Guns Of The Nihangs (Exhibition & Slide Show)

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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Guns of the Nihangs

Blog of Amardeep Singh at

Nihangs, the last guardians of the Sikh martial spirit, roam freely across the Punjab (western state of India). Their nomadic lifestyle is dedicated to praying the almighty and practicing the Sikh martial arts. They maintain these traditions from the time of the 10th Sikh Guru, who left this world in 1708 AD.

A description of them from an ancient text (Prachin Panth Prakash) is what we can continue to see today.

“Where the Khalsa (Sikh Army) had set camp the war drums were being beaten and battle standards were raised. He arrived at where the Singhs were based. Ahead he could see where the Singhs were congregating. The musicians sung the Gurus hymns while others read the scriptures. Some were grounding sukha (cannabis) and others were preparing mahaparshad (meat). Some Singhs were cleaning and sharpening their weapons. Some trained in archery while other did target practise with their muskets. The Singhs massaged each other while others fanned the congregation. Some set off far to fetch water for the Singhs to bathe in…Running around the Singhs served one another”. (Prachin Panth Parkash)

Each year, during the spring festival of Holla Mohalla, the Nihangs still come together at Anandpur Sahib (Punjab) from all corners. It is their time to show the world their dedication to the ancient martial traditions of the Sikhs.

In creating this series of “Guns of Nihangs”, I broke the barrier by first striking dialogues with them. Having demonstrated my intent, I was then able to partner in making them pose with their Guns around their tented habitats.

Click on this link and then click on any picture to see the entire exhibitionof photography by Amardeep Singh

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