Language: Persian
Source: Period account


Hakim khāni is the name of a specific kind of Indian hilt, commonly used for the talwar sword.

Hakim (हकीम) means physician. According to Pant, the type was peculiar to Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, and it was believed to be able to cure diseases. 

Others have suggested Hakim refers to Hakim Khan Sur, a Pashtun warrior who fought the Mughals and died in a battle in 1574.

1. G.N. Pant; Indian Arms and Armour. Volume II. Diamond Offset Press, New Delhi. 1980. Page 110.


Hakim khāni hilts have a rounded grip section that flows smoothly into the crosspiece.

Talwar hilt comparisons

Two talwar hilts illustrated in Hendley's Damascening on steel or iron as practiced in India. 1892.1
Left: Hakim khāni
Right: Hakim shahi

It is never explicitly mentioned in the literature, but going by the illustrations in Hendley's work we can gather that the general rule is as follows:

Hakim khāni hilts have a smooth transition between grip section and crossbar.
Hakim shahi hilts have a pronounced V shape where the grip merges into the crossbar.

Pant describes the style as having short quillons with seals on the ends and projections drooping over the blade, with a short disc and a disc pommel.


Other hilt types

In addition, Hendley makes mention of a karan shahi hilt.

Karan shahi hilt

Karan shahi hilt as illustrated in Hendley's Damascening on steel or iron as practiced in India. 1892.


The karan shahi style is quite distinct with pointed grip section and wide quillons. As a type it is associated primarily with the Marwar region in general and Jodhpur in particular.

Hermen Goetz, writing in 1950, sheds some light on the origin of the term:

"The costly damascened swords in pure Mughal taste (figs. 67, 68), were first introduced by Karan Singhjī and, therefore, were termed "Karan Shāhī".


1. Thomas Holbein Hendley; Damascening on steel or iron as practiced in India. W. Griggs & Sons, Ltd. London 1892.
2. Hermann Goetz; The Art and Architecture of Bikaner State. Bruno Cassirer, Oxford. 1950. Page 124 - 125

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With gold koftgari decorated hilt.


The hilt with remains of silver plating.


An all-steel Indian mace with a long round cross-section haft and square cross-section hammer tip.


All steel Indian forward curved mace.


Made of brass and bronze, now deeply patinated.


With wootz blade and the jade hilt set with small rubies.