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Traditional Nishaan Sahib Image


dalsingh101
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For those that PMed me for it. Open it, Right click - Save Picture As.

post-3203-126969820621_thumb.jpg

Edited by dalsingh101
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I think the Khanda was popularised during the modern Singh Sabha era, with the idea being taken from the dumalla shastar layout of the Nihang Singhs, same way many other Nihang customs were taken and adopted by the modern Singhs like Bhai Randhir Singh i.e. Sarblohi rehit etc.

I have found no reference to or picture of the Khanda (sword and nishan) prior to this era.

Veer Freed posted some excellent picture research on this a while back, and the topic was discussed, just need to search the thread out.

The above Nishan Sahib appears in 2 old paintings I think, and there are a variety of others also.

The Nihangs also maintain the puratan Nishan of the Dals was blue, and there is some evidence to support this theory.

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I think the Khanda was popularised during the modern Singh Sabha era, with the idea being taken from the dumalla shastar layout of the Nihang Singhs, same way many other Nihang customs were taken and adopted by the modern Singhs like Bhai Randhir Singh i.e. Sarblohi rehit etc.

I have found no reference to or picture of the Khanda (sword and nishan) prior to this era.

Veer Freed posted some excellent picture research on this a while back, and the topic was discussed, just need to search the thread out.

The above Nishan Sahib appears in 2 old paintings I think, and there are a variety of others also.

The Nihangs also maintain the puratan Nishan of the Dals was blue, and there is some evidence to support this theory.

and since when was sarbloh bibek only a nihang rehat?

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When did 'Khanda' became part of Sikh flag?

Probably around the the 1930s.

THe earliest image I found of the modern 'Khanda' is in Nidar and Singh's book on Hazur Sahib (page 143). There it shows a small black and white photo of Gurdwara Nagina Ghat on the banks of Godwari that is dated circa 1930. We can clearly see a modern khanda on top of the building. The fact that it is on a Gurdwara far from Panjab, at that time, is curious. That is, of course, presuming that the given provenance of the photo is correct.

There is an extant photo of Jaito Morcha Singhs marching with the older tradition Nishaan Sahib. This took place in 1924/1925, so we have some evidence that the older Nishaan Sahib was still being used then. Interestingly the flag in that photo is blue. I don't know when when kesri colour became accepted as the norm, as people have pointed out, blue seems to have been the original Khalsa 'colour'. Rattan Singh Bhangu's Panth Prakash mentions this a few times, at least in terms of the colour of the Khalsa uniform.

The original image I based the posted jpeg apon, was the picture posted below. I know little about it in terms of location and dating. Please share any information in this respect if you are able:

ggs5.jpg

On page 123 of Nidar and Singh's book we can see a blue [?] version of the same Nishaan Sahib.

Shaheediyan: The above Nishan Sahib appears in 2 old paintings I think, and there are a variety of others also.

It's in more than two paintings Shaheediyan and in the odd photo also.

Edited by dalsingh101
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I must add:

I think we can safely identify the circular symbol on the older Nishaan Sahibs as a shield. There was some uncertainty about this, but other images of the same standard shows the the same circular sign with four bolts on the front as found on puratan daals.

For a while many of us weren't sure about what this symbol represented and hypothesised that it could represent a degh or a chakar. Nice to finally have closure on the mystery!

Edited by dalsingh101
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WJKK WJKF

I was talking to a Singh that knows quite a bit of Sikh history and he said that the Nishan Sahib had pretty much the same symbol that we see now from Guru Hargobind's time. The color might have been blue originally then kesri, but the pics of this kataar, shield and kirpan are actually nishaans of different groups in the Khalsa fauj.

Every different group in Guru sahib's fauj had different nishaans like different battalions and stuff. There was another nishaan that looked like a trident and some other ones.

However, the original Nishaan Sahib, had the Khanda and 2 kirpans.

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However, the original Nishaan Sahib, had the Khanda and 2 kirpans.

There doesn't seem to be any surviving evidence of this.

But the point you made about different groups within the Khalsa having different standards is very interesting.

