“If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha.” – Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw
David Ochterlony one of the capable general of the east India company, was mesmerized by the fighting skills of the Gurkhas of Nepal during the Gurkha War. He quickly raised one regiment for them known as the Nasiri regiment – ‘Nasiri’ means ‘friendly’, which later become 1st George’s Gurkha Rifles.The 1 Gorkha regiment was involved in Palestine and Mesopotamia as well as The Afghan War (1919).
After Independence, out of 10 Gorkha regiments, six (1 GR, 3 GR, 4 GR, 5 GR, 8 GR and 9 GR) joined the Indian Armed forces, the 2nd, along with the 6th 7th and 10th were retained by the Briton. The third Battalion of the 4th Gorkha Rifles deployed during the Operation Meghdoot in Siachen. The ¾ Gorkha refiles relieved 8 JK Light Infantry in Bilafond La , at heights of nearly 20,000 feet in the defense of Bilafond La. The operation ended on 24 September morning.
The various Gorkha regiments of the Indian Army have received 3 Param Vir Chakra, with the 1 Gorkha Rifles and 8 Gorkha Rifles and 11 Gorkha Rifles each having a PVC recipient. Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra in the 1999 Kargil War, belonged to the 11 Gorkha Rifles. Major Dhan Singh Thapa, who won the Param Vir Chakra for his actions during the 1962 Sino-Indian war, belonged to the 1/8 Gorkha Rifles.Sam Manekshaw- the field Marshal of Indian Army belongs to 8th Gorkha rifles. Once he said about the bravery of Gorkhas that “If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gorkha.”
The 8 Gorkha Rifles is one of the most deployed regiment in Indian Army, 8th Gorkha saw action in the Kashmir operations, the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and the Indo-Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971. Indian Army has seven Gorkha regiments – the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 11th. Each regiment has five to six battalions, taking the total number to 39.
‘Jai Maha Kali, Ayo Gorkhali’ (‘ Victory to Goddess Mahakali, the Gorkhas are coming’) is the war cry of the Gorkha Regiments.General Dalbir Singh Suhag, the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) belongs to 5 Gorkha Rifles. Singh was commissioned into the 4th battalion of the 5 Gorkha Rifles on 16 June 1974.
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