The khanda is an Indian sword. They typically have large, heavy, (partially) double edged blades with a widened upper section leading to an obtuse tip. Most fighting examples have considerable weight in their tip section for powerful cuts. The blades often have reinforcements in the form of a long langet at the base of the blade or reinforcing strips on either side of the blade. In the 1600s the characteristic Hindu basket hilt was developed for increased hand protection.
An all-steel khanda with typical spoonbill shaped blade.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2017.
The khanda represents one of the oldest forms of Indian swords, the present form is first seen on temple reliefs in Orissa dating back as early as the 2nd century A.D. Its name derives off the Sanskrit khaḍga meaning "breaker, divider, cutter, destroyer". Always strongly associated with Orissa, the sword did become popular all over India, from the Rajputs and Sikhs in the north to the Marathas of the Deccan and the Nairs in the south. In some of these cultures, it was an element of worship, symbolizing wisdom cutting through ignorance. As such the khanda features widely in religious art, not only in India but through the Himalayas, China, even into Japan.
A very fine khanda with pierced iron hilt. The blade with triangular tip represents a northern fashion.
Sold by Mandarin Mansion in 2016.
Rawson, P.S.; The Indian Sword, Herbert Jenkings, London, 1968. Pages 6-8.
Stone, G.C.; A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and armor, 1934. Reprint by Dover, 1999, p. 352.