Ana Khola (or whatever it's called)

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Jun 15, 1999
I hear this knife talked about a lot, it being 18 in of bad knife and all. Who makes it and where can I see some pictures?
Go hang out in the HI forum. The Ang Khola is a heavier "chopping/utility" version of the Khukuri but can still fight just fine if "power smashes" are your thing.

As I understand it, lighter grade Khukuris are the WW2 model, British Army Service (BAS), Sirupati and Chainpuri...I *think* I've ordered those heaviest to lightest.

Note that they all mostly come in various (overall) lengths, so a 25" Chainpuri may still weigh more than some 12" - 15" Ang Kholas.

Personally, I suggest dealing with Bill Martino at HI versus Ghurka House. The guy at GH tries hard, but he's purely based in the US, he's got to take whatever Nepalese exporters throw his way. HI is mis-named, they should be called "Himalayan EXPORTS" - they're based in Nepal, owned by a Ghurka and control the entire shop that makes their stuff. Bill Martino spent time in Nepal, married that guy's daughter and came back to the US, now acting as the US distribution and marketing department...but the whole gig is owned by the Nepalese gent (guy name of Kami).

HI pays their bladesmiths a fortune compared to how much cash a Nepalese exporter paid for a piece that goes to Ghurka House. That's where the real difference will be.

I've got a 21" "ultra light oddball" coming, a product of the HI "visiting village bladesmith program". They basically invite old experienced bladesmiths into their shop on a "guest program", the guy will make more cash from one blade than he usually makes from a dozen, and the shop gets to learn new and weird techniques passed down through this dude's family for god(s) only knows how many centuries. The result is a steady trickle of "weird one-offs"'ve got to monitor the HI forum and grab whatever you want FAST
if you want one, and Bill always posts pics.

GH simply *cannot* duplicate anything like these unique weird critters.

Jim March
To Jim March,

I must say I'm very disappointed in your posting above. You are a much respected and knowledgeable moderator on the best knife forum on earth. You are supposed to represent the voice of reason and moderation. You are the one who is supposed to make sure that we all get a fair shake.

In your posting you blatantly slam one of the two importers of quality knives from Nepal, namely Ghurka House. Why?

You cast suspicion on the quality of his knives.

The guy at GH tries hard, but he's purely based in the US, he's got to take whatever Nepalese exporters throw his way.

If you think that Craig accepts and sells inferior quality products, you are sadly mistaken and should get your information from more reliable sources.

..but the whole gig is owned by the Nepalese gent (guy name of Kami).

Kami is a title meaning knifemaker or craftsman. It's not some Gent's name.

HI pays their bladesmiths a fortune compared to how much cash a Nepalese exporter paid for a piece that goes to Ghurka House. That's where the real difference will be.

Have you seen the pay slips of the Kami's from both companies, or is this information you got from another informed source? I doubt that anyone other than Craig, Bill and the Kami's know what is paid to whom. Not our business, or yours.

GH simply *cannot* duplicate anything like these unique weird critters.

I wouldn't bet my next pay check on it if I were you. I WOULD be willing to bet that Craig has access to mutations that most of us have never dreamed of. Whether he chooses to market them or not is entirely his decision. I do know that he will deliver any type of Khukuri you can describe to him with any degree of clarity.

Both GH and HI are top notch companies that offer the finest quality Khukuris that money can buy. Buying a knife from one or the other is a matter of personal choice. To enter a posting filled with hear-say, innuendo and biased opinion does a great disservice to the companies involved, we the forumites who trust your judgement and to your position as moderator.

Shame on you.


When the world is at peace, a gentleman keeps his sword by his side.......
Sun-Tzu 400 BC

There's plenty of room for both HI and GH, I think most will agree. Some prefer one over the other, but there's quite a bit of overlap.

Tuff, I recently became very intrigued by this "khukuri craze," too -- and I think I've come down w/its fever! Check out both sites and decide for yourself:

Ghurka House

Himalayan Imports

Both sites are worth reading fully -- I've learned alot from both. Check out their links -- WWF resident knife crusher Cliff Stamp has put quite a few of them through the paces. Enjoy --

First, Bill Martino's father-in-law and the owner of Himalayan Imports was named by his parents "Kami Sherpa". No, I can't remember *exactly* why, Bill told the story a while back. This guy is the actual owner of HI, not Bill who is only the US distribution and marketing employee.

Second, Ghurka House doesn't have employees back in Nepal. I looked over his website today - *nowhere* will you see references to any Nepalese people actually having a part-ownership stake. Now granted, he seems to have set up a relationship with a particular kami (you're correct, that's what you call a Nepalese bladesmith) and this gent's pics are displayed on the site. But nowhere are there any claims that this kami is any sort of "sole source" or "quality reviewer".

Third, when GH started out their website contained product pictures taken directly from the HI site. That's a fact. This was corrected long ago, true, but that leaves us with several problems:

1) There are no Ghurkas employed at Ghurka House. Kami Sherpa and several others are genuine Ghurka regiment veterans.

