“If a man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or is a Gurkha” Field Marshal Sam ManekshawGorkha soldiers who are known for their courage, bravery and loyalty are traditionally recruited from the hill people of Nepal, who trace their roots right back to an 8th century Hindu warrior, Guru Gorakhnath. Since the independence of India in 1947, as per the terms of the Britain–India– Nepal Tripartite Agreement, six Gorkha regiments, formerly part of the British Indian Army, became part of the Indian Army and have served ever since. The Gorkha Rifles war cry is “Jai Maha Kali, Aayo Gorkhali! (Hail Goddess Kali, the Gorkhas are here!)”, or simply “Aayo Gorkhali Charge!” All the Gorkha regiment soldiers carry a ‘khukri’, which is a long knife that curves inward. The insignia of all the Gorkha Rifles regiments is a pair of crossed ‘khukris’. The legend goes that whenever a Gurkha draws his kukri in anger he must also draw blood… The Gurkha selection process has been described as one of the toughest in the world. Sir David Ochterlony, impressed by the Gorkhas’ fighting abilities during the Gurkha War, quickly recognised the Gorkhas’ potential in the British Indian Army. Gorkha defectors had previously been utilized as irregular forces. The Nasiri the regiment was created on April 24, 1815, from the first battalion of the Gorkha Regiment. Lieutenant Lawtie led this regiment, which eventually became the 1st King George’s Own Gurkha Rifles, and saw action at the Maulun fort. Gorkhas played a major role in the British East India Company’s growth across the subcontinent. They fought in the Gurkha-Sikh War, the First and Second Anglo Sikh Wars, the Afghan wars, and the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The British continued to recruit throughout these years. Following India’s independence, India, Nepal and Great Britain signed a Britain India-Nepal Tripartite Agreement in 1947. Provision was made for six of the 10 Gorkha regiments in the British Indian Army to transfer to the new Indian Army. This agreement did not apply to Gurkhas employed in the Nepalese Army. As of 2020, India has 39 Gorkha battalions serving in 7 Gorkha regiments.*The individual Gorkha rifle regiments of India are collectively known for regimental purposes as the ‘Gorkha Brigade’ between themselves and are not to be confused with the Brigade of Gurkhas of the British Army*. In 1949, the spelling of ‘Gurkha’ in the Indian Army was changed to the traditional ‘Gorkha’, while upon becoming a republic in 1950, all royal titles associated with the Indian Gorkha regiments were dropped. Since independence, the Gorkhas have fought in every major campaign involving the Indian Army being awarded numerous battle and theater honors. The regiments have won many gallantry awards like the Param Vir Chakra and the Maha Vir Chakra. The 2/8 Gorkha rifles has given one of the most popular and notable Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw to this nation. Currently, there are 39 battalions serving in 7 Gorkha regiments in the Indian Army. Six regiments were transferred from the British Indian Army, while one was formed after independence. The Regimental Centers of Gorkha Regiments are situated around the major cities in India. There are 4 Gorkha Training Centers across major cities. ( Former Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces) General Bipin Rawat was also from the Gorkha Rifles. In fact, several Army chiefs have been officers in the Gorkha regiments.