Khanda Sword (Sikh Emblem) Forged in Fire

The Khanda Sword is a double-edged sword that has originated from the Indian subcontinent. It is often presented in religious symbols, theatre and sculpture illustrating the history of India.

Khanda is a Punjabi Verbal term that refers to a flat broadsword, or blade, having 2 edges both of which are sharpened, which is also a common weapon in Indian martial arts.

The Sikh Coat of arms or the Khalsa Crest recognizes Khanda as its official symbol or emblem with the double-edged Khanda Sword in the centre of the insignia.

Nishan that is the Sikh flag which locates every Gurdwara Worship Hall always has the coat of arms emblem of the Sikhism Khanda on it.

It often appears in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh drawings, scriptures and art.

Origin of Khanda Sword Symbol

The term Khanda is derived from a Sanskrit word Khaḍga or Khaṅga (खड्ग), from the root word Khaṇḍ which means “to break, cut, destroy, divide”.

Origin of Khanda Sword Symbol
Origin of Khanda Sikh Sword Symbol

The Rigveda has several mentions about the word, asi, for a bladed weapon or sword, that was used as a dagger or a sacrificial knife in the early ancient history to be used in wars.

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In Hindu and Buddhist Dharmic religions, the deities are often depicted holding a Khanda sword in religious sculptures and art.

In Buddhism, Khanda is a symbol of wisdom cutting through the veil of ignorance.

Remarkably, Buddhist protector gods like Arya Achala, Manjushri, Mahakala, Palden Lhamo etc., have been portrayed holding the holy symbol.

Appearance, Punctuation, Meaning and Spelling of Khanda

The pronunciation and the phonetic spelling of the term Khanda is “Khanddaa” i.e. Khan-Daa (Khan – a sounds like a bun) (Daa – aa sounds like awe) (DD is pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled back to touch the roof of the mouth.)

Appearance, Punctuation, Meaning and Spelling of Khanda
Appearance, Punctuation, Meaning and Spelling of Khanda

Synonym: The Sikhism Khanda Sword is often referred as an Adi Shakti, meaning “primal power” usually by English speaking American Sikh converts, members of the 3HO community, and non-Sikh students of Kundalini yoga.

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The term Adi Shakti originated in the early 1970s by the late Yogi Bhajan initiator of 3HO is rarely if ever, used by Sikhs of Punjabi origin.

The customary notable term used by all majority Sikhism groups for the Khalsa Coat of Arms is Khanda.

Appearance: The blade widens from the hilt to the point, which is typically pretty blunt.

While both ends are sharp, one side generally has a firming plate along most of its length, which both adds mass to downward cuts and permits the wielder to place their hand on the plated edge.

The hilt has a big plate guard and a wide finger guard linked to the pommel. The pommel is round and flat with a spike pointing from its middle.

The spike may be used nastily or as a grip when conveying a two-handed stroke. The hilt is the same as that active on another South Asian traditional sword, the firangi.

What is the symbolism of Khanda Coat of Arms?

What is the symbolism of Khanda Coat of Arms
What is the symbolism of Khanda Coat of Arms?

Many Sikhs have highlighted the significance of Khanda Coat of Arms as special and important as;

  • 2 swords indicate the divine and secular forces impelling the soul.
  • A double-edged sword signifies the power of truth to cut over the dualism of delusion.
  • A circle signifies unity, an intellect of being at one with eternity.

Many Sikhs, prefer to melt down the Sikhism Khanda Sword in the form a pin so that they could wear it on a turban.

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A Khanda slightly reminds you of the crescent of Islam, with a sword swapping the star, and also look like the crest on the flag of Islamic Iran.

A likely implication could have risen through ancient clashes in which Sikhs protected innocent folks against the autocracy of Mughal Rulers.

What are the different ways to represent the Khanda’s use?

The Khanda Sword is a representative Sikhism symbol of Sikh’s martial history and is portrayed proudly by Sikh’s around the world in a variety of ways;

What are the different ways to represent the Khanda's use
What are the different ways to represent the Khanda’s use?
  1. Appliquéd and embroidered on clothing.
  2. As a pin worn on the turban.
  3. Computer graphics and wallpaper.
  4. In poster form and artwork on a wall.
  5. As a vehicle hood ornament.
  6. Decorating ramalas draping the Guru Granth Sahib.
  7. On gurdwara, building structures, and gates.
  8. Identifying Sikhism websites.
  9. Adorning the Nishan Sahib, or Sikh flag.
  10. On banners and floats in parades.
  11. Accompanying articles in print.
  12. Embellishing letterheads and stationery.

What is the historic significance of Khanda?

