Gurkha


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Gurkha

(go͝or`kə), ethnic group of NepalNepal
, independent nation (2005 est. pop. 27,677,000), c.54,000 sq mi (139,860 sq km), central Asia. Landlocked and isolated by the Himalayas, Nepal is bordered on the west, south, and east by India, and on the N by the Tibet region of China. Katmandu is the capital.
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 and neighboring areas. They claim descent from the RajputsRajputs
[Sanskrit,=son of a king], dominant people of Rajputana, an historic region now almost coextensive with the state of Rajasthan, NW India. The Rajputs are mainly Hindus (although there are some Muslim Rajputs) of the warrior caste; traditionally they have put great value
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 of N India and entered Nepal from the west after being driven from India. They conquered (early 16th cent.) the small Nepalese state of Gurkha (or Gorkha) and henceforth called themselves Gurkhas. They expanded eastward, and by the mid-18th cent. had established their authority over all of Nepal. Their invasion of Tibet in 1791 brought Chinese retaliation, and a war (1814–16) with the British in India resulted in bringing strong British influence to Nepal. The Gurkhas, predominantly Tibeto-Mongolians, speak Khas, a Rajasthani dialect of Sanskritic origin. Under the Gurkha dynasty, Hinduism became the state religion of Nepal. Gurkhas in the region around DarjeelingDarjeeling
or Darjiling
, town (1991 pop. 73,062), West Bengal state, NE India, near the border of Sikkim state. Its most famous product is tea, a major cash crop in the region.
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 in West Bengal state, India, have agitated for a separate state. Gurkhas have served in the armies of India and of Great Britain; 33 battalions served alongside the British in World War I, and 45 battalions in World War II. Gurkha soldiers bear the famed kukri, a short curved sword.

Bibliography

See studies by H. James and D. Sheil-Small (1965) and D. L. Bolt (1967, repr. 1969).

Gurkha

a member of a Hindu people, descended from Brahmins and Rajputs, living chiefly in Nepal, where they achieved dominance after being driven from India by the Muslims
References in periodicals archive ?
PRINCE Harry greets the Queen as they honour Gurkhas at a special pageant celebrating the regiment's 200 years of service.
The concert at De Montfort Hall on September 14 will raise funds for elderly and infirm Gurkhas in Nepal.
The Gurkha SUV packs features like Chrome finished stainless steel intake snorkel, factory fitted air conditioner and power steering and new grille and bumper.
The loss of these soldiers is a huge blow to The Royal Gurkha Rifles and everyone serving in Task Force Helmand.
Now the Coalition is looking at massive cuts to the Army to slash spending - and once more the Gurkhas are at risk.
GURKHAS yesterday claimed they were being unfairly targeted for cuts after the Ministry of Defence announced around one in 10 posts in the brigade will be axed.
The soldier came from Rajghat, Morang in Nepal, and followed in his father''s footsteps by becoming a Gurkha soldier.
The Rushmoor Borough Council comprises about 10 percent of Nepalese population, following the 2009 legal ruling, which allowed Gurkha soldiers who had retired before 1997, to settle in the area.
In India, a Gurkha sergeant who had been "RIF'd" into early retirement was back at work with a promotion, three new decorations and a 50,000-rupee award in his bank account, wondering what all the fuss was about.
As part of the Gurkha Welfare Fund it enjoys the patronage of HRH Prince of Wales.
From 1857 onwards the Gurkha regiments saw service in Burma, Afghanistan, the North-East and North-West Frontiers of India, Malta, Cyprus, Malaya, China and in various key battles in the First and Second World Wars.
A group of Gurkhas including Corporal Man Bahadur Limbu and Corporal Asha Bir Rai deserted the British Army, the 10 Gurkha Rifles, and joined the Chinese Army in Yunnan where they served as drill instructors.