Nishaan Sahib A photo essay by Gagan Sadana

The Nishan Sahib is a Sikh triangular flag made of cotton or silk cloth, with a tassel at its end. The word, Nishan means symbol, and the flag is hoisted on a tall flagpole, outside most Gurdwaras. The flagpole itself, covered with fabric, ends with a two-edged dagger (khanda) on top. The emblem on the flag is also known as Khanda, which depicts a double-edged sword called a khanda in the centre, a chakkar which is circular, and flanked by two single-edged swords, or kirpans.

The Nishan Sahib is placed outside every Sikh Gurdwara and is supported by a pole of timber or metal.

The Khanda, a Sikh symbol, is rendered in blue on the saffron background. The khanda is placed high up on a flagpole as a sign for all Sikhs and indeed any other people that they can come and pray in this building. Great respect is shown to this flag and the flag is considered sacred and washed using milk and water every year.

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