Gorkha Rifles turn 200: All you need to know about one of world's fiercest soldiers
The Gorkhas, one of the fiercest soldiers in the world, completed 200 years of soldiering on April 24. The Gorkha soldiers were first inducted by the British East India Company at Subathu, Himachal Pradesh, on April 24, 1815.
The Gorkhas -- known as the First Battalion, The First Gorkha Rifles or 1/1 GR -- at present is an infantry regiment of the Indian Army comprising Gurkha soldiers of Nepalese origin.
Here is all you need to know about First Gorkha Rifles:
Founded by British East India Company
- 1 Gorkha Rifles was originally formed as a part of the British Indian Army by the East India Company on April 24, 1815.
- The British were impressed with the courage and skill Gorkha warriors had shown during the siege of Malaun fort in Bilaspur, during the Gurkha War.
- After winning the war the British recruited the surviving Gurkha soldiers in its Army and called it First Nusseree (Nasiri/friendly) Battalion.
- Later this regiment adopted the title of the 1st King George V's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment).
Following independence in 1947, a 7th Gorkha Rifles regiment was re-raised in the Indian Army to accommodate Gorkha soldiers of 7th Gurkha Rifles and the 10th Gurkha Rifles, who refused to transfer to the British Army.
An agreement, known as the Tripartite Agreement between India, Nepal and the United Kingdom was negotiated, in 1947, to determine what would happen to the Gurkhas' after India's Independence.
The Gorkha regiment has a long history of participating in many conflicts, including those prior to Independence and after Independence.
- The Gorkhas took part in the Anglo-Sikh wars, Afghan wars, and in suppressing the Revolt of 1857.
- The Gorkha regiments played a vital role in the Commonwealth armies during both the World Wars and won battle honours every where.
- The courageous regiment participated in numerous campaigns against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971.
- The Gorkha Rifles also participated in several United Nations' peacekeeping duties.
- Currently, 39 battalions are serving in 7 Gorkha regiments in the Indian Army. 6 regiments were transferred from the British Indian Army, one was formed after independence.
- The individual Gorkha rifle regiments of India are collectively known as the 'Gorkha Brigade' for regimental purposes.
War cry (Gorkha Rifles):
- Jai Mahakali Ayo Gorkhali (Hail goddess Kali The Gorkhas are here)
Motto (Gorkha Rifles):
- Kayar Hunu Bhanda Marnu Ramro (Better to die than live like a coward)
- Victoria Cross was given to British generals John Adam Tytler, George Nicolas Channer for their services during Revolt of 1857.
- Param Vir Chakra (India's highest military decoration) was given to Gurbachan Singh Salaria.
- Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey of 11 Gorkha Rifles was also given Param Vir Chakra for operations in Batalik sector during the 1999 Kargil War.