About the Book
For 300 years, the Gorkhas
of Nepal and India have had a continuous, unique heritage of being celebrated
martial defenders with an intact ethnic composition. The Gorkha
soldiers were forged through the fires of history to become what they are
The first-ever illustrated history of the Gorkhas, The Khukri Braves portrays the rich history and culture
of this gallant community in all its vibrancy. Painstakingly researched and
evocatively written by Jyoti Thapa
Mani, one of India's best newspaper and magazine designers, this is the first
such book by a person of Gorkhali origin.
An exhaustive, vivid compilation of historical
research comprising previously unknown anecdotes, surprising facts and
breathtakingly beautiful images, it provides a vivid account of the travails
and triumphs of the Gorkha community. This is a
must-read to understand the heritage of a community heralded for their courage.
About the Author
Mansi , a
graduate in graphic design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, has worked in Delhi as the design head of The
Economic Times, Business Today and Business world.
to the sixth generation of an Indian Gorkhali family
based in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, for close to
200 years. Her family history aligns with the history of the Gorkhas as her forefathers served with distinction in the
18th-century Gorkha Army of Nepal, the 19th
century Indian British-Gorkha Rifles. A Gorkhaphile by interest, she has been researching and
documenting the history of the Gorkhas for over ten
years by visiting significant locations. I’ m following the Gorkha
footprints. The stones and ruins speak volumes is how she describes her
passion. Jyoti’s photographs of Gorkha
historical sites are on permanent display at the Nepal Army Museum. Kathmandu.
Her other Gorkha-related works are:
The Illustrated history
of the 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun
Regiment) 1815-2008 as its compiler, photographer, visual editor and designer;
the book was published in 2008 by the 1st Gorkha
of a first-time-ever heritage exhibition on the History, Tradition and Culture
of Gorkha Community of Himachal Pradesh’ on 14 April
2010, the occasion of Himachal Diwas at the Kangra Museum of Art, Dharamshala.
This book is an enthusiastic celebration of the
travails and triumphs of the Gorkhas, renowned for
their unending patriotism and valour. It portrays the intensity of an
emotional, personal and deep sense of attachment to the land from where their
ancestors have migrated. Jyoti Thapa
Mani and her sensitivity towards the Gorkhas has given a new insight to the book.
It explores both the military exploits and everyday
life of the Gorkhas. The culture, tradition and
rituals of the community are skilfully portrayed thereby providing the readers
a glimpse into all the aspects of their life.
A deeply researched and documented history of the Gorkhas, this book, indeed is the sweat and toil of the
author for over ten years. The book is a tribute to all those martyrs who held
their country more precious than their own lives. It is also a proud moment for
all the members of the Gorkha community who have been
doing marvellous deeds.
The book shines through with the spirit of Gorkha humour having myself served with the "Bravest
of the Brave".
A highly illustrative account
with abundance of colourful photographs which adds charm and beauty to the
is overall a vivid and penetrative account of strong, good-natured and
resilient people depicting great courage and endurance as well as a
consolidation of the Gorkha empire
which included Kumaon, Garhwal
and Himachal Pradesh. The book with its release commemorates the bi-centennial
celebration of the 1st Gorkha Rifles which completes
200 years this year (1815-2015).
The author can be confident that there will be many
grateful readers who will have gained a broader perspective about the
historical Gorkhas as a result of her efforts.
My best wishes and commendation to Jyoti Thapa Mani for giving such
an enjoyable reading experience to one and all.
Year after year, on 26th January, at the Republic
Day Parade down the boulevard of Rajpath, New
Delhi-there is excitement in the compere's voice when
a Gorkha contingent marches by. The legendary Gorkhas, the bravest of the brave, the finest infantrymen
in the world, all these are the accolades that rest on their firm shoulders as
they are led by a proud Gorkha Officer, giving and
receiving a standing salute from the President of India. There always has been
something special about the Gorkhas which has caught
the imagination of many for years. Those who have served with them cannot stop
admiring them and many have been driven by the urge to write about their
wonderful experiences with them.
The Khukri Braves
The Khukri is the hallmark
of the Gorkha fighter. The lethal hand weapon began
its birth as the hill man's household handy tool in pastoral life; from
chopping wood, cutting fodder to hunting and of course defence of self It is
the natural extension of his working hand. The khukri
design has evolved over years into a perfectly balanced and curved hand grip
tool, offering excellent wrist flexibility and tremendous dexterity. In the
hands of a Gorkha fighter, it is the perfect
hand-to-hand combat weapon. For the true Gorkha
warrior, the khukri is revered and worshipped as a
holy tool blessed by the Goddess. It stands for his role as a defender or
Bhanda Marnu Ramro" (Better to die than live a coward).
At the heart of every Gorkha
is this motto, fired up by shouts of Ho ki,
Hoi Na? (Yes or
o?). Replied with lusty Ho, Ho, Ho, (Yes, Yes, Yes). The
driving force of the Gorkha fighter is the quest to
be recognised as a 'Bahadur' (brave and honourable
warrior) which supersedes basic necessities such as salary, rations, etc.
Hence, he can risk his life without a second thought.
