23: 9th Gurkha Rifles

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Badges of 9th Gurkha Rifles

9th Gurkha Rifles

The 9 Gorkha Rifles is a Gorkha regiment of the Indian Army. The regiment was one of the Gurkha regiments transferred to the Indian Army after independence as part of the tripartite agreement. This Gorkha regiment dominantly recruits soldiers from Bahun, Chhetri (Kshatriya) and Thakuri clans. Domiciled Indian Gorkhas are also taken, who form about 20 percent of the total strength of the regiment.


The history of the 9 Gorkha Rifles dates back to 1817, when it was raised at Infantry Levy at Fatehgarh as Fatehgarh Levy. In 1823, it became 63rd Regiment a regular unit as part of the Bengal Native Infantry. After the reorganisations post-1857, the designation was changed to 9th Bengal Native Infantry with one of its companies formed by Gorkhas and other hillmen. By then the Regiment had fought at Bhartpur and in the difficult Battle of Sobraon in the First Anglo-Sikh War.

By 1893, the regiment became a wholly Gorkha unit of Khas origin,ie; those who were more closely linked to Hindu ways as compared to the Buddhist ways. In 1903, the Regiment was designated 9th Gurkha Rifles.

9 GR fought in the Great War in Europe and in the inter war years took part in the operations in the North West Frontier. In World War II, it fought in Italy and North Africa. The 3/9 GR and 4/9 GR formed part of the Chindit operations in Burma, and earned a reputation in the long range penetration operations.

Post Independence

India gained its independence in 1947 and 9 Gorkha Rifles was one of six Gurkha regiments (out of 10) to be allocated to the Indian Army as part of the Tripartite Agreement between Britain, India and Nepal. Since 1947 the regiment has fought in the 1962 Indo-China War, the 1/9 GR fought under the most demanding conditions on the Namka Chu in (Arunachal Pradesh). The Regiment was also involved in the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.

Titles of the Regiment and its Predecessor

(1817–1819) Fatagarh Levy
(1819–1824) Mianpuri Levy
(1824–1861) 63rd Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
(1861–1885) 9th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
(1885–1894) 9th Regiment of Bengal Infantry
(1894–1901) 9th (Gurkha Rifle) Bengal Infantry
(1903–1947) 9th Gurkha Rifles
(1950–present) 9 Gorkha Rifles

Battle honours

  • Pre Independence

Bharatpur, Sabraon, Afghanistan ( 1879–80), Punjab Frontier, La Bassee, Festubert, Armentiers, Givenchy, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Laos, France and Flanders, Tigris, Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia, Djebel-el-Maida, Djebel Garci, Ragoubet Scuissi, Chindit, Tavoleto, Hangman’s Hill, San Marino, Baghdad and Cassino.

Victoria Cross recipients

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