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Kachchhera (Punjabi:ਕਛੈਰਾ) or Kachchha (Punjabi:ਕਛਾ) are specially designed short, shalwar (pant-like), loose undergarments with a tie-knot ("nara" = drawstring) worn by baptized Sikhs.

It is one of the five Sikh articles of faith, called the Five Ks (ਪਂਜ ਕ੍ਕਾਰ), and was given as a "gift of love" by Guru Gobind Singh at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar in 1699. Kachaera have been worn by baptized Sikhs (Khalsa) since a mandatory religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Guru of Sikhism) in AD 1699. Both male and female Sikhs wear similar undergarments. This is one of five articles of faith—collectively called "Kakkars"—that form the external, visible symbols clearly and outwardly displaying one's commitment and dedication to the order (Hukam) of the tenth master.

This Kakkar was given by Guru Gobind Singh to remind his Sikhs that they should control their sexual desire, Kam (lust). The Kachchhera is above-the-knee underwear meant to give a feeling of dignity, modesty and honour to the person who wears it. The garment is usually made from white, lightweight-cotton material. It serves to cover the genitalia, as well as to remind the Sikh of the Guru's commandment to think of members of the opposite sex as he or she would think of immediate family and not as objects of lust. The Kachchhera is secured and tied with a "nara" (drawstring). This serves as another reminder that when one is untying the drawstring one is given time to think about what one is about to do.

The Kachchhera is the Guru's gift and it reminds the Sikhs of the Guru's message regarding the control of the Five Evils, especially lust. Further, this garment allows a Sikh soldier to operate in combat freely and without any hindrance or restriction. It serves its purpose efficiently and effectively and is easy to fabricate, maintain, wash and carry compared to other conventional undergarments, such as the dhoti, etc.

Gurbani reminds the Sikh that sexual desire can be overcome[1] and that one should renounce worldly desire and seek the sanctuary of the Lord.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Guru Granth Sahib. p. 81. "Through the Kind and Compassionate True Guru, I have met the Lord; I have conquered sexual desire, anger and greed." 
  2. ^ Guru Granth Sahib. p. 461. "Renouncing sexual desire, anger, flattery and slander, they enter the Sanctuary of God." 

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