The battle cry pumps up the adrenalin of Gorkhas to face the challenges of warfare. The Gorkha chronicles began in the eighteenth century, when,
under King Prithvi Narayan
Shah, they streamed out of the kingdom, gathering different mountain clans who
became their strength. The aim of their campaigns was to create one big and
strong kingdom. A clash with the British East India Company was inevitable. n the Himalayan region, Nepal's Gorkha
Army was the first to be engaged in war with the Company's Forces. Two wars
took place between 1814 and 1816, concluding with the signing of the
Anglo-Nepal Treaty of Sugauli.
“Bravest of the
-Sir Ralph Turner, MC. 1931
With future campaigns curtailed, from 1815 began a
new chapter when the Gorkhas forged a military
alliance with the East India Company who called them Gurkhas.
The accolades began with sterling performances as they moved from strength to
strength through two World Wars.
man says he is not afraid of dying, he is either lying or a Gorkha"
-Late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw,
In 1947, six out of ten Gurkha
Regiments opted to serve the Democratic Republic of India. The Gorkhas serve only the Indian Gorkha
Brigade and the British Royal Gurkha Rifles
performing with equal gallantry as Gorkhas and Gurkhas.
The Gorkha identity
40 per cent of the Gorkhas
Regiments are taken from the Nepali-speaking Indian citizens, called the Indian
Gorkha community. A small percentage gets to join the
forces. The rest form the civilian society where education and professional
careers have been achieved and remains the quest of many youngsters. The
community stands at the brink of breaking tags and stereo-typing to compete in
civilian society. But it must not be forgotten that the Gorkha
name was earned by the sweat, blood and sacrifices of millions over centuries.
The Indian Gorkha community forms the myriad of hill
people from Northwest towards Northeast India. While the north-western Gorkhas joined the army, those of the east were largely
employed in the tea gardens. Just as the Gorkha
soldier is a global phenomenon, the Darjeeling tea is a world class brand. Just
as every Gorkha soldier contributed to the legend,
each tea bud nimbly plucked by a Gorkhali hand went
on to become a connoisseur's delight.
The Gorkha brand
Standing for class and strength, the Gorkha has also became a brand- Trax Gurkha, the 4X4 MUV by Force Motors
Pune; Gurkha Cigar; the most expensive hand-rolled
cigar from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and icaragua;
Khukri Rum from Nepal; and Welcom heritage Gurkha houseboats
The Gorkha journey
Tracing the journey of the Gorkhas
from the 18th century Nepal till date, this book is an exploratory compilation
of research and travel, written with a perspective of opinion and food for
thought. There is extensive coverage of the cultural and traditional heritage
of the Gorkhas. Balancing between mainframe narrative
and pictures, special effort has been made to provide interesting anecdotes
with photographs published for the first time. The specially
book highlights the history of the very first of the Gorkha
Regiments-1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun
Regiment) which celebrates 200 years this year. Above all, the book is a
tribute to all the Gorkhas.
l: GORKHA AND NEPAL
BABA GORAKHATH AND GORKHA. WHERE THE LEGEND WAS BORN.
THE SHAH KINGS OF NEPAL: 1769-2008, EVOLUTIO OF A MONARCHY.
CH.3: NAG HRAD OR TANK OF THE
JAI MAHAKALI AYO GORKHALI' HOW NEPAL WAS EXTENDED BY THE GORKHAS.
GORKHALI AND NEPALI ETHNIC DIASPORA.
2: GROWTH OF NEPAL
GORKHA ARMY CALLED FOR HELP ACROSS THE RIVERS KALI, BEA AND SUTLEJ.
SPOTLIGHT: BADA KAZI AMAR SINGH THAPA.
CH.3: THE SIEGE OF KANGRA FORT.
1806-1809: BATTLE OF LIONS.
3: ANGLO-GORKHA WARS
CH. I: EAST INDIA COMPANY AND
CH.2: EAST INDIA COMPANY
DECLARES WAR ON NEPAL
CH.3: "WATER, WATER"
THE BATTLE OF KHALANGA.
CH.4: UNVANQUISHED-GORKHAS AT
CH.5: FLAMES OF MALAUN THE BATTLE
4: 1ST GORKHA RIFLES (THE MALAUN REGIMENNT)
THE GORKHA IS REBORN.
1850. THE NUSSEEREE BECOMES THE 66TH OR GHOORKHA RIFLES.
CH. 3: THE 1ST GORKIIA RIFLES (THE
MALAUN REGIMENT). TAKE A BOW.
30 YEARS OF GLOBAL WARFARE. THE WWI, NWFP AND WWII.
5: 1947. PARTITION ONWARDS
CH. 1. I: 1942: GURKHAS AND THE INA.
CH. 2: 1947: FORMATION OF THE
GORKHAS. CONTINUATION OF THE GURKHAS.
CH. 3: THE 1ST GORKHA RIFLES IN
6: GORKHA HERITAGE
FAITH, TRADITION A D RELIGION
CH. 2: ANCIENT GORKHA FORTS AND
TEMPLES IN NORTH INDIA.
PAGES. GORKHAS: THE LEGEND MARCHES ON...
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