in 4 x 400 metres and a Silver in the 400 metres at the tournament.
The National Games had Special implication for Makhan Singh who has been the ordnance cannoneer also. From the year1959 to the year 1964, he took part in all the Games and won a total of 12 Gold, three Silver and one Bronze. The last medal he has won was in Calcutta. In the Indian Army, he has served as a Subedar and retired in the year 1972. Afterwards, he met with an accident that caused loosing a leg. Acknowledging his talent, Indian Government conferred the highest prestigeous award in sports, the Arjuna Award in the year 1964.