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Nihang Singhs belong to a martial tradition begun by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh. Their way of life, style of dress, and weaponry has remained little changed since the Guru's lifetime, three hundred years ago. Today, some Punjabis see them as a relic of a time long past, but others recognize Nihangs as a colorful and important part of Punjabi heritage.

Nihangs are a semi-nomadic people. They are organized into "armies" and live in camps known as "cantonments". Men and women both train in horsemanship, swordsmanship, and in the Punjabi martial art known as gatka. During times of persecution in the past, the Nihangs defended Sikh shrines and the Sikh way of life and become known for their bravery against all odds. In times of peace they travel to festivals and fairs throughout India, staging displays of horsemanship and martial skills. The annual Hola Mohalla fair held in Anandpur Sahib on the festival of Vaisakhi is especially notable for the Nihangs' colorful displays of pageantry.

I took this picture of this BRAVE looking Nihang Sikh, standing near Gurdwara Hazoor Sahib