This rare eyewitness account sheds light on how a female Nihang warrior appeared.


An account of a Akaaleen/Nihangnee from 1842 by a Christian Missionary Rev. J. Caldwell, published in the Foreign Missionary Chronicle.

” We were visited this forenoon by a most singular character, an Akalin, or female faqir of a peculiar sect. Like the class of mendicants to whom she belongs, she was armed to the teeth. Over her shoulder was slung a sword, while her belt was graced with a large horse pistol, a dagger, and sundry other weapons of destruction.

Another sword hung by her side. Her turban was ornamented with a panji and five or six chakkars. The panji is an instrument made something in a form of a tiger’s claws, with five curved blades exceedingly sharp. The chakkar is a steel discus, of six or eight diameters, very sharp also, and no doubt a destructive weapon when hurled with sufficient force.

She was, certainly the most dangerous looking lady I ever saw… it appeared by her own statement that she was a widow, and that her husband was an Akali, that after his death she joined the sect and had remained with them ever since. She had, she stated been on a tour to the south of India, and had traveled a great deal since she had became a faqir.”

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