2) Craig doesn't even know blades real well. Notice the use of the term "full tang" - nope, with one exception in his product line Khukuris from both companies are "stick tangs". There's good reasons for this involving impact absorbtion and HI has been fully open about the issue from the beginning. HI just recently started producing a few true full tangs as well, you can see pics over on the HI forum somewhere recent, do a search on "full tang" and they'll turn up.

3) We've got a whole pile of pics on the GH website of various Nepalese including a gent mentioned by name, Lalit Kumar Lama but no solid description of his link to GH. Don't believe me? Go look. The pictures and structure *tries* to give an impression that he's the sole Nepalese source. At one point a letter from him talks about "his shop" but there's no actual statement anywhere about this gent's connection to GH. Odds are he runs an import/export house and collects product for GH - that would explain the relatively high-fashion look. There's nothing *wrong* with this, but it's not the same as GH owning Nepalese shops.

4) See that picture on the main GH page titled "Ghurka with Khukuri"? Craig is trying to give the impression that's his company's product, right? It ain't. Dunno where he got the pic, but I can tell you who that is: it's a war hero and winner of the Victoria Cross, Britain's answer to the Congressional Medal of Honor. He's much older now but still serving at Buckingham Palace. Stealing that guy's likeness and labeling him "Ghurka with Khukuri" is an insult and a gross understatement...and very typical of GH's tendency to snatch pictures from wherever they can get 'em and use them unattributed in advertisements.

Knowing this, can we believe that the various shop photos and pics of that Nepalese gent are real? Normally I would never question someone's integrity in that detail BUT after the picture-stealing incident from the HI website to an early version of the GH site I think such questions are perfectly valid.

In conclusion, Nepal is NOT a nice place. It's the 7th poorest nation on the planet, government corruption is rampant, child labor is considered normal. With HI, you've got a company able to manage the supply side directly - any other option leaves you open to problems. That plus a demonstrated lack of integrity is enough to make me prefer HI.

Jim March
Jim, you know me. It`s true that Craig is learning about this trade.It is also true that he has commited indiscretions in the past. I believe this to be from ignorance rather than mens rea.Questioning a man`s integrity is a very serious matter. Just a caveat. You would shoot someone for that, wouldn`t you?


[This message has been edited by ghostsix (edited 07 September 1999).]
Ah, many thanks Storyville, just what I wanted.
Out of the 2, it seems there is some controversy as to which is better...
First of all, I want all readers to know that I am not upset with you, Jim, for preferring the HI khukuris to mine. That's okay.

However, I do seriously take offense at your very sad, poorly researched, and mis-informed attempt at mudslinging. Very little of what you say about my company and my business is true.

I wouldn't bother defending myself against a factless diatribe of insults, but I feel you should be taught a lesson in humility. Moreover, for those of you who are reading this, let Jim's assault allow me to tell you something about who I am and what I represent.

First, a bit about Khukuri House, Cystern’s partner company, and Lalitkumar Lama, the owner. Lalit is a 22 year veteran Gurkha who retired with the rank of Warrant Officer. I am both proud and humbled to be his business partner in the United States. How dare you insult him. You even make fun of the way he dressed for the photo, which appeared in a Nepalese Magazine. You’re pathetic.

Second, that “Victoria Cross Winner” that you said resides on my homepage is none other than an aquaintance of Lalit’s – a Gurkha with approximately 5 years of active service and NOT a Victoria Cross winner. By the way, that’s his Service Number One khukuri aquired from Khukuri House – the current supplier to Nepalese Gurkhas serving with the British Army. I have the original photo in my desk if you want me to send you a copy. If you’ll wait a day, I’ll also send you the Gurkha’s name and unit so you can contact him the next time you decide to mudsling. When you speak to him, ask him where he got his khukuri. For $59.00, you can have one just like it.

So, when you said:

“See that picture on the main GH page titled "Ghurka with Khukuri"? Craig is trying to give the impression that it’s his company's product, right? It ain't.”

You were wrong. Sorry pal. It’s that simple.

Third, you said that I don’t know my blades “real well.” Anybody on this forum would have supported you on this claim six months ago. But thanks to people like Cliff Stamp, Ghost Six, Mad Dog, Black Dog, Bill Martino, Berkley, and others, I am learning fast. Do some research and read my posts – my words are there. Oh, and for your information, I do know the difference between a full-tang and a hidden, spike or rat tang. But thank you for pointing out an error in my website that I have overlooked – it will be corrected within 48 hours. Call Mike Turber at Bladeforums. Ask him what kind of guy I am. Ask him, and you’ll be ashamed when you hear the answer.

