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35th Sikhs Memorial


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This marble memorial erected by The 35th Sikhs battalion in 1894 can be found on the right hand side of the Darshani Deori as you face Darbar Sahib Amritsar.

It reads :

"Eh chakar paltan number 35 Sikh ne tareek 16 (?) April 1894 mutaabak 5 Vasaakh san 1952 Nu Siri Darbar Sahib Amritsar da darshan karan di ar Ishnaan karan di yaadgar vich Ardass karaiya "

Many pilgrims in their eagerness to have darshan of Darbar sahib or because of the rush of sangatan miss this memorial - what I find interesting - apart from the obvious devotion of the Sikh Soldiers to Sikhi And Amritsar - is what appears to be a prototype of the modern Khanda in each of the top corners - all the elements of the modern Khanda are there - Chakar ,Kirpan and khanda - just in a different formation.

Perhaps This is one for Amandeep Madra Bhai Sahib - I look forward to reading your, as always, illuminating input .


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another great picture post. I have some pics from this too, and the symbolism is interesting. In fact as you wonder around the Harimandir it is quite clear that the modern khanda dates from around 1930 as the symbol just isnt used until that time. On this 1894 memorial the symbolism used is redolent of that seen on the standards/flags in old prints, woodblack prints and on the Harimandir models that were mades around th same period (see the one in the ROM for a really similar version). The symbols look like a chakkar, a kard and a bhagauti). McLeod posits that the chakkar is in fact a Degh (viewed from above), the kard is a Tegh and the bhaghauti the symbol for victory (Fateh) ie Degh, Tegh Fateh. This seems possible.

Keep them coming

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N30 S!NGH !

Thanks for hosting the pictures !!

The first picture is from Lichfield Cathedral Staffordshire UK - it shows the Anglo Sikh War Memorial and the Captured Sikh battle Standards.

The Inscriptions read:

‘The Sikh colours on this memorial were taken by H.M.’s 80th Regiment at the Battles of Ferozeshah and Sobraon. The capture of the Black Standard at Ferozeshah cost the lives of some of those commemorated.’

‘To the memory of the brave officers and men of the 80th Regiment of foot soldiers and Staffordshire volunteers who fell during the Sutlej campaign of 1845 and 1847 by their surviving comrades’

‘To the memory of the brave officers and men of the 80th Regiment of foot or Staffordshire volunteers whose names are recorded on this tablet and who fell in the actions of Moodkee, Buddewal, Allewal, Feerozshah and Sobraon including those who subsequently died from the effects of their wounds when serving with the army of the Sutlej in India.’

Amandeep Bhai sahib will have to confirm but I believe the Black standards are Akali Standards and the red ones are Maharajah Ranjit Singh's Standard (**Side note on a different forum Amandeep Bhai Sahib said he has one of these standards - and I am dead jealous - positively GREEN ! anyway back to the description! ) - both these standards do not tally with modern 'ideas' of only Kesri or Blue Nishans for Sikhs or Nihangs. - Neither of them have any Khanda or weaponry markings - the Red ones have depictions of the Sun and 'Durga'

I believe the captured colours are paraded by the regiment on the anniversary of the battle.

The second picture is a detail from a woodcut of Darbar Sahib dated 1874

It shows the Miri Piri Nishan Sahibs Amritsar - it Can be seen that they have a Kataar Kirpan and what could either be a chakar or a degh -- The Degh Tegh Fateh that Mcleod argues.

The next 2 pictures are taken from 'The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms - The Canadian Collections - Seema Bharadia 2000 page 30-1 - They show an address casket in the shape of the Harmandir sahib made in the late 1800s and probably given to Queen Victoria - It is now on show at the ROM Royal Ontario Museum

What is interesting is that unlike the woodcut we can see what colour the Nishan Sahib, above Har ki Pauri is .Also we can see what appears to be a Bhagauti and Chakar/degh. Also the Nishan sahib Pole is surmounted with a spear not a bhaugauti

As you can tell I have a slight obsession with the origin of the modern Khanda and Nishan sahibs

Please post any info or ideas you have- all input greatly appreciated

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Another element to the origin of the modern khanda is the fact, Nihangs to this day rarely wear a modern khanda on their dastars- The Nihangs close to my pind call it a feringee/singh sabha invention

The use of the Aad chand ties in with kshatriya ideals - however the arrangement of Dummalla shasters and shasters before Guru Sahib could be argued to give rise to the modern Khanda.

Another angle is the British love of inventing badges and coats of arms etc - the Rattray Badge and the Sikh Light Inf badge all could be prototype Khandas.

On my last visit to Punjab I noticed the Chakar on top of the dome of the Khalsa College Amritsar - it consists of a Chakar with a bhagauti in the middle -- basically a modern khanda without the kirpans -

Khalsa College was opened in 1893 Designed by Sardar Ram Singh -Pupil of Lockwood Kipling- Could this be the first Modern Khanda ?? an Anglo Sikh Invention ??

