Defence Reporter

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Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali- The Unbeatable Gorkhas

They are fearless, fierce, loyal and brave. Their courage is their hallmark. Their war cry - Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali – can curdle the blood of the enemy.

Updated:Thursday, April 23, 2015, 02:37

Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali- The Unbeatable GorkhasJai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali- The Unbeatable Gorkhas
They are fearless, fierce, loyal and brave. Their courage is their hallmark. Their war cry - Jai Mahakali, Ayo Gorkhali – can curdle the blood of the enemy. Meet the Gorkhas. "Better to die than be a coward" is the motto of these remarkable soldiers who have made a distinguished contribution to the Indian Army. The Gorkhas have completed 200 years of soldiering in India under the British, and, later, the Indian flag.
To understand the glorious 200-year- old history of Gorkha Rifles, let us take you to a quiet cantonment town in the foothills of Himalayas. Subathu in Himachal Pradesh is home to the First Gorkha Rifles and houses the 14 Gorkha Training Centre (GTC). It was on April 24, 1815 that the first organised body of Gorkha soldiers took to arms under the British East India Company at Subathu in Himachal Pradesh. The unit that was raised on that day still serves with the Indian Army and is today known as the First Battalion, The First Gorkha Rifles or 1/1 GR in short.

200 years ago, Subathu witnessed the first encounter between the East India Company and soldiers from the Kingdom of Nepal during the Gorkha War of 1815. Impressed by the fighting qualities displayed by the Gorkhas of Nepal during this war, Sir David Ochterlony was quick to form the Gorkha Regiment. The British started a Gorkha (Nusseree) battalion in the Shimla hills. Before long, this battalion had made its mark in the battle for Bharatpur in 1826. In 1850, the battalion was named the 66th Gorkha Light Infantry and later renamed the First Gorkha Light Infantry. It became the First King George`s Own Gorkha Rifles in 1910 (MALAUN REGIMENT). After independence, the designation changed to the present one. The regiment`s other battalions were raised after 1959. The FIRST GORKHA RIFLES has a proud combat record and has always lived up to its reputation.

The Glory Continues
Be it war or counter terrorism operations, the soldiers of the Gorkha Rifles have proved themselves with their valour and self-sacrifice. The competition to become a part of this regiment is tough. The training to become a true soldier of the motherland is even fiercer. The recruits undergo forty five weeks of rigorous training. To a layman, they may look like supermen who can jump, climb, crawl to extraordinary lengths and breadths. Their strength is not just physical. Mental endurance is the key to sail through testing times. They are trained to succeed. Their passion to live and die for the nation is commendable. The successful recruits earn great honor for their family and village. And above all, they are the Nation’s Pride.
The Gorkha Rifles, which began as one unit then known as the 1st Nusseree Battalion, is today seven regiments strong. The Indian Army has the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th Gorkha Rifles as its regular infantry regiments apart from Gorkha troops serving in the Rashtriya Rifles, Artillery and the Territorial Army units.

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