Welcome to the Anglo Sikh Virtual Museum

Sikh Swords

SMI 19: Sikh Sword-Talwar and Katti
Location: Punjab
General swords depicted

The sword named a Talwar a weapon choice for Sikhs and a Katti a traditional Indian sword.


An observer during the Anglo Sikh Wars noted

“Our English cavalry with their blunt swords were most unequally matched against the Sikhs with tulwars so keen of edge that they would split a hair… I remember reading of a regiment of British cavalry charging a regiment of Sikh calvary. The latter wore voluminous thick puggries round their heads, which our blunt swords were powerless to cut through, and each horsemen had also a buffalo hide shield on his back. They evidently knew that the British sword was blunt and useless, so they kept their horses still and met the British charge by laying flat on their horses’ necks, with their heads protected by their thick turbans and their backs by their shields; and immediately the British soldiers passed through their ranks, the Sikhs swooped round on them and struck back-handed with their sharp, curved swords, in several instances cutting our cavalry men in two”. Sgt. William Forbes Mitchell (93rd Sutherland Highlanders).

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