Know All About the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army

Know All About the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army
08-January 2024...........

Fear Not The Big Man With A Small Blade, But Be Petrified Of The Small Man With A Big Blade... "Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali”


What do you think when we hear the word “Gorkha”. An image suddenly flashes in your mind about “ a few fearless warriors wielding the holy weapon Khukhri in their hand and shouting Jai Mahakali Ayo Gorkhali”. So, if you think so, then you are not alone. Gorkhas are known for their fearlessness and bravery. They are very skilled warriors who have turned the course of many wars. Gorkhas belong mainly to India and Nepal, but they serve in the Armies of many countries. In India, Gorkha Soldiers have been employed for a very long time in the Army. Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Many Other Kings in India have employed them in their Armies. British Officers were so impressed by their bravery that the Britishers employed them in their regular Army. In this article, we will discuss the history of the Gorkha Regiment: Battles, Famous Officers. Gorkhas are serving in the Royal British Army even today. Let us find out more about the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army.


Historical Background


The history of the Gorkha regiments can be traced back to the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814-16). Britishers were impressed by the formidable Gorkha soldiers that's why the British East India Company recruited them into their army, forming the first Gorkha battalion in 1815. Since then, these regiments have participated in countless historical battles, earning a reputation for fierce loyalty and exceptional combat skills. Gorkha Soldiers participated even in World War One. Gorkha troops played a very important role on the Western Front, notably in the battles of Ypres and Neuve Chapelle. Soldiers of the Gorkha Regiment won Decorations like the Victoria Cross, the highest wartime honor for gallantry. Even in the Second World War, Gorkha regiments contributed significantly and helped the Allied Powers to win. They fought in the most important places from the deserts of North Africa to the jungles of Burma. Their heroic stand at Kohima and Imphal against the Japanese turned the tide of the war in the Eastern theatre.


Gorkha War Memorial, Batista Loop


Gorkha Regiment in Independent India

After Independence, India got six regiments of Gorkha Soldiers, these regiments were the 1st King George V's Own Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment),3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gorkha Rifles,4th Prince of Wales's Own Gorkha Rifles,5th Royal Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force), 8th Gorkha Rifles,9th Gorkha Rifles. Today, these are seven regiments of Gorkha Soldiers in the Indian Army (1st Battalion Gorkha Rifles, 3rd Battalion Gorkha Rifles, 4th Battalion Gorkha Rifles, 5th Battalion Gorkha Rifles, 8th Battalion Gorkha Rifles, 9th Battalion Gorkha Rifles and 11th Battalion Gorkha Rifles). From the icy heights of the Siachen Glacier to the scorching Thar Desert, Gorkha soldiers have defended India's borders with unwavering commitment. Their decisive role in the recapture of Srinagar during the 1947 war and their fierce defense of Kargil in 1999 exemplify their unwavering spirit.


Famous Soldiers and Officers of the Gorkha Regiment

This single article is not enough to capture stories of bravery and heroism of soldiers and officers of the Gorkha Regiment. Here we have presented some famous soldiers and officers of the Gorkha Regiment.


1. Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria

Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria was from the 1st Battalion of Gorkha Rifles. He was the first first NDA alumni to win Param Veer Chakra. He was awarded Param Veer Chakra for his heroic action during a peacekeeping operation in Katanga, Congo. He was the leader of the Gorkha Battalion which fought with enemies despite being numerically outnumbered. Captain Salaria’s gallant action prevented any enemy movement of the enemy


2. Major Dhan Singh Thapa

Major Dhan Singh Thapa was a brave Indian Army officer of 8 Gorkha Rifles who played a key role in the 1962 Sino-Indian War. In the battle of Srijap, He valiantly defended his post at Rezang La in Ladakh, displaying exceptional courage. During this battle, Major Dhan Singh Thapa and His men were severely outnumbered and heavily attacked by Chinese Soldiers. Despite heavy bombardment and heavy fire, he and his men continued to defend his outpost and repelled three continuous attacks by the Chinese army. Major Thapa was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honor, for his outstanding leadership and bravery.In his honor, Indian Army has named a border outpost after his name.


3. Lieutenant Colonel Lalit Rai

Lieutenant Colonel Lalit Rai is a decorated Indian Army officer from the 11th Gorkha Rifles. He was known for his courage during the 1999 Kargil War. Leading his troops in the face of adversity, he played a crucial role in capturing strategic Khalubar Top. Lieutenant Colonel Rai was honored with the Maha Vir Chakra for his exceptional leadership and bravery.


4. Captain Manoj Pandey

Captain Manoj Pandey was a gallant Indian Army officer from 11 Gorkha Rifles. He is remembered for his bravery during the 1999 Kargil War. Leading from the front, he fearlessly charged enemy positions in the treacherous terrain. Captain Pandey's indomitable spirit and sacrifice inspired his comrades. He posthumously received the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest military honor, for his exceptional valor and dedication to the nation. His legacy remains an enduring symbol of courage and patriotism.


Quotes about the Gorkha Regiment


"If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha.”- Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw


Bravest of the brave, most generous of generous, never had a country more faithful friends than you”- Professor Sir Ralph Turner Mc


“The Gorkhas are the only people in the world who can laugh in the face of death.”- Field Marshal Lord Bramall, former Chief of Defence Staff


“The Gorkhas are small men, but they are very strong and very brave. They are like tigers.”-Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India


“The Gorkhas have a reputation of being amongst the finest and most feared soldiers in the world. The Gorkha is the soldier who goes where others fear to tread.”-Queen Elizabeth II


“Hindustan has won no war without the sacrifices of Nepalese Soldiers, I salute those brave hearts who laid their lives for India”-PM Narendra Modi (2014)


“It is better to fight Godzilla than A Gorkha Soldier.”- Unknown


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