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The first Gurkhas
In the Nepal war of 1812 the British sent a force of 30,000 against
12,000 Gorkhas (in reality at this time there was no such thing as a Gurkha
-- they were called Gorkhalis) thinking in their usual arrogance they would
take Nepal by storm. Just the opposite proved to be true. The Gorkhas fought
the British to a standstill.
For example, during extremely bitter fighting while defending
the hill fortress of Kalunga the Gorkhas lost 520 out of 600 defenders
but they fought so bravely and so well and the losses they inflicted on
the British were so staggering it inspired the British to erect a stone battle
monument at Kalunga inscribed with the words:
THEY FOUGHT IN THEIR CONFLICT LIKE MEN AND, IN THE INTERVALS
OF ACTUAL CONFLICT, SHOWED US A LIBERAL COURTESY.
But, it was a two way street. In another incident British Lieutenant
Frederick Young leading a party of irregulars was surprised by a force of
Gorkhas. The irregulars upon seeing the khukuri yielding Gorkha force ran
away leaving the British Officers to face the Gorkhas alone.
There was little battle here since the Gorkha force was so
superior but the fact that the British Officers had remained to try to
hold their ground and had not fled greatly impressed the Gorkhas. They asked
Young and his subordinates why they had not also ran away and according to
legend Young replied, "I have not come so far to run away. I came to stay."
And stay he did. For about a year the Gorkhas held Young captive but during
this year the Gorkhas developed a sincere and deep respect for Young and
the British fighting spirit which much resembled their own. And, indeed,
it was Young himself who was able to recruit the first Gorkhas to serve
under the British flag -- 3,000 Gorkhas divided into four battalions. Young
went on to serve as the commander of the Sirmoor Battalion of Gurkhas for
28 years and, amazingly, was able to report his battalion service ready after
only six months.
These were the first Gorkhas, fighting men from the mountain
kingdom of Nepal -- Rai, Magar, Limbu, Gurung and Sunwar tribesmen. Small
of stature, large of heart, accustomed to hardship, good natured with a
keen sense of humor, loyal to death, more disciplined than any fighting
force in the world, brave and capable, and absolutely without fear.
The same can be said for every Gorkha to come down the line
since those first Gorkhas and for every Gorkha in service today.
BILL MARTINO 2/17/99
|Gurkhas and Kukris
Probably the most renowned fighting knife in the world is the kukri,
the wickedly curved knife of the Gurkhas of Nepal. Wherever these British-trained
mountain men have gone into battle, their kukris have carved a wide swath
among the enemy. Some years ago, when I worked in Malaysia, I went on
an occasional patrol with the famed British Tracker-Killer Teams in Malaya
and the Borneo States. The mission of these skilled jungle experts was
to move into the jungle and keep pressure on enemy guerrillas, eventually
tracking them to their hideouts and destroying them. The small, mobile
groups, usually no more than a dozen men, were composed of Gurkhas with
their tracker and killer dogs, British NCOs and Iban headhunters from
Borneo. The Ibans and Gurkhas had much in common. They loved knives. During
rest periods in the jungle they would unsheathe their blades and gently
test the edge with their thumb, knowing all the time, of course, just how
sharp they were. Whenever action seemed imminent, even though they were
armed with the small Sterling gun, they would draw their kukris.
A perfect example of this reliance on knives was demonstrated
one morning. Nearing a small native village that reportedly harbored guerrillas,
two Gurkhas- a scout and his safety man-moved with the grace and elegance
of ballet dancers from bush to tree, ever nearer to a lone hut in the clearing.
Placing his gun on the ground, one soldier took two concussion grenades
from his belt and hung them from his teeth. Then, drawing his kukri, he
ran like a flash and vaulted through an open window, jumped out the far
side and tumbled into the jungle, leaving the grenades inside. The roof
seemed to lift off a few feet and drop down again. Two very frightened Indonesians
ran out to face a yelling horde of snarling dogs, soldiers and wildly painted
headhunters. There was no question of a fight, since orders were to take
the enemy alive, and everybody was reasonably happy (except the Ibans, who
Often the mere sight of an unsheathed kukri is enough to discourage
any further action by causing a cold, cramped feeling in the nether regions
of the stomach. In fact some years ago a show of kukris aborted a revolt
before it turned into a full-fledged revolution. We must go back some
years to when the Federation of Malaysia was being formed after the Second
World War. At that time the Sultanate of Brunei decided to remain under
British protection, even though independent. (After all, they had all
the oil.) A small enclave, Brunei sits comfortably along the lush jungle
coast of Borneo (now Sabah) between Sarawak to the south and what was formerly
Jesselton in British North Borneo.
