Back to Main FAQ Page

Like all khukuris there is variation on variation, but there are 4 basic types.
Kothimoras are basically fancy models used as dress knives for court, for regimental functions, for wearing by senior mess havildars (sergeants) or presentation to dignitaries, honored guests or officers leaving the 'paltan' (regiment/unit). The nice thing about this last category is that while the scabbard will be fine leather or velvet embellished with gold or silver mounts, the khukuri itself is probably a working knife used by the senior ranking Gurkha. Perhaps the subedar-major, or havildar-major.
The beautifully engraved knives being made by HI aren't considered kothimoras, but because they're khukuris they can be anything the owner wants them to be.
As to carrying paperwork on an important kothimora I'm sure that's true. They are considered national treasures.  John Powell

This is what I think a kothimoda ought to be. Ivory hand on an excellent blade. Ivory handled karda and chakma. Maybe 4 or 5 oz. of silver and perhaps 1 oz. of gold on the scabbard.  Bill Martino

Here is another one from my pal's collection that I could find room for under the bed.

My pal thinks that because of the Ashok symbol on the scabbard this could be a retirement kothimoda from 5GR. Whatever it is the khukuri is an excellent example of what a kothimoda is all about.  Bill Martino

Here are some examples of old kothimoras showing the variety that can be encountered.

Here's a nice mid 1800s kothimora with ivory being used for the grip as well as the handles on the 2 kardas. The lion's head carving is quite nice and the blade is etched to appear to be watered. JP 6/01

I presented this exquisite little 'box' kothimora a while back because of its artistry, ultra high quality and unique 'frog' system. I didn't own it then, but now I do so here are the new photos. I think this knife was made between 1890-1915. Sadly the karda and chakmak are gone but I hope to have reproductions made in the same style.   JP - 7/01

Here are some pictures of what I define as the 'box'. The two knives these belong
to are pictured at the right. The pictures on the far left is from the knife in
this thread. It has amazing workmanship, but not exactly the square shape.
The other khukuri types that you may find this construction are the large
'janawar katnes', most all carved wood with no leather cover and scabbards
made from horn.

This is a great knife and probably more Indian than Nepali.

18.75" oa, 1lb 3oz

Silver bolster and mounts with very fine locket and chape with an
exceptional sangli attachment. The 'sangli' is the chain or 'tape' that is used to secure the kothimora to the sash. It comes in different forms, usually in silver, and is attached to the locket by a keeper that is attached to a nut or loop. Usually this is in the form of a ring but can be something as elaborate as this. The pieces on this particular knife are a matched pair of hinged blossoms. Pretty nice stuff.

The engraving on the ivory grip is as fine as
I've ever seen for a kukri.

Hanshee style c1830.

Symbols and Carving

Copyright (c) 1999-2001  by Howard Wallace, all rights reserved.
This FAQ may not be included in commercial collections or compilations, or distributed for financial gain, without express written permission from the author.  This FAQ may be printed and distributed for personal non-commercial, non-profit usage, or as class material, as long as there is no charge, except to cover materials, and as long as this copyright notice is included.