Nihang warriors are easily identified by their unique, conical, deep blue phahahra turbans that tower above all others. Several meters of silver cord wrapped inside and outside the turban contribute to the headgear’s impressive shape and serves as protection against a blow to the head. Founded by Man Singh in the late 17th century, the militant ascetic Nihangs gained prominence in the 18th century under Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s rule. Disciplined in the martial arts, including gatka--a special skill involving precision sword control, Nihangs are never unarmed and always ready to defend the faith. Even today, Nihangs follow Rehit, a code which lays down strict rules of conduct, their rights and duties.

Talwandisabo, Punjab


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