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(3,440 words)

Nihaṅg is the name of an order of warriors among Sikhs. They also appear in Sikh history as Nihaṅg Siṅghs, Akālīs, or Akālī Nihaṅgs and could be considered the flag bearers of Sikh martial tradition. The origins of the Nihaṅg order can be traced to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh’s (1666-1708) creation of Khālsā in 1699. The word appears in a hymn in the Gurū Granth (GG. p. 392), and there it alludes to a fearless and unrestrained person. In the compositions attributed to Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, it denotes front-rank sword-wielding, brave warriors. In his early 19th-century wr…

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Balwant Singh Dhillon, “Nihaṅg”, in: Brill's Encyclopedia of Sikhism Online, Edited by: Knut A. Jacobsen, Gurinder Mann Singh, Kristina Myrvold, Eleanor Nesbitt. Consulted online on 23 February 2020 <>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20170712

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