Fourth, a word about the supposed theft of pictures. You’ve taken a misunderstanding between two parties that was expediently resolved with no harm done and, in turn, misrepresented the facts. Here are the facts: before Gurkha House was even born, and before I even knew Bill Martino’s name (or Himalayan Imports), I found a picture on a website (Bill’s) with no copywrite information. I placed it on my Cystern site as a “place holder” until I could get some pictures taken of the khukuris that I hoped to import. Yes, it was rude of me to not check with the owner of the site, but no, it did not show a lack of integrity. What did show integrity by both parties was the speed with which the picture was removed by me, and the speed with which Bill forgave me and moved on. Thanks for dragging my integrity through the mud, Jim. I needed a shower anyway after reading your words.

You claim to know so much about everybody’s business, and about the Nepal business world. Well, I’ve done a little research for you. I want you to have a clearer picture than you currently have. This is quoted from an old Bladeforums thread that you can visit at

Here’s what Bill says in this particular post:

“ Became adopted brother to two kamis, Kancha Kami of Phera village, and T. B. (Bai) Bishwkarma, who makes the HI khukuris and a lot of "other" khukuris for sale to dealers in Kathmandu. Another major "arun" (shop) is located in Bhaktapur, operated by Khadka Bahadur, who supplies Nepal Army khukuris and "other" khukuris to dealers. Major distributor is the Khukuri House, located in Thamel, (tourist capital of Nepal) Kathmandu and operated by Lalit Lama.”

Well, isn’t that funny! T. B. Bishwkarma! By the way, in case you think I’m making this quote up, the T stands for “Tilbahadur.” And, as you can see from the above quote, Tilbahadur works closely with Lalit. By the way, Kami Sherpa (Bill’s partner) buys khukuris from Tilbahadur Bishwkarma - Lalit was kind enough to tell me so tonight on the phone. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the facts, Kami Sherpa is Bill’s partner in Nepal. Those are the facts.

Finally, you said that I have no control over the knives I receive from Lalit. Of course I do. Whenever I have found something that's not right a knife I get, I discuss this with Lalit, and as his biggest customer, I get prompt attention and immediate corrective action.

So in a nutshell: you don’t know as much as you think you know about Khukuri House, Lalitkumar Lama, Bill Martino, Himalayan Imports, Victoria Cross Winners, Gurkhas, me, character, and integrity.

You certainly don’t know who I am. I’ve made my mistakes in the past, apologized, owned up to them, and moved on. Let’s see if you are mature enough to do the same. My telephone number is 703-536-5555, ext. 101. Please call me in the morning and apologize, and then post an apology on this forum and the non-specific manufacturer's forum.

I can’t say it better than another observer to your post: Shame on you.

Craig Gottlieb
Gurkha House
Sigh...Colonel, no, I wouldn't shoot a man that questioned my integrity. A man's reputation is what he makes of it, especially online. We all stand on our words, but even moreso on our deeds.

OK, forget character assasination for a sec. Let's look at reality: Craig's prices are a lot lower than HI, and many of the pieces are of a more "highly decorated, less functional" nature.

Example: the brass and aluminum grips aren't going to have the impact absorbtion properties of wood or horn, but they do look good and they're probably durable as hell. (SPECULATION HERE: *except* that if these "hard handle" pieces are still stick tangs, there'll be more shock applied to the point where the "stick" part meets the main blade? Remember, kinetic energy has to go "somewhere" - if the wood or bone flexes, the energy is going to go there, if that's not available it goes to the user's arm and the blade metal. The "shock to the arm part" is well documented, the "shock to the tang/blade junction" theory is my speculation but matches basic engineering.)

Example 2: silver filligreed over velvet sheaths and engraved blades.

And given that, the top price is $109 with the exception of a 27" brass-grip biggie a bit over $200.

See also:

Now, we're talking about some labor and material intensive stuff.

Ever heard the term "TANSTAAFL"? "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". The extra value is going *somewhere*. Either the kamis are getting paid less, or the emphasis is on cosmetics versus functionality, or there's less quality control.

OR a middleman could be collecting less, true. But if the pictures of kamis that Bill Martino has posted are accurate, his kamis are being paid well by local standards. In that part of the world shoes, watches and jeans are indeed signs of prosperity.

Now granted, Bill's whole line of patter *could* be totally fraudulent, in which case whoever the middleman is within the HI product chain is getting rich. I've talked to people that have visited Bill's digs, if HI is making anybody rich it ain't him.

But compare to GH: we've got pictures up of a guy who's supposed to be the main Nepalese contact. Whatever else he is, he ain't a kami, not dressed like that. The only Nepalese that dress like that are ones that have business contacts with the industrialized world. He's an executive of some sort, and that's fine...but that means there's at least one "middleman" in the chain...and that gets us back to "why are the GH prices so low?".

Why are there pictures of this guy all over the GH site with no direct statement about his role?

I'm sorry but...something feels wrong here. Craig's using pics to imply things that don't seem to be so, that there's a direct link to Nepalese kamis when in fact it's far more likely there's a middleman.

I could be wrong, and if there's a reasonable explanation here I'm all ears and I'll apologize if warranted. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the first time pictures were used wrongly by Craig.

Jim March
Time for a chill pill. Take it to email.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

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