The Akali Nihang Singhs are the traditional Sikh warriors.
Though they trace their historical origins to the 17th century,
they also acknowledge (quoting from Chandi Dee Vaar
- a composition from Dasam Guru Durbar of Akali Nihang Guru Gobind
Singh) that the Nihangs existed in Sat Yuga (the
first division of time according to classical Indian thinking),
as the warriors of the goddess Chandi (Durga).
A textile batik print of Chandi slaying Mahikasur, one of the
many demon warlords that are mentioned within Chandi Dee Vaar
According to Akali Nihang belief, Chandi is none other
than the primordial power of Maha Kal (the Almighty)
which fights evil, and, as such, Chandi is worshipped in the form
of a 'Tegha' (a sword) by Akali Nihangs rather
than an idol as is the common Indian practice.
Traditionally, the practical means of Chandi worship
was knowing how to wield the sword in battle to destroy evil. To
this day, Akali Nihangs are unique in the Sikh world in that they
still try to maintain the old Sikh battle practices and way of life
which other Sikhs have long since abandoned. To learn more about
these martial traditions, please visit www.shastarvidiya.org.
Chandi Worship - Akali Nihang Singh Khalsa
Sanatan Sikh Shastar Vidiya Gurdev (master), Nihang Niddar Singh
demonstrates the use of a 'tegha' (sword) on one of his 'Shagirds'
To help understand them and their origins better,
a brief history of the Akali Nihangs, also known as 'Guru
ki Ladlee Fauja' (beloved soldiers of Akali Nihang Guru
Gobind Singh) follows..