Once while His Highness was on annual holiday in England, far
removed from political intrigues and palace coups, an uprising was attempted.
British military headquarters, then stationed in Kuching, the capital of
Sarawak, was alerted and quickly flew a company of Gurkhas the short distance
up the coast.
Landing at Brunei airport, the little brown men double-timed into
Bruneitown and soon came in view of the rioters.
Forming a thin khaki line across the lone main street, they
unsheathed their kukris and stood facing the howling mob. Looking at that
silent row of men, their knives sparkling in the sun, the insurgents had
some fast second thoughts and slowly began to disband. The troops smartly
about-faced, trotted back to the airfield and flew home to Kuching. Elapsed
time to crush a rebellion-under two hours.
From Knives and Knifemakers by Sid Latham...... Macmillan / Collier
Sonam on the organization of an Indian Gorkha unit
Section = 10 Riflemen, commanded by 1 Naik (corporal)
Platoon = 3 Sections, commanded by Subedar (JCO - will
come to this later)
Company = 3 Platoons, commanded by Major & Coy
Battalion = 4 Rifle Companies, commanded by Colonel,
Lt. Col is 2IC (second-in-command)
+ Support Company (MGs, Mortar platoon, pioneer platoon, sniper section,
etc.) + HQ
Company (cooks, clerks, transport, etc.); making a grand total of
about 750 - 800 personnel
Each Battalion belongs to a certain specific Regiment and follows
the traditions, norms, etc.
of that Regiment. There are 7 Gorkha Regiments in the Indian Army,
the 1st Gorkha Rifles
with 5 battalions (1/1 GR, 2/1 GR, etc.), the 3rd Gorkha Rilfes with
5 battalions, the 4th
Gorkha Rifles with 6 battalions, the 5th Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
with 6 battalions, the
8th Gorkha Rifles with 6 battalions, the 9th Gorkha Riles with 6 battalions,
and the 11th
Gorkha Rifles with 7 battalions. You might've noticed that the regiments
skip some numbers,
that's because those were the regiments that the British took with
them after Indian
independence in 1947 (the 2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th - which sadly no
longer exist, all having
been amalgamated into a greatly reduced "Royal Gurkha Rifles").
The 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th Gorkha Rifles recruits predominantly
from Gurung and Magar
tribes of western Nepal, the 9th recruits primarily high-caste Chettri
and Bahun, and the 11th
recruits primarily from Rai and Limbu tribes of western Nepal. Gorkhas
are also recruited in
large numbers in the Assam Rifles and the Naga Regiment.
The ranks in a Gorkha battalion are roughly:
Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs):
Lance-Naik (L/Cpl) - (one stripe on right arm, if I
remember correctly. The other arm bears the
insignia of the Division to which the battalion is serving with)
Naik (Corporal) - (two stripes)
Havildar (Sergeant) - three stripes
Havildar-Major (Sergeant-Major) - (three stripes with
an Ashoka Lion on top).
There are a couple of other ranks in between that I'm not too sure
about - Company
Havildar-Major, Battalion Havildar-Major, etc. - I know some of them
wear an additional
insignia in the form of a leather bracelet with an Ashoka-Lion, not
sure of the details, though.
Junior-Commissioned Officers (JCOs):
This layer of ranks used to be called the Viceroy's Commissioned Officers
(VCOs) in the
British days. They are picked from the NCO ranks - in other words,
you don't get
commissioned automatically as a JCO, you have to pay your dues in
the ranks. In the old
days (and even nowadays) they served as a vital link between the officers
and the troops
Commissioned Officers (in this case, mostly Indian, and
there is stiff competition among the
(both coming from such different backgrounds, I guess they needed
old hands around to
make things run properly). They wear rank badges similar to commissioned
with an additional yellow-reb strip of ribbon on the epaulettes just
above the regimental
insignia) and are accorded a lot of the same respect.
