Language: Urdu
Source: Period source of 1886


Shikārgar is a name given to a style of sword with chiseled hunting scenes on its blade. It is derived off the word shikār (شکار) which specifically means hunting by means of the chase, and gār (گار); Doer, agent.  It appears among others in Hendley's work of 1884.1

Most shikārgar are of the talwar or shamshir style with narrow, curved blades, but sometimes kirach or other types are seen.


Metropolitan Museum shikargar

A north Indian shikārgar.
Metropolitan Museum accession number 36.25.1506a, b.
Provenance: Oldman, Stone.


Origin of the term

From the Persian

Shikār (شکار); Prey, game; the chase, hunting; plunder, booty, pillage, rapine, spoil; perquisites; (in comp.) hunting, seizing, as jān-shikār "a ravisher of hearts" (see also جان شکر); — shikār shudan, To be taken captive, to be seized; — shikār zadan, To kill game; — shikār kardan, ba-shikār raftan, To hunt, to take for a hunt.2

-Francis Joseph Steingass, 1892


In old Urdu-English dictionaries

Shikār (شکار) means; 1. Hunting, chase. 2. Prey, game. 3. Plunder. 4. Perquisites.
Gār (گار) Doer, agent. Shikār-gāh (شکارگاه); Place for hunting in, chase.3

-John Shakespear, 1834



1. See for example a piece owned by the Maharajah of Jeypore, drawings of which are published in Hendley; Memorials of the Jeypore Exhibition 1883. Volume 1. Industrial Art. Plate X.
2. Steingass, Francis Joseph. A comprehensive Persian-English dictionary, including the Arabic words and phrases to be met with in Persian literature. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1892.

3. Shakespear, John. A dictionary, Hindustani and English: with a copious index, fitting the work to serve, also, as a dictionary of English and Hindustani. 3rd ed., much enl. London: Printed for the author by J.L. Cox and Son: Sold by Parbury, Allen, & Co., 1834.

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Its blade pattern-welded and chiseled with designs of hunters and animals.


With gold koftgari decorated hilt.


The hilt with remains of silver plating.


Extremely large example with nearly full-length Western blade.


A Chinese shortsword made by a well-known Longquan maker.


A very rare ceremonial variety with copper scabbard inlaid with different alloys, and a brass blade.