After the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev Ji, achieved death by the orders of Jahangir, the Mughal emperor, Guru Har Govind Singh Ji became the 6th Sikh Guru.

What is the historic significance of Khanda
What is the historic significance of Khanda Sword?

To express the aspects of Piri i.e. Spirituality and Miri i.e. Secularism, Guru Har Govind Ji wore 2 swords for creating his dominion, as well as the nature of his command and ruler-ship.

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Guru Har Govind built up a private army and created the Akal Takhat, as his power and seat of spiritual power facing towards Gurdwara Harmandir Sahib, usually known in modern times as the Golden Temple.

Significance of the Double Edge Khanda Sword

A flat double edge broadsword is used to stir the preserving nectar of Amrit given to pledgees to drink in the Sikh baptism rite.

The Chakar Circlet

The Chakar circlet is a tossing weapon customarily used by Sikh fighter in battle. It is now and then worn on the turbans of devout Sikhs known as Nihangs.

Historic Era

Early Khanda swords appear in the archaeological record of ritual copper swords in Fatehgarh Northern India and Kallur in Southern India, although the Puranas and Vedas give an even older date to the sacrificial knife.

Historic Era
Historic Era

Since the time of Iron Age Mahajanapadas (roughly 600 to 300 BC), sword types like (Straight swords or other curved swords bent inwards and outwards) have been used in Indian history.

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Several Sanskrit epics mention about the usage of these swords by the soldiers in armies such as those of the Mauryan Empire.

Various art and sculptures dating back to AD 280-550 i.e. the Gupta Period, depicts warriors holding Khanda Sword like broadswords.

These are again flaring out at the tip. They sustained to be used in art such as Chola-era murtis. There is a host of images portraying the khanda being worn by Rajput kings during the medieval era.

It was used typically by foot militaries and by peers who were unhorsed in combat. The Rajput warrior clans respected the khanda as a defence of great status.

Later the design of the sword was improved by the Prithviraj Chauhan who added a back spine to the sword, giving it further strength and power.

To make the blade a tough cutting weapon, he made the blade a bit wider and flatter, making it a tough cutting weapon. It also gave a benefit to infantry over light aid enemy militaries.

Rajput soldiers in combat used the khanda with both hands and swayed it over their head when fenced and outstripped by the enemy.

It was in this way that they usually dedicated a moral last stand rather than be taken. Even today they worship the khanda on the event of Dasara.

Maharana Pratap is known to have used a khanda. The son in law of Miyan Tansen Naubat Khan also used khanda and the clan was known as Khandara Beenkar.

Wazir Khan Khandara was a well-known beenkar of 19th era. Many Sikh soldiers of the Akali-Nihang command are known to have used khandas.

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For example, Akali Deep Singh is famed for using a khanda Sword in his last battle before getting his demise, which is still conserved at Akaal Takhat Sahib.

Akali Phula Singh is also identified to have used a khanda, and this exercise was popular amid majors and bests in the Sikh Khalsa Army as well as by Sikh sardars of the Misls and the Sikh Empire. The Sikh martial art, Gatka also uses khandas.


One of the most vital religious symbols in Sikhism is named “Khanda” and the symbol features a Khanda sword in the middle with two Kirpans on the sides and a Chakram on the Khanda blade.

The Khanda Sword has a straight, double-edged blade that broadens near the tip.

The blade itself is quite broad and heavy and converts into the tip rather sharply. The hilt has a metal spike coming out of the bottom that is typical of the Khanda.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What are the uses if Khanda Sword?

The Khanda Sword is poorly designed for forcing, instead of being used for hacking and slicing. Joined with the Indian martial art style known as Gatka, the Sikhs succeeded to achieve great cutting power with this weapon. The Sikhs respected the Khanda as a weapon of great respect and integrity.

How did the Sikh warriors fight using Khanda?

The Khanda Sword had roughly the same place in Sikh’s warrior classes as the Katana did to the Samurai. Sikh warriors in battle used the khanda with both hands and swung it over their head when fenced and outstripped by the rival. It was in this way that they usually devoted a moral last stand rather than be taken.

Who invented Khanda?

The first Sikh flags were plain, but emblems were introduced by Guru Gobind Singh. The first Sikh emblem, was not the Khanda, but the three weapons, the Kattar (dagger), Dhal (shield) and Kirpan (sabre). Later these emblems were also used by the Sikh misls and the Empire.

Which Indian king had the heaviest sword?

Maharana Pratap is revered as one of the strongest warriors India has ever seen. Standing at 7 feet 5 inches, he would carry a 80-kilogram spear and two swords weighing around 208 kilograms in total.