Naib-Subedar (one star on shoulder epaulette)
Subedar-Major (Ashoka-Lion). The SM is one of the most
important figures in the battalion,
having had the longest service, many times longer than the Colonel's,
and is his close
confidant in many matters ranging from Regimental and Gorkha customs
and traditions, to
training, to welfare of the troops, etc.
officer candidates to get a commission in the Gorkhas) - they're more
or less the same as in
the British Army:
2 Lt. - one star
Lt. - two star
Captain - three stars
Major - Ashoka Lion
Lt. Col (2IC) - Ashoka Lion and one star (nickname
"Lamb" - since in case of any trouble
from higher-ups he's the first one to be "offered for sacrifice" )
Colonel (CO) - Ashoka Lion and two stars, with red
tabs on the collar and a red band on his
Gorkha-hat (nickname "Tiger" for obvious reasons)
|Here is a some commentary
directly from a retired Gurkha officer and historian:
In my time, although the British Officer (BO) rank and promotion
structure in Gurkha battalions was such that they always needed to bring
in a few extra captains or majors temporarily -- volunteers from British
regiments, who would definitely have thought of it as `an interesting posting'
for a while -- the great majority were home-grown, coming straight from Sandhurst
(or other officer training establishments that existed from time to time)
and spending their careers badged in the Regiment.
There were always plenty of candidates for commissions in the
Gurkha regiments, I guess because of their reputation for good discipline,
loyalty and fighting skills, and probably because they were usually in
the Far East, and this meant that regiments could be `picky'. In all, I
think the standard of officer WAS higher in Gurkha units, but I would not
want to exaggerate it. Above all, one should avoid the word `elite', either
for the officers or the men. There is only one truly elite part of the British
Army, and that is the SAS; the term is justified here because they can
take the best from other units. Regiments which recruit direct from the
population cannot really be called elite in my opinion.
That the Gurkhas were issued pretty much the same kit issued
to other commonwealth soldiers for the particular theater of operation
is broadly true. When I joined 10 GR in UK, we had 1944 Pattern webbing,
which had been designed for the Far East, but everyone else in UK and Germany
had the 1958 Pattern. Units in Hong Kong had older anti-tank platoon weapons
(old MOBAT then WOMBAT 120mm recoilless guns in my time, while in Europe
the MILAN missile was being issued).
The most exceptional piece of equipage apart from their khukuris
was their level of experience. On average the gurkha soldier served for
at least 15 years. He was chosen from 100s or thousands of applicants, this
is true, so perhaps `elite' is justified and his training was longer and
harder than the training provided to other commonwealth troops."
Only longer because they needed to learn more, including some
English (also such basics as how to use a knife and fork, and many other
To a young boy in Nepal during the 19th and early 20th centuries,
an appointment as a soldier in a Gurkha unit would have been a tremendous
accomplishment. They would have been set for life. This should
not be taken as meaning they would ever sit back having got on the bottom
rung of the ladder -- all wanted (and still do) to stay as long as possible
and be promoted as far as possible. Although at one level Gurkhas are very
good at accepting heirarchy, and always respect people older than themselves,
paradoxically they are very egalitarian among their peers, and often very
resentful when not picked for further promotion.
There is mention of the 'kookrie' as being an 'official
piece of equipment' as early as 1837. They are Gurkhas and they have always
carried a khukuri. No time periods are specified.
You take into combat what you need to get the job done. Inspections
and parades were probably a different story as to what to carry.
>The Caste System
The Hindu caste system is divided into four basic castes:
1) Bahun/Brahmin (highest, priestly caste)
2) Chhetri/Kshatriya (warrior/king caste -- King of
Nepal goes here, no military service that I know of but he inherited his
caste as all do)
3) Baishra/Vaishya (business caste -- Newaris and businessmen
4) Sudra (kamis, butchers, undertakers, janitors and
the like go here -- untouchables)
These basic castes are divided into subcastes. I never paid much attention
to it but I believe, for example, that a kami is a higher caste than
a butcher but both are still untouchables. The caste system has been outlawed
in both India and Nepal but it is still observed to some degree, especially
in rural areas. At one time it had a distinct effect on one's life. Examples:
intermarriage between castes was forbidden and even today in some rural
areas heavily frowned upon. The kami who made the khukuri that killed the
bear would not enter my father-in-law's home except for funeral or wedding
if invited. However, since the caste system was outlawed things have improved
and I believe today the Prime Minister of India is an untouchable.