I hope I havent offended anyone -- just my thoughts -- I did say I have a slight obsession with the Khanda!!

Please post your opinions even if it is just to cuss my ideas !

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Thanks freed and amandeep for pictures:

Picture of akali nihangs singhs:


Picture of singh sabha gurdwara:

This is a picture I took in Gujranwala, Punjab Pakistan just a few months back it is of a gurdwara building dating from 1943 with a khanda on top. This was about the only khanda that I saw on the entire trip - even the gaudy 1930s gurdwaras didnbt have khanda on them anywhere. The only ones you see are the embellishments made relatively recently


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Notice how most of the Nihangs in that picture are wearing Pajamas. Modern Nihangs are fanatically opposed to the wearing of Pajamas. Even their Chandtoray are different from today’s Nihangs. I wonder whose influence modern day Nihangs are under with so many changes over the years.

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Thanks again N30 for Hosting the pics ( by the way I have sent you some More!!)

The picture of the Akali Nihangs is from the 1905 visit of The Prince and Princess of Wales to Amritsar - The Nihangs are wearing beautiful and impressive Gaj Gah - with a very varied display of Chands,chakars and Dumaley de shaster -- a wonderful sight - no wonder the British ( as well as everyone else ) were (and are) so intrigued by Akalis !

Any way I posted the photograph because if you look at the first Akali with the tall dastar and Gaj gah on the right hand side - the one standing in front of what looks like a bollard - You will notice that under the Gaj Gah he appears to be wearing a Modern Khanda type arrangement ie. a chakar with central khanda and crossed kirpans

I may just be seeing things but what do you think ?

Amandeep - the 5th Akali from the left appears to be Akali Jai Singh - as published in 'warrior saints' is it him ?

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Another area to investigate with regard to the Origin of the modern Khanda is the Princely states. I dont know if examples exist but every Sikh Misl must of had its own Nishan or Flag with different colours etc. - I am assuming here, as they did strike coins. - As Patiala and Kapurthala are the descendants of Ala Singh and Jassa Singh Alhuwalia - Their current flags might be similar to their old Misal flags ?

The princely states especially Patiala were lovers of medals and titles -

I think the medal gallery in Patiala is one of the largest collections in the world - In the picture below is the 'Order of Phul' - Nishan-i-phul which was founded by Maharajah Bhupinder Singh before 1911

It can be seen that the all the elements of the modern khanda are there in the chest badge(left) and the collar and sash badge are the Khanda as we recognise it today .

Have we solved the puzzle of who designed the modern Khanda ??


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The first picture shows a modern day Nihang Singh wearing what appears to be a Rattray's Sikh regiment Pagri badge

The second picture is from 'The Sikhs' Khushwant Singh - George Allen & Unwin 1953 - pg 81

and shows the Nishan Sahib and Darshani Deori of Darbar Sahib Tarn Taran - The photograph isn't dated but it can be seen that the Nishan Sahib is of the 'Degh Tegh Fateh' variety as argued by Mcleod, in this case it looks like two Kards and a degh/chakar

Hope you enjoy the pics and I'm not boring you all !

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The Nihangs of today even during winter will resist bitterly from wearing a Pajama. They will instead wear long johns which go up to their knees. But in the picture we can clearly see that most of the Nihang Singhs are in fact wearing ChuRidar Pajamas. Also notice how the Jathadar of that group of Nihangs is wearing a white Hazuria instead of orange or blue hazuria that we see on today’s Nihangs. Interesting how things have changed within just a hundred years.

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people who insist on having certain colors, clothes etc etc, are just getting themselves caught up in stupid stuff.

do bhagtee and clean your heart and mind.... so that the baani of waheguru can clearly remain there

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Take it easy man… not need to get so excited. I just made a general observation between puraatan and modern Nihangs. I didn’t say whether or not one is right or the other is wrong. Just observing like everyone else on this thread…I didn't pass judgement. No need to get angry. Khush reha kar mitraa...

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this wasn't directed at you only. your comments certainly did trigger me, I mean it more in terms of discussing the ideal. there is one ideal. guru gobind singh ji..and he lived it. everyone else is trying, but we are missing the point.

the point is that we focus too much on rights and wrongs, hazoorias, colors, etc etc...jathas, meat/no meat. This is all good to know, but you know what, that which makes us sikhs...(gurbani) is rarely discussed. Instead of learning about true sikhi and even trying to grasp it. we focus on the ideologies behind it.....and dumb things at that.

its not an attack on you singh47, just the state everyone is in collectively.

your points are very valid and true. you don't see nihangs in pajama's. I even appreciate your voice of reason and your devil's advocate approach.

:LOL: (I'll keep smiling)h

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