Khanda sword: The Double-Edged "Last Stand" Swing-Sword

4 minute read

Surrounded by a large number of enemy ground soldiers, and need a heavy, long, intimidating tool to get you out of trouble?
Meet the Khanda: An imposing, strong and simultaneously beautiful blade, dating back to third century India.
Khanda Sword - BladesPro
A Khanda Sword // Image Credit: Wikipedia

Khanda: Getting Out Of Trouble or Staging A Courageous "Last Stand"

The Khanda is widely believed to have been used in group situations -- especially in hand-to-hand combat when outnumbered -- to 'brute force' a way out of trouble, or when making a last stand. Its rather clunky design wasn't built for thrusting -- but rather for hacking, swinging and slicing, usually by unhorsed ground soldiers.

The blade starts off narrow at the base, and broadens heading up towards the point of the sword. Khandas are a double-edged weapon, however one side was usually sharper than the other, to allow the wielder to gently place a hand on one side (the not-so-sharp side!) to make it easier to manoeuvre. The point was generally blunt.

For hand protection, the hilt sports a large protective guard, with a wide area for gripping the sword hard with the fingers and wrists.

In military use, it was eventually replaced by other weapons due to not being very versatile in battle. However, its significance in religion and art lives on to this day.
Khanda Sword with Decoration
Decorated Khanda Sword from the Sikh Museum // Image Credit: Sikh Museum

Khanda As An Art Form And Religious Symbol

In addition to its imposing weight, size and structure, many Khanda swords have also been discovered with ornate designs. on the blade and hilt. In many cases, the blades have been affixed with ornaments, decorations and designs; and in others, the hilt / hand-guards sport spikes, ornate designs, symbols and imagery.

Some statues with religious significance(many still standing today), also wield Khanda swords. Some believe that the Khanda helped deieties to 'cut through ignorance' on their way to enlightenment and superior knowledge.
Mahakala wielding Khanda // Wikipedia
Religious figure Mahakala wielding Khanda // Image Credit: Wikipedia

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