The Colors Worn by Modern Nihangs

The Colors Worn by Modern Nihangs

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Modern Nihangs wear mostly blue coloured clothing, although it is also common to see Nihangs in saffron, white or sky-blue clothes. I have seen the chief of the ‘Budhha Dal’, the biggest Nihang organisation, Jathedar Santa Singh in saffron ‘Chola’ (shirt).

Jathedar Santa Singh, the Budhha Dal chief, in saffron ‘Chola’

An old Nihang in saffron dress

Nihangs in white ‘Chola’

However, the majority of the modern Nihangs wear a blue ‘Dumala’, although again some make use of other colours, like saffron and white. A Nihang is supposed to wear blue ‘Keski’ (small turban) under his ‘Dumala’. The ‘Pharla’ is always blue, however only select Nihangs keep the ‘Pharla’ in their turbans.

A Nihang in saffron dress

White ‘Kachhehra’

Whilst Nihangs give preference for the colour blue, when they wear a ‘Chola’ or Dumala, they insist to wear only white ‘Kachhehras’ (Sikh underwear). Mainstream Sikhs also wear predominantly a white ‘Kachherhas’.


Modern Nihangs mostly wear blue dress, though a few Nihangs wear other colours, like white and saffron. Historically, Sikhs used to wear different colours during the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, who himself used to wear white and saffron attire. In summary, historically there is no support for concluding that any one colour has an exclusive preference within the older Sikh tradition.