In this article, we will provide you with information about the Kumaon Regiment – its brief history, units, officers of the Kumaon Regiment, Battle Honours, Gallantry Awards, and more. Read the full article if you want more information about the same.
About Kumaon Regiment
The Kumaon Regiment is one of the most honored and highly decorated regiments of the Indian army. It is one of the Indian Army’s oldest infantry regiments and is known for its bravery and courage.
The regiment has fought in all the major military activities of the British Indian Army and the Indian army, which also includes the two world wars. It is also the first regiment to be awarded the prestigious Param Vir Chakra.
Brief History and Origin of the Kumaon Regiment
The Kumaon Regiment was established in the British reign in 1813. Sir Henry Russell, a British officer, is given credit for the establishment of the Kumaon Regiment.
The roots and origin of the Kumaon regiment are believed to be from Hyderabad. It was a part of the Hyderabad regiment for 20 years, and the Kumaon regiment, collectively with the 19 regiments of the Nizam, fought many major battles at that time.
Later, its name was designated as the Nizam contingent. In 1903, the regiment was declared an integral part of the Indian army. However, in October 1954, the name was redesignated as the Kumaon regiment.
The official symbol of the Kumaon regiment consists of a lion holding a cross sign. The symbolism of this is – that lion is considered to be fearless, brave, and the king of the jungle. Similarly, this symbol represents the fearless attitude, emotion, and courage of the Kumaon regiment.
The soldiers of the Kumaon do not fear anything, and they are ready to face anything. In fact, before the independence of India in 1947, the soldiers of this regiment sacrificed their lives in major battles.
Even in the Anglo-Nepal war, the Kumaon regiment fought from the Gorkha and the British side. They also served for the British East India Company and were a part of some of their major campaign.
The regimental centre of the Kumaon regiment is located in Ranikhet, Uttrakhand. Besides the serene beauty and beautiful tourist spots, Uttarakhand is also famous as it has given a lot of brave warriors to the Indian army.
The soldiers go through rigorous and tough training in the training center here. After their training is completed, they serve according to their posting.
The soldiers for the training are selected through the Kumaon division and also from parts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.
War Cry and Motto of the Kumaon Regiment
Their War Cry is Kalika Mata Ki Jai which means Victory to the Great Goddess Kali, and the motto is Parakramo Vijayate (Valour Triumphs).
The Kumaon Regiment also has a nickname – Creed of the Man-Eaters and their size is 20 Battalion.
The Battles Fought by the Kumaon Regiment
World War I
The first Kumaoni battalions were raised in 1917 as the 19th Kumaon. Later in 1918, the first was given a new designation of the 1st battalion. In 1918, a 2nd battalion was also raised, which was later dissolved in 1923.
The Hyderabad Contingent fought bravely and consisted of mixed Kumaoni, Jats, Ahirs, and Deccan Muslims. Later in 1922, the six regiments of the Hyderabad Contingent were redesignated as the 19th Hyderabad Regiment.
In 1923, 1/50th Kumaon Rifles became a part of the 9th Hyderabad Regiment as the 1st Kumaon Rifles.
World War II
In 1939, there were four battalions in the 19th Hyderabad Regiment