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By Swami Harshananda

Khaḍga literally means ‘that which cuts’.

Sword is a very ancient weapon of duel and war. In iconography, various types of swords have been shown in the hands of the deities. Three types of swords are more well-known:

  1. Karavīrapatra - scimitar
  2. Kulāgra - spear-pointed
  3. Maṇḍalāgra - round-edged

Other varieties like Candrahāsa used by Rāvaṇa and Kṛpāṇa[1] are also mentioned in the texts. The swords of Viṣṇu and other gods are sometimes given special names like Nandaka and so on. Twenty nine varieties of art of fighting with the sword have been mentioned in the works describing fighting and warfare.


  1. Kṛpāṇa is shown in the hand of Kālī.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore