Tulwar Hilt Khanda
Origin: North India
Date: Hilt late 18th century/blade late 19th/early 20th century
Materials: Steel, wood and cotton
A North Indian Tulwar Hilted Khanda with a large blade.
The word khanda has its origins in the Sanskrit khaḍga(खड्ग), from a root khaṇḍ meaning "to break, divide, cut, destroy". The khanda is one of the oldest forms of the Indian swords, dating back as early as the 2nd century A.D. Traditionally, Khande are large, heavy, have double edged blades - which widen towards the tip. The weight of the Khanda allows for heavy cuts. Often, the blades are reinforced on a single edge. It was during the 17th century when basket hilts were developed and added to the Khanda to allow for better manoeuvring and hand protection.
There is significant iconography of the Khanda within the religions of the world. In Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism, the Khanda is represented as wisdom cutting through veil of ignorance. Hindu and Buddhist deities are often shown wielding or holding khanda sword in 18th/19th century art. For the Sikhs, the Khanda holds a high place, as it was the weapon of choice in the Amrit ceremony (often referred to as Khanda-Ki-Pahul (nectar of the double-edged sword) and welded by the likes of Baba Deep Singh, the famous Sikh Saint-Soldier.
Though conventionally Khandas would have a large hindu basket hilt, this features the traditional tulwar hilt with a knuckle guard. The type of hilt is usually associated with North India Punjab. As it is unconventional (though not uncommon) for Khandas to have a tulwar hilt. The hilt is of standard proportions and has a guard. Silver remnants are remaining on the hilt so this would have previously been covered in silver work.
The blade is of large proportions with a steel blade and reinforced steel on the first 3/4 of the edge of the blade. This is the typical design khandas from the northern region have. The blade has a consistent finish and a latter addition to the tulwar hilt. Very minor play in the blade and hilt joint. Nothing of concern - suitable for occasional wielding.
Overall this is a clean example of a North Indian style Khanda. The blade is nice and of large proportions. The tulwar hilt is unusual but a nice addition to add for those looking to add a Khanda to their collection.