Katar (India)

A katar from India

Code: IP4

This Indian Katar is from 18th to 19th century period, having a very strong 8 ½” blade with a reinforced armor-piercing tip of diamond section, the blade is wootz steel. There is a chiseled flower decoration on the on ricasso and along the borders, there are few scratches on the surface of the blade, not deep, and some light rust stains near the tip area. The watered pattern is visible on the inside section of the blade but not as well on the edges. Overall 16 ½” this is a battle-ready dagger.

katar from india

The Katar is the oldest and most characteristic of the Indian knife weapons. The peculiarity lies in the handle which is made of two parallel bars connected by two, or more, cross pieces, one of which is at the end of the side bars and is fastened to the blade. The remainder forms the handle which is at right angle to the blade. The blades are always double-edged and are generally straight and with lengths from a few inches to about three feet. The blades of southern India are often made broad at the hilt and taper in straight lines to the point, and elaborately ribbed by grooves parallel to the edges. European blades of the 16th and 17th centuries were often used, especially by the Mahrattas and were always riveted to projections from the hilt. Katars with native blades are often thickened at the point to strengthen them for use against mail and are often forged in one piece with the hilt. The blades are sometimes forked at the point, and katars with two, and even three blades occur. The Indian armorers occasionally made katars that were hollow and served as a sheaths for smaller ones: or with three blades that folded together, appearing to be one, until the handle bars were pressed together, when they opened out. Many katars have guards for the back of the hand made with solid plates but many are elaborately pierced. Among the Mahrattas the gauntlet sword, called pata, was evolved from the katar.

The katar is a purely Hindu weapon and is never found outside of India.

[Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor), Princess of Kalinga, holding a katar. from the film  Asoka]