The Gorkhas are soldiers. They are native to South Asia. They are of Nepal nationality and Indian Ethnicity.
The name “Gorkha” originated from the Gorkha kingdom from which the Kingdom of Nepal was expanded. Prior to this, the name shall be traced to the Hindu warrior saint Guru Gorakhnath.
The knife held by the Gorkhas is called Khukhuri. It is a forward curving knife.
Gorkha Military Units
The Gorkha Military units are enlisted in India, Nepal and United Kingdom. After independence, under the Tripartite Agreement, the Gorkha battalions were split between the Indian Army and the British Army. Around six Gorkha regiments were transferred to Indian Army and four to the British Army. The practice of recruiting Gorkha into Indian Army and British Army existed till 2008. In 2008, after the abolition of Nepalese monarchy, this was put into doubt.
Gorkha in Indian Army
The Special Frontier Force of the Indian Army consists of Gorkhas, Tibetan refugees and other ethnic groups from the mountainous regions. The force is mainly deployed to covert actions against China.
Gorkha in Britain
In 1990s, there were controversies in the United Kingdom regarding the treatment of Gorkhas. The Gorkhas and their families received smaller pensions as compared to their British counterparts. Later, in 2008-09, the Gorkhas received settlement rights in the UK.
Gorkha in British Army
Till date, the Gorkhas serve at in the British Army. The queen has a separate Gorkha regiment for her protection. Apart from this, there are Rifle units and signal squadrons and regiments.
Singapore Gorkha Contingent
It was formed in 1949. It was created with selected ex-British Army Gorkhas. It was an integral part of police force. It replaced the Sikh unit that existed during second world war. The Gorkhas have huge respect in the Singaporean society.
Brunei Gorkha Reserve Unit
It employs around 500 Gorkhas.
History of Gorkha
The Gorkhas actively participated in every event after 1857 revolt. They played a major role in Burma, Northeast India, Afghanistan. North West India, Malaya, China (Boxer Rebellion), Cyprus and Tibet. They formed Rifle regiments between 1900 and 1906. The Gorkhas were the first to arrive in the unsuccessful Gallipoli Campaign (in 1915) and the last to leave. Around 40 Gorkha battalions participated in the second world war. There were parachute, garrison and porter units. They play a major role of peacekeeping in the current north eastern jungles of India.