A nasty practice in my opinion but in the old days it helped keep
social order and gave everyone in society a "place." Gorkhas were recruited
from every caste except the Newaris who were simply too busy making money
to make good Gorkhas. Buddhists, like my father-in-law, were for years
denied entry into Gorkha service, the notion being they were too peaceful
to make decent Gorkhas. But, after trying a few Buddhists it was found
that they are much like Christians --"thou shalt not kill" (except in the
line of duty).
BILL MARTINO 11/98
>Gurkha Training ??
The pictures to the left & below are provided courtesy of the British
Army Picture Library. They depict Gurkha recruits training with khukuris
during week six of their
basic infantry training at Catterick Army Base, North Yorkshire, UK.
These pictures demonstrate that some formal military training with the
khukuri currently exists.
Some time back we were having a fairly lively discussion regarding khukuri
training for Gorkhas. The Bando community seemed convinced there was rigorous
training. Sonam whose father was a Gorkha commander commented he had never
seen any formal training during his many years of living in Gorkha camps.
I knew that my father in law had a few combat moves but they were simple
-- head, gut, and thigh strikes but I had never asked him about formal training.
So, to put the record straight I asked my brother-in-law, Jeevan, to
survey at least 30 Gorkha vets, both old and young, back in Nepal, the
birthplace and home of the Gorkhas, and ask them what training they had
received in khukuri combat so we would have the real story straight from
the horses mouth, so to speak. Here is Jeevan's reply verbatim as he wrote
it in a bit stilted but I think comprehensible English and I have a couple
of explanatory comments in parenthesis tossed in. Here is what he wrote:
Sorry keeping you waiting for messages. Sometime my side
business makes me really crazy and I can not handle all the jobs immediately.
Anyway, here I come with some informations you asked in previous mail.
Nepali are not given a special training on Khukuri because Khukuri is one
of Nepal's national weapon. Further as Nepalese uses Khukuri on most of
the occasions, they don't think its in need to give them training on Khukuri.
Pala (father-in-law) had used Khukuri during his period (1950's) in Indian
Army for going to forest and cutting the bushes which blocked their way.
And he used it to chase away the dogs during patrolling time. In case of
the failure of rifle or in finishment of the bullets too he used Khukuri
against his enemy or say opponent. Whenever going on war, there'd be more
chances of hitting own opponent with bullets. So, in order to control mishappening
the Khukuries were used. I asked the same question with many Gorkhas for
which the reply was the same. The Gorkhas keeps the Khukuri with them all
along 24 hours although they have very modern weapons with them.
As may be it "Khukuri" a national weapon of Nepal is known
to be popular not only among ourselves but through the entire world. Even
today, the Khukuri plays a vital role in most of the wars no matter, the
scientific world have developed laser guided missiles. Khukuri to be seen
is nothing but a small iron weapon. But its usage and importance cannot
be denied by no body else. To say the way you have introduced Khukuri in
America is a real pride not only for us but for all the Nepalese and the
late Gorkhas. I will get more stories on Khukuri sooner or later to you
so that you will be well known about it.
So, there you have it, straight from Nepal, straight from 30 Gorkha vets,
both young and old. Unless we are foolish enough to call these former Gorkhas
liars then we must accept it as fact that there is no formal khukuri training
But a note of support for this lack of training. Remember the story I
told of Dende Sherpa, Yangdu's cousin, who whacked half an ear off a fellow
who had accused him of cheating? Obviously, Dende knew how to use his 15
inch Sirupati, quickly and accurately -- and he was never a Gorkha and never
had a single day of formal training with the khukuri. Also, we might consider
the farmer who killed the bear -- quite an accomplishment and he never
had any formal training with the khukuri. So, maybe they really don't need
any formal training.
--BILL MARTINO 1/14/99
One evening, in the hills of Nepal a couple of days north of Kathmandu,
I observed a woman slicing potatoes for the evening meal. She was using a
khukuri for the task.
A full sized khukuri is not the tool of choice for slicing potatoes.
Nevertheless, she was doing pretty well. She was slicing on a tall round
of wood, so her hand could be below the plane of the chopping block. She
was slicing them up as quickly as I do when I'm in the kitchen, but it
was fairly obvious that she would loose a potato slicing race with a French
chef using a chef’s knife.
She was probably using the only knife she owned. As I began to ponder
what else she could make that khukuri do, my thoughts went back to the other
people I had seen using them. People cutting bamboo, butchering chickens,
splitting firewood, preparing food. She could probably use her tool as
effectively for any of those jobs. Could she fight with it? A quick glance
up at her face reassured me that she was still smiling. Good thing, because
I doubt I could have outrun her.
