Uttarakhand is known throughout the world as the Dev Bhoomi but it in many ways it is the Veer Bhoomi. In the small town, Nainital, where I grew up, we grew up fascinating to be among the army. For the rest of India it might have been the IITs/AIEEEs/MBBS but for us it was the NDA.
I can’t pin point on what it was about these figures that allured us to them, maybe it has something to do with the culture we were brought up in. Where at least one of your family member, neighbor, teacher, friend’s brother was in Defence Force.
It would like to believe that it wasn’t just because of love for the nation It was just so dreamboat a life full of adventure, where one gets to travel, the personality of am Army Man. Yes I am very proud pahadi. I am proud of the fact that we, as a state, have a history of producing brave young men who are willing to give their lives for their country.
Garhwalis and Kumaonis have carved a special niche of eternal honour for themselves in the history of Indian Armed Forces. Both Kumaoni and Garhwali are short and stocky.
“Even in the most trying circumstances they have remained calm, confident, quiet, and cheerful. Their patriotism is unquestionably obvious and they are known for their firmness and fairness. In view of these natural qualities they make for great soldiers.”
The Garhwal Rifles:
Moto – “Yudhaya Krit Nischya (Fight With Determination)”
War Cry – “Badri Vishal Lal Ki Jai”
The Garhwal Rifles is a”n infantry regiment of the Indian Army. It was originally raised in 1887 by the Britishers as a part of Bengal Army. Today it is made up of more than 25,000 soldiers, organised into nineteen regular battalions (i.e. 2nd to 19th). The Garhwali recruit center is located in Landsdowne.
The Garhwal Rifles have the distinction of being awarded the Second Victorian cross of World War 1 and had received total of 419 gallantry awards before independence which included 3 Victorian Cross. After 1947, this regiment has been awarded 146 gallantry awards which includes 4 Mahavir Chakra and 35 Vir Chakra.
The Kumaon Regiment:
Moto: Parakramo Vijayate (Valour Triumphs)
War Cry- “Kalika Mata Ki Jai, Bajrang Bali Ki Jai, Dada Kishan Ki Jai”
The Kumaon Regiment is one of the most ostentatious infantry regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment traces its origins to the 18th century in which it fought with Nepal under British Government. The Regiments now consists of a number of KUMAON and NAGA Battalions, KUMAON SCOUTS, Rashtriya Rifles Battalions, Territorial Army Battalions. Besides its old affiliates, it has a Parachute and Mechanised Infantry Battalion. The Kumaun Regiment recruit center is in Ranikhet.
In about 200 years of history Kumaoni Regiment has been awarded 600 gallantry awards. Total of 355 awards have been given upto 1947. The awards included two Paramvir Chakra, 2 Mahavir chakra, 54 Vir Chakra and 4 Shaurya Vir Chakra and ati Vishisht Sena Medal. Sepoy Deewan Singh of 4 Kumaun became the first to have been awarded with MahavVir Chakra.
It might not be out of place to mention here that according to Portrait of Honour (India’s highest gallantry awards and their Recipients) the state of Punjab leading with 259 awardees, followed by the state of Uttarakhand with (128), Haryana (127), Maharashtra (121), Delhi (114).
Although Punjab is far ahead of all states, Uttarakhand has to be proud of its contribution made by the brave people of the state all through the past and the present history of Indian Nation.