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Old 23rd September 2021, 06:24 PM   #35
Jim McDougall
Arms Historian
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
Thanks Jim, for your very helpful and informative response.
Thank you Ian.
I have found more toward the Vijayanagara connection from a query on this I relayed to a personal friend who is an established authority on Indian arms. He notes that finding artwork such as miniatures which might have such a depiction from the south is unlikely as this type of art was more peculiar to the north. Also the obscurity of this particular weapon compounds the problem.

He does however point out that the 'khanjarli' as a dagger was emplaced as a gift on two (perhaps more) occasions in the 19th c. by Maharajahs of Vijayanagara, in one case to Prince of Wales, the other to a British general. Presumably this may have been the source of Egerton's references, but have not looked further.
These events and Egerton may have been the sources for the references which claim the khanjarli is of Hindu origin and from Vijaranagara.

The age of these seems suggested from the 18th c. and that seems likely. That these were presented by Maharajahs to British figures in the 19th c simply reflects that these were weapons deemed worthy of such presentation even if much earlier examples.

As I have shown in my earlier post, the khanjarli appears to have been a variation of the Maratha chilanum with the ivory lunette as a pommel which came into regions of Orissa in their incursions. This is clearly shown in Elgoods" Hindu Arms and Ritual" as noted with an ivory lunette pommeled example among other 'chilanum'.

This again, is the reason the Sikh in the original post was 'supposed' to have a khanjarli, it referred to the chilanum clearly seen in his sash.

After this research, I was furnished the attached photo from another personal friend, which is a remarkable find to say the least! He indicates this image is from Pondicherry, a location in these regions on the eastern side of India, c. 1838.

Again the plate of Chilanum from Elgood. It would seem that the khanjarli developed into a slightly smaller weapon perhaps leading to the term with suffix 'li' which I think may be a diminutive of 'khanjhar' ?
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