When one grows up using a khukuri out of necessity one learns how to
use it well. And, in the hands of a highly motivated user the khukuri,
like any tool such as an axe, screwdriver or hammer, can quickly turn into
a very effective weapon.
--BILL MARTINO 2/21/99
As Pala mentioned most of his Gorkha service was devoted to keeping the
integrity of international borders and a few special ops assignments because
of his language ability.
Pala's usual confrontations were with people wanting to jump the border
or smuggle contraband. His job was simply to stop them. Most of the time
a fellow in Gorkha garb with an M-3 and khukuri who says "you can't do this"
was enough. On a few occasions where profit from smuggling was high enough
they might argue the issue. Pala couldn't draw down on them and shoot them
so he would draw the khukuri and say again, "you are not going to do this."
Killing a man and chopping off a limb are two completely different things.
Pala had developed the mind set, looked the guy right in the eyes, and made
his stand. As Pala puts it, "lucky for me maybe they all ran away."
My khukuri self defense consisted of a strong offense of only three moves
-- a head strike, gut strike, or leg strike. I always looked into the eyes
of the opponent because they seemed to tell me what he was going to do
-- perhaps lucky for me he always ran away. And, I conditioned my thinking
to make myself to be willing to trade up -- I would trade a finger for a
hand, a hand for an arm, and, of course, an arm for a head.
I have several customers who carry a khukuri concealed for defensive
purposes. Every man has made or had made a shoulder rig which allows him
to carry the knife under his arm, under a jacket. The usual khukuri of choice
for this purpose is a 12 inch Sirupati.
When Yangdu was a young girl and used to travel to India to visit relatives
she would ride what is called the "night bus." The male passengers would
often try to become amorous with female passengers during the darkness of
night so Yangdu would always tape a small 9 inch khukuri to the inside of
her thigh. If she was approached she would reach under her anghi
(long Sherpa dress) and whip out her little khukuri. Her stock phrase was,
"if you want to keep that hand then keep it off me."
The kukri, a short, curved, broad-bladed, and heavy knife, is the real
weapon of the Gurkas, and it is worn by all from the highest to the lowest.
In out regiments they are carried in a frog attached to the waist-belt.
From the beginning of the handle to the end, or spear point of the blade
they average about 20 inches in length.
Where wood is plentiful, they are very fond of practicing cutting with
the kukri, and they will cut down with one blow a tree the size of an ordinary
A really skillful cutter will cut off slice after slice from the end
of a piece of green wood, each slice being thicker than an ordinary piece
of shoe leather. They call this 'chinnu', 'to slice off'.
--Vansittart (circa 1890 )
>Using a Khukuri
Ever since I was stationed as a liason officer
to a Soviet intellegence unit in Kashmir in the middle-to-late 60s, I have
been a fan of the khukuri. In India I also found other very important things
such as God, meditation, and yoga--all of which have helped me survive.
Of course the various guns and knives I have carried over the years have,
at times, helped me survive also. One definitely needs inner as well as
outer survival skills in my opinion.
But back to khukuris. In my opinion, they make an excellent close-quarters
weapon as well as excellent and durable field knives and choppers.
Before I begin about the battle worthiness of the khukuri, I would like
to say several important things. First of all even in special forces operations,
field knives are used 99-100% of the time for mundane tasks such as bush
clearing, shelter buiding, firewood gathering, opening crates and cans,
and as a pry bar. A well-made khukuri is excellent for all of this. Secondly
one tends to fight best with the weapons one frequently trains with. If you
are a revolver shooter and someone hands you a $3,000 custom 1911, you won't
shoot it as well as the revolver until you practice sufficiently with it.
The same goes with fighting knives (IMO).
As I don't know how much training background you have in stopping determined
attackers, I will talk a little bit about how such people are usually stopped
along with the khukuri's fighting assets.
1. Severing the spinal column is usually the most reliable way to stop
a determined attacker. Whatever is below this area is paralyzed. The neck
is the best area as this paralyzes the arms. Because of the curved blade,
the khukuri excells at this. Lower hits will cause a person to fall down,
thus making them an easier target. The khukuri, as well as any heavy (1+
lbs.) slashing blade does this job very well.
2. Smashing the skull if done with a heavy blow will,at the least, usually
stun if not stop an opponent. Howver I don't know how it might affect large
animals like bears, etc. But if such an opportunity presents itself, the
khukuri will do a good job--as will any heavy blade.
3. Severing or breaking shoulder bones and limbs are also good ways to
stop or at least slow down a fight. A severed limb is enough to make any
but the toughest, most determined opponent stop. If it doesn't, the loss
of blood will lower the blood pressure in 3-4 minutes so that the brain
will not receive oxygen, and the oponent will pass out. Smashed bones also
disable tactical necessities like hands an feet. The khukuri's curved blade
excels at dismemberment. However any sharp heavy blade will do the job also.
3. Making wounds (thrust or slash) that will result in rapid blood loss.
Slashing major veins and arteries can be done with any knife, but the heavier
and longer the knife, the better. The khukuri's curved blade excells at
this. All heavy knives do well also. However one of the most deadly moves
in a knife fight is the reverse cut; this is where long heavy Bowie knives
and naval cutlasses dominate. A reverse move can also be done with a khukuri,
but because of its dull spine, it will only break or smash bone; whereas
a heavy double bladed knife can cut deeply and perhaps even can severe a
Thrusting deep into vital organs will also cause severe blood loss. This
puts the khukuri at a slight disadvantage. Because the tip is significantly
lower that the line of thrust, it is harder to hit the exact spot being
aimed at. Again bowie knives, cutlasses, parangs, etc. do this job more
easily. However the khukuri is not at such a disadvantage as many think
it is. When I spar with others and make a thrust, the point I am aiming
at is seldom there as my rubber bladed knife tip makes contact with my adversary's
skin. However when I use my real khukuri and quick thrust at a marked point
on a box, I find that the point is an inch or so off, whereas while using
a straight blade, I almost always hit the spot I aiming for. However in the
heat of battle, I think this might be a moot point.
I have also seen khukuris penetrate Level IIA body armour with a hard
thrust, but of course, it couldn't slash itself through--but then neither
could a full-size sword.
---'Lone Tree' 11/01
| From the 2003 annual Khukuri
Khonvention (in Reno, Nevada):
Duvon prefers and uses the 18" WWII model and this is the one he almost
"insists" his students use.
Duvon is a 6th degree black belt with 20+ years in martial arts and just
a hell of a guy. Been an HI nephew for a dozen+ years.
He has entered the Monk system of Bando at this stage of his life -- khukuris,
kick boxing, agression are history now. He teaches but no longer practices
The Bando Monk system is the end result of most martial arts worth their
salt. Meditation, yoga, spiritual pursuits are now foremost. In the Bando
Monk system a monk can use his staff, sash, and a rope with rocks or knots
at each end (I call it the Bando bolo) for defensive purposes only. The
Monk system is the manifestation of the realization that there are more
important pursuits in life than killing or maiming.
--Uncle Bill, March 2003
L to R Pala, Duvon, Uncle Bill -- Duvon presenting
Uncle with a Bando shirt
L to R Pala, Duvon, Lama Jigme -- Duvon listening to a question/comment
from conferees. His answers were always very informative
The other four pics of Duvon in action demonstrating
different stances, Offensive Techiques, striking methods, defensive techniques,
defined in the handout. I would have to refer to my notes, study handout
and try to define specifically each pic, but hopefully you get the general
was kind enough to be used as an opponent several times. Josh lying flat
on floor, Duvon getting ready to neutralize him to the next dimension. Duvon
is demonstrating one of the 'zones' in the chest area and I believe, the beginning
of extraction/ Rend (push), rotate (pull), run (pry)
>Photos From the
National Musuem of Nepal:
Here is the battle dress of an ancient Gorkha. This leather outfit
supposedly belonged to and was worn in battle by Prithivi Narayan Shah,
King of Gorkha, first King of Nepal, and organizer of the world's first
Gorkha fighting force. The uniform looks as though it has been through some
pretty tough times and if Prithivi took the shots as shown on his trousers
it must have been in a few very painful encounters. Notice the heavy duty
Some ancient Gorkha weapons
>Great old pictures from "The Navy
and Army Illustrated", July 24th, 1896.
5th Gurkha Regiment & 72nd Highlanders
(1878 Northwest Frontier)
[ from the Illustrated London News
Gurkhas & Highlanders at Tirah (Northwest Frontier)