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Tallest Nishan Sahib

Discussion in 'Essays on Sikhism' started by namritanevaeh, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. namritanevaeh

    namritanevaeh Canada
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    Writer SPNer Thinker

    Oct 14, 2012
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    Original article here at SikhTrend: Nishan Sahib: history and symbolism – Sikh Trend [Ishna]

    The Nishan Sahib is a flag (Nishan actually means symbol) that is triangular in shape and stands tall above most gurdwarey in the world. Sri Harmandir Sahib is one of few that have two Nishan Sahibs. Most places have only one. As of February 24, 2016, Darbar Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in Punjab India boasts the highest Nishan Sahib in the world.


    Standing proudly at 255 feet, and weighing over 21000 pounds, it was engineered in British Columbia, Canada and manufactured in China before being assembled in Punjab. The khanda alone at the top of it is hefty, weighing 60 pounds and reaching a length of 113 inches. At the base, it is over 5 feet across.

    The Nishan Sahib is a symbol that is supposed to indicate a place of safety, basically. Women or travellers seeking shelter either from the elements or from aggressors should be able to see a tall Nishan Sahib and know that safety is near, along with a hot meal. Sadly there are places where municipalities put extreme limits on these types of emblems, especially where Sikhi is not well known or respected, which defeats the purpose of such a symbol.

    The Sikh rehat maryada (code of conduct) dictated by The Akaal Takhat states the following regarding the Nishan Sahib in Section 3, Chapter 4, Article V (r):

    “Every Gurdwara should install a Nishan Sahib at some high location. The cloth of the flag should either be Basanti (Xanthic) or Surmayee (greyish blue) in colour. At the top of the Nishan there should either be a Bhalla (spearhead) or a Khanda.“ (a double edged straight sword, with convex sides leading to slanting top edges ending in a vertex.)

    Many gurdwarey make their Nishan Sahibs saffron in colour which isn’t strictly what is written in rehat, however it is arguably a much more visible colour when it comes to seeing it from far away, and probably slightly less likely to show as much dirt as a paler yellow. Greyish blue would certainly blend in against stormy skies, however some gurdwarey do stick with the prescribed colours.

    The 6th Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind (9 June 1595 – 3 March 1644) is purportedly the first guru to have made use of the Nishan Sahib, however its style was not refined until the later 19th century.
    • Like Like x 3
    #1 namritanevaeh, Mar 18, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2016
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