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About Khukuri - Khukuri Care - History




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The Khukuri is the national weapon of Soldier carries with him in uniform and in battle. During the 1st and 2nd world wars, it was published as a non-exploded bomb or grenade. In times past, it was said that once a Khukuri was drawn in battle, it had to 'taste blood' - if not, its owner had to cut himself before returning into its sheath. More than being just a revered and effective weapon, however, the Khukuri is also the peaceful all-purpose knife of the hill people of Nepal. It is a versatile working tool and therefore an indispensable possession of almost every household. The Khukuri is carried in scabbard usually made of wood covered in leather. All Khukuris have two pockets on the back of the scabbard which hold a blunt steel called "chakmak" for sharpening the blade or for striking spark from flint and a little knife known as "karda" used for skinning small things as a pen knife. The notch (kaura or kaudi) in the blade near the hilt of most khukuris serves as conduit for the blood on the blade to drip out, thus preventing it from soiling the hilt, as well as a device for catching and neutralizing and enemy blade. Apart from the fact the khukuri symbolizes Nepalese Cultural icon as well as the bravery and valor of the Gurkhas. Moreover, the Khukuri represents an exquisite piece of Nepalese Craftsmanship.


It requires carefulness when unsheathing the Khukuri. Do not encircle the scabbard with your fingers while you are taking the Khukuri out. Some times, the blade comes out from the seath and it may cause injury on your inner fingers. Hold the upper edge of the scabber with your palm and fingers and then draw the Khukuri out slowly. It should be pushed curvely as well as slowly when drawing the blade in.


  • You should apply machine, gun oil or animal fat on the blade every time after use.

  • You are recommended that not to leave any fingerprint. If it is necessary to touch on the blade, you should clean it by using some petrol or oil.

  • Incase of rusting, rub it off with fine sandpaper, clean the dirt using some oil or petrol and wipe it off with a clean cloth and apply oil.

  • You should use shoe polish for the leather case, use the brass polish or silver polish for brass fittings or for silver cases.

  • The blunt knife (Chakmak) is used for sharpening the blade and the other one, Karda, is used for some small task as a penknife

The History

None of us knows the fact that when and how the Khukuri (khukuri or sometimes Kukri) was exactly originated and where it was developed. The place and date have been lost in the mists of time. Here are some evidences, which proves it is one of the oldest knives in the world. The blade shape descended from the classic Greek sword or kopis, Which is about 2,500 years old. The Machira, the cavarly sword of the ancient Macedonians which was carried by the troops of Alexander the Great when it invaded north-west India in the 4th Century BC and was copied by local black smiths or kamis. Some knife exports have found similarities in the construction of some khukuris to the crafting method of old Japanese sword. Thus the making of Khukuri is one of the oldest blade forms in the history of world, if not in fact the oldest.

Others suggest that it is originated from a form of knife first used by the Mallas who came to power in Nepal in the 13th Century. But, There is another fact that shows the Khukuri had already been developed by Kiratis (the Mongolian stock who came to power in Nepal around 7th Century BC). There are some Khukuris displaying on the walls of National Museum at Chhauni in Kathmandu which are 500 years old or even more. Among them one belonged to Drabya Shah, the founder king of the Kingdom of Gorkha, in 1627 AD.

Another thing which adds to the magic of the khukuri is the cultural and religious significance that was worked its way into the knife. The shape and every parts of the Khukuri have various meanings. The curve is said to look like a crescent moon, a symbol of Nepal. The notch or Kaura in the blade near the hilt of the khukuri is said to be trident of the Hindu god, Shiva, the god of destroyer and war. It has many other meaning beside it such as a the sun and moon, the sexual apparatus of Hindu gods and goddesses, a cow tract because the cow is sacred to the Hindus. So, the religious meaning that have been worked into the knife make it magic. Whatever be the roots Nepal, the Gurkhas and the Khukuri are inseparable in reputation.

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