11 Interesting Things About Gurkhas

Brigade of Gurkhas - elite Nepalese soldiers
Brigade of Gurkhas – elite Nepalese soldiers (Photo: XY)

The Gurkhas soldiers are considered as one of the most fearsome, courageous, and bravest warriors on the planet. They are the nightmare of every intruder, terrorists who glare our borders with a wrong intention. They are one of the most feared soldiers in the world, who have won the respects of even their enemies. They are part of the British Army, the Brigade of Gurkhas.

11 Interesting Things About Gurkhas
11 Interesting Things About Gurkhas: Brigade of Gurkhas, part of the British Army (Photo: XY)

Once Napoleon said, “If I had an army of Gurkhas with me, then I would conquer the whole world”. So impressed with the fighting skills and valor, the Gurkhas are always the cutting edge of our Armed forces. Here is a list of 11 interesting facts about Gurkhas:

Fighting spirit

About 200 years ago, the British were at war with Nepal in the Anglo-Nepal Wars. However, after fighting the Brits were impressed by the fighting spirit of Nepalese hill-soldiers of Nepal.

Fitness

By growing up in the hills of Nepal, the Gurkhas body is on a different level than ours. An example is, in Britain, there is an annual race across the South Downs called the Trailwalker 100km. The fastest a British team can hope to complete it in is around 12 or 13 hours, while the Gurkhas can do it in 8 and a half hours… Guess who’s winning each year?

Kukri Knife

Every Gurkha soldier has given a special knife – Kukri/Khukuri. Some of the hardest earned Gurkha Victoria Crosses (of which there are many!) could not have been won without the aid of the trusty Khukuri. One thing’s for sure, you don’t want to be the enemy when the Khukuris are out of their sheaths!

Multilingual

Due to the tribal nature of Nepal, Nepali is usually the second language of most Nepalese Gurkhas after their main caste language. But they can also speak English, and probably Hindi as well. So most Nepalese Gurkhas, as well as being extremely skilled in combat and survival techniques, are also fluent in at least four languages

Incredible hosts

As well as being fearsome fighters, Gurkhas are also incredible hosts. They really are desperate to make sure that you never, ever go without. It would be unusual for a British Gurkha Officer – who is also known as a Saheb – or another guest of the Nepalese soldiers to ever get to the bottom of their glass before it is refilled.

Religion

As Gurkhas are usually Hindu, or Buddhist, or occasionally both, religion is very important. And, part of that religiosity is the sacrificing of animals.

Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officers

There are two Gurkha officers who directly attend official state and key events with the Queen. They are called the Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officers, and they’ve been present at all state affairs since the Gurkha’s introduction during Queen Victoria’s reign. They are appointed as Members of the Royal Victorian Order.

Not only infantry

Although Gurkhas are most commonly associated with the Infantry, the British Army also has Gurkha Engineers, Signallers, and Logisticians.

Meal of Gurkhas

Most meals are still based on the Nepalese ‘Dal Bhat’ – national rice and lentil soup – which is accompanied by intensely hot chillis that are eaten raw. Almost all Gurkhas are good butchers. Do not befriend the goat that has been brought into the lines by one of the Gurkhas. He is not – like the Royal Welch – the new mascot. He is the accompaniment to the rice and chillis!

Recruitment

It is well known that selection for the Parachute Regiment or the Royal Marines is very tough but, if a Nepalese man wants to join the Gurkhas, they have to go through a process before they even get to come to Britain – and only 200 are selected at the end of each cycle.

Most Decorated Regiment in the British Army

This one is a bonus – The Gurkha brigade has won 26 Victoria Crosses, 13 Victoria Crosses were awarded to British officers, 13 were won by the Gurkha soldiers themselves.

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