Not all superheroes wear special suits. If you’re thinking of the likes of Spider Man, Iron Man, Captain America, let me stop you
right there. Well, why go fictional when we have the Gorkha Regiment. Their courage on the front and numerous gallantry awards shows the aura of Gorkhas.

An integral part of the Indian Army, these brave-hearts are the fiercest batch of soldiers the world has ever witnessed. One can surely say that they are the most worthy warriors of the Indian Army.

Here we have penned down the most interesting facts about the Gorkha Regiment and its valiant soldiers:

1. Running on its 201st year of existence

Since April 24, 1815, the Gorkhas have spent a year plus two centuries in the defence system of the East India Company and serving the post independence Indian and British Army.


2. Namesake

They were named after the hill town of Gorkha, the starting point of the emergence of the great Nepal during the reign of King Prithivi Narayan Shah.

Soldiers from King Pritivi Narayan Shah Gorkha Army gurkhabde

3. The Nasiri Regiment

Having realised their massive potential during the Gorkha War,
David Ochterlony was the first to recognize the Gorkhalis, as Nasiri Regiment. They were later renamed as the 1st King George’s Own Gorkha Rifles.


4. Post Independence treaty

After India got its independence, a Tripartite Agreement was signed between the United Kingdom, India and Nepal didistributing the Gorkha Regiment amongst them. Out of 10, six {1 GR, 3 GR, 4 GR, 5 GR(FF), 8 GR and 9 GR} regiments of the Gurkha Rifles joined the Indian Army, while 4 joined the British Army.


5. Decision to raise the 11 Gorkha Rifles

Large number of soldiers from 7 and 10 Gorkha Rifles decided to join the Indian Army instead of the British Army. This made Indian Army to re-raise the 11 Gorkha Rifles.


6. Services rendered

Gorkha units have played an important role in all the wars and have won many battles.

Pindaree War of 1817; a war in Bharatpur, Nepal, in 1826; the First and Second Sikh Wars in 1846 and 1848; Sepoy Mutiny in 1857; the Afghan War in 1919; and, not to forget, both the World Wars.

Troops of First-Third in Afghanisthan, 1880 SpokespersonMoD

7. Served at Lebanon and Sierra Leone

Gorkhas have not only served in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Siachen, but also in the UN peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and Sierra Leone.


8. War cry

Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali” , meaning “Glory to Great Kali, Gorkhas approach”, is the war cry of then Indian Gorkhas. “Better to die than be a coward” being the motto of their British counterparts.

Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali

9. Personal weapon ‘Khukhri’

Khukhri, a 12-inch long curved Nepalese knife, is a characteristic weapon of the Gorkhas. Every Gorkha Rifle soldier carries khukhri as his personal weapon.


10.  ‘Khukhris’ as a badge

A pair of curved khukris act as a badge of all Gorkha Rifles divisions.


11. Composition

Though in the current day scenario ethnicity isn’t much criteria. The majority of the troops are of Chetris, Gurungs, Magars, Rais, Limbus or Sunuwars.

The troops include infantry, engineer, signal, logistic and training and support units.


12. Part of other army troops

Hong Kong private security professionals, the Malayan armed forces, United States Naand and as guards during the Operation Iraqi Freedom.


13. Language

The common tongue or the ‘Khas Kura’ or ‘Khas Bhasa’ as they call it is Nepali regardless of the soldier’s region of origin.


14. Operation Meghdoot in Siachen

The third Battalion of the 4 Gorkha Rifles is famous for Operation Meghdoot in Siachen.


15. The Queen has two personal Gurkha officers

There are two Gurkha officers who directly attend official state and key events with the Queen. They are also appointed as Members of the Royal Victorian Order, called the Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officers.


16. Recognition & Awards

26 Victoria Crosses, the highest award of the UK honours
system, 3 Param Vir Chakras, the Indian equivalent of Victoria Cross since Independence (1947), alongwith 33 Maha Vir Chakras and 84 Vir Chakras.


17. Traditions

They might be the fiercest of all but even they don’t shy away to bow to the Almighty. A Dussehra tradition, the youngest member of the unit sacrifices a buffalo by severing it’s head in one clean sweep of the Khukhri.


18. Head gear customs

Each regiment has its own custom, such as the chief of the 5GR wears the head gear with the strap below the lower lip whereas other units wear it below the jaw.


19. Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw

Gorkha rifles produced Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw popularly known as Sam Bahadur who can be called India’s greatest military commander till date.


True to Field Marshal Manekshaw words “if a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha”.

All hail the Gorkhas!!!