To provide you with the best experience on this website, cookies are used. By using the site it's assumed that you're happy with our use of cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. More info on cookies.
Allow cookies

Stories of the Sikh Fortress Turban at the Museum of Lancashire

Monday, 8th December 2014

A rare type of turban worn by historic Sikh warriors is the centrepiece of a new exhibition now showing at the Museum of Lancashire (MoL).

The turban, known as the Dastaar Boonga or fortress turban, has a tall conical structure resembling a tower or a fortress. It was worn by a group of Sikh warriors called Akali Nihangs.

Famed for their bravery, fighting prowess and victories even when heavily outnumbered, the Akali Nihangs are revered for the role they played in Sikh history, especially military history.

The warriors wore the fortress turban in battle to protect their heads and to hold an array of fearsome weapons such as daggers, swords and deadly throwing discs.

Some Akali Nihangs still wear this type of turban today for ceremonial purposes and as a symbol of their proud tradition.

Charlotte Steels, senior museum manager at Lancashire County Council, said: "The Sikh Fortress Turban is a fabulous touring exhibition from the British Museum.

"While the original turban in the British Museum's collection is now too fragile to travel, the turban on display at the MoL is a stunning replica.

"British Museum staff worked alongside the Sikh community to explore traditional tying techniques to recreate this impressive turban from 37 metres of fabric.

"The weapons displayed in the turban are the 19th century originals. They include two double-edged swords, six throwing discs, a dagger, and a badge of the 45th Rattray’s Sikh Battalion, which eventually became the 3rd Battalion Sikh Regiment of the present-day Indian Army."

Alongside the British Museum exhibition, UK-based visual artist Kate Eggleston-Wirtz has run a series of creative workshops with the local Sikh community to explore the themes of identity and home.

Together, they have created educational artwork that will be used in schools to explore the Sikh faith.

The artwork is based around the concept of the Sikh Gurdwara, where people of all faiths are welcome.

A film has also been created with the community to explore the significance of the turban to the Sikh faith and identity.

At 1pm on Thursday 15 January, Harvinder Bahra and Monique Pullan from the British Museum will be speaking about the history of the fortress turban, its conservation and how it was rewrapped with the help of the local Sikh community.

The exhibition run until Sunday 15 February 2015.

For opening times and more information about the exhibition and associated events, phone 01772 534 075 or email


Notes for Editors: Photos show: the Sikh fortress turban

For further information please contact: Greg Bowen on 01772 536757

RSS feeds


March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

June 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

December 2008

June 2008

May 2008

Contact Us

For more information, practical advice and support, call Marketing Lancashire on:

01772 426450.