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The modern Khanda is most certainly a new innovation, there is no evidence to date to suggest it existed prior to 1900. It is also almost certainly a political improvisation/innovation (IMHO) based on the Nihang ad-chand - coincidentally(?) coinciding with the 'hum Hindu nahin' era. Bhai Randhir Singhs photos are the 1st/some of the earliest I have seen where the Khanda is worn on the Dastaar.

I could be competely wrong however, and look forward to evidence being provided to prove to the contrary.

Just to make it clear, I have no issues with the modern Khanda, it was accepted by the Panth and is utilised/respected by the Panth (and myself) as a Khalsa symbol.

Edited by shaheediyan
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The modern Khanda is most certainly a new innovation, there is no evidence to date to suggest it existed prior to 1900. It is also almost certainly a political improvisation (IMHO) based on the Nihang ad-chand - coincidentally(?) coinciding with the 'hum Hindu nahin' era. Bhai Randhit Singhs photos are the 1st/some of the earliest I have seen where the Khanda is worn on the Dastaar.

Would be interesting to date these. I'm presuming all those photos correspond to the period after Bhai Sahib's release from prison and not prior? So we are talking about post October 1930 unless I'm mistaken. I think the protype may well be the older 'chand thor' symbol too.

Just to make it clear, I have no issues with the modern Khanda, it was accepted by the Panth and is utilised/respected by the Panth (and myself) as a Khalsa symbol.

It has been universally accepted as a Khalsa symbol and I don't think anyone has any issues with it. It's just interesting to trace our symbology, that's all.

I have to say though, for many years I thought that the modern Khanda symbol was actually from dasmesh pita's time. Was somewhat shocking to find out otherwise.

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Main point is, the Nishan Sahib should have images of Shastars. The olden ones had a Kattar, Kirpan, shield, while the modern Khanda symbol also has Shastars in it i.e. two kirpans on the side, one Khanda in the middle along with a chakra, all these are traditional Khalsa shastars and thus accepted. I do not accept these symbols (along with other Khalsa traditions) are the copyright of the Nihangs only. They belong to all the Khalsa of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Mahraj.

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  • 4 months later...

I have to agree. Looks like someone was just recreating something they 'thought' would have been a historical portrayal.

Not uncommon in India, there are fake artifacts regarding Sikh history all over the shop. You only have to go to Amritsar Museum and look at the 6th Masters apparant shastar collection, which includes a Katari even my Wife would struggle to fit in her hand (it's so small).

Plus, Veer Kulbir Singh in the thread points out a spelling error in the flag. That is more likely a case of bad research and replication rather than a mistake on Maharaja Ranjits Sarkaari Nishan

Edited by shaheediyan
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The material is way too new looking for it to be from M. Ranjit Singh's time. Plus we do have a good idea of the various standards of the time.

Looks like a fake.

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I should add this recent find on the bust of M. Ranjit Singh (see attachments at the bottom of this post). Clearly we can see the katar, dhaal and kirpan insignia again:

BTW, from what I can gather the most common standard in M. Ranjit Singh's army was the reddish one with the sunburst motif. I think a lot of these were captured, more than any other type. That's the one on the right in the image directly beneath this text -

flagzw1.jpg

sunxp1.jpg

post-3203-128317042795_thumb.jpg

post-3203-128317044383_thumb.jpg

Edited by dalsingh101
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Yep. But we don't know what regiment it belonged to (well I don't). So it could be a Dogra regiment for instance, or a Gurkha one? (I think some existed in the Khalsa fauj?).

durgaxk9.jpg

And yes, I'm not discounting it belonging to a Sikh unit either. It probably did.

Different regiments had different standards it seems. Freed posted some of these previously, so forgive the repetition.

Here is the Akali one. Notice how different it is to the one Nihangs use today. This one is plain black (it seems) with a red border.

dsc00586jl4.jpg

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John Dunlop, 'The capture of the Sikh standards from Mooltan' 1849.

This contemporary image seems to imply the main standards were (relatively) plain, darker coloured ones, as opposed to the very popular red ones with intricate designs.

Edited by dalsingh101
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Here is another image of a simpler, darker coloured nihang standard:

post-3203-128317497806_thumb.png

post-3203-128317583741_thumb.png

Edited by dalsingh101
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