Brief History of 11 GR
Partition of India in 1947, also resulted in the division of the Armed Forces between India & Pakistan. At that point in time, there were ten Gurkha Regiments in the British Indian Army with two Battalions each. As per the Tripartite Agreement between the Govt of India, Govt of Nepal and His majersty’s Govt at Kathmandu on 09 Nov 1947, it was decided to transfer to the British Army all Volunteers from regular Battalions of 2nd, 6th, 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles. Remaining six Gurkha Regiments i.e 1st,3rd , 4th, 5th , 8th, and 9th were to continue serving with the Indian Army. Troops of 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles comprised mainly the Rais and Limbus of Eastern Nepal.
A referendum was held wherein the troops from 7th and 10th Gurkha Rifles opted against the transfer to the British Army in large numbers. 2/7 GR, located at Santa Craz, Bombay, as a whole opted against transfer to British Army. Since, there were no Gurkha Regiments left in Indian Army with Troops hailing from Eastern Nepal and, keeping their fighting qualities in mind it was decided to raise the 11th Gorkha Rifles.
The Regiment’s man power comprises mainly, Rais, Limbus, and Tamang, tribes of Eastern Nepal with a small sprinkling of Sunwars and Sherpas etc. It is a matter of great pride for this small Regiment that they have given two Chiefs, of Defence Staff to the Country ; Padma Vibhushan Gen Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM,YSM, SM, VSM, ADC and Gen Anil Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM .
Besides two COAS i.e Padma Bhushan Gen GG Bewoor, PVSM, and Padma Vibhushan Gen Bipin Rawat, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, ADC , the Regiment has the record number of five Army Commanders i.e Gen GG Bewoor, Lt Gen RD Hira, Gen Bipin Rawat, Lt Gen Anil Chauhan and Lt Gen AK Singh and many other two and three star Generals.
The chequered history of 11 Gorkha Rifles is replete with feats of courage, valour and sacrifice. Battalions of 11 Gorkha Rifles have participate in practically all operations undertaken by Indian Army since Independence, ie, J&K (1947), Hyderabad (1948), Indo-China War (1962), Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 971, IPKF, Sri Lanka (1987), Kargil War (1999) and recent standoff with China in 2020-21. Besides, all the Battalions have excelled in Counter-Insurgency and Counter-Terrorism operations in North East and Jammu & Kashmir, UN Mission assignments and aid to civil authorities during natural calamities.
As a result of its dedicated and selfless service in war and peace, the Regiment has earned a number of Honours and Awards including Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Sena Medal, Mention-in Despatches as also Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, UYSM, YSM PVSM, AVSM, VSM and the Title of Bravest of the Brave. Regimental Centre and the Battalions have been conferred with Unit Citation of COAS and Army Commanders as also the Appreciation of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The Territorial Army (TA) Battalion has won the Best TA Bn COAS Silver Trophy twice. These Honours and Awards bear ample testimony to the unparalleled dedication and commitment of our valiant Kirantis.
Our officers, JCOs and Men have made the supreme sacrifice and laid down their lives in the service of the nation. We salute these “Bravehearts” and appreciate their courage and valour.
In the field of Games, sports and Adventure also the regiment has been in the forefront, especially in football, Boxing and shooting at National and International level. Sub Maj (Hony Capt) KRM Rai, SM, participated in Skiing in Olympics in Canada in 1988 and Padma Shri Sub Maj Jitu Rai, SM, VSM, participated in shooting in Olympics in Rio-2016. The Regimental has also shown their acumen in adventure sports having put their men atop many challenging peaks of the Himalayas, including Mt Everest and have undertaken White Water Rafting expeditions in the turbulent rivers including Mandakini and Teesta.
We thank our Burohs for their invaluable contributions as a result of which the regiment has carved a well-earned niche for itself in the annals of Indian Army and the Kirantis continue their march 140 steps per minute !!