A journey from Gorkha Sainik to Nepalese Army..
28th June, 2021
NEPAL IS AN ANCIENT COUNTRY AND ITS ARMY IS VERY OLD …
Namaste from Nepal. I hope all is well out there for you and you all are keeping safe and sound. During these lockdown days I had some free time so thought why not do a little history on the legandard army and its amazing journey. I hope you would enjoy this small write up and help you know a little more about our prestigious national army.
Your kukri guy,
Saroj Lama Tamang (SLT)
Founder and MD of KHHI nepal
Ancient history of Nepal is shrouded by mystery and assumptions. Its very sketchy with no hard evidence except for the few mentions in some scriptures. Even its territory is a thing of imagination. It is believed to have existed somewhere on the northern part of today’s India touching the foothills of the Himalayas between Kumaon in West and Assam in East.
Many dynasties ruled Nepal starting from Gopal from ca 1500 BCE right till the middle ages of the Malla period but unfortunately establishment of army, its classification and activities have never been found or discovered to prove or authenticate its presence. There were numerous kingdoms, principalities and princely states in pre-Nepal period so its obvious each domain had its own army that was hugely required to defend and attack. However, this is clearly an assumption which cannot be verified independently. It was not until the establishment of the Shah dynasty in the early 16th century some evidence of army presence (involvement) can be traced back.
Drabya Shah, the 2nd son of the 1st king of the Shah dynasty, in mid-1550’s had prepared a good size of army, armor and intelligence to invade Liglig kingdom and then later Gorkha. Nevertheless the hard evidence comes much later in ca 1742-43 when the great king Prithivi Narayan Shah geared up for his ambitious plan of unification and expansion of his kingdom. He prepared a large number of army and even brought in foreign manpower, materials and intelligence. His army was well trained and equipped, and well organized than anyone we know today. This is the first well documented army establishment and involvement in the history of Nepal army. It was then called the mighty “Gorkhali Sainik (Gorkha Army)” which is actually the source of Nepal Army.
Soon the army was battle-ready and attacked Nuwakot in the east of its adjoining territory in 1744 which was a grand success. Different army battalions like the Shree Nath, Shree Kali Buksh, Shree Barda Bahadur, Shree Sabuj and Shree Purano Gorakh Battalion were raised to further systematized and strengthen the Gorkha Force.
Later in early 1760’s the famous kingdom of Nepal comprising Kirtipur, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Kantipur which was ruled by the Mallas were attacked by the Gorkhali Sainik one after the other through very clever and strategic manner, and by deploying huge army might. Finally Nepal caved in and fell in the hands of Gorkha in 1768-69. The new expanded kingdom of Gorkha was now named as NEPAL and its army the NEPAL ARMY. The Gorkha force, now Nepal Army, carried on with its unification campaign and territory expansion even after the death of king Prithivi until it met with the British Army and a peace treaty was signed. Nepal Army then the legendary Gorkha Army has been in active service for the crown and the people since early 18th century till today.
Some vintage images of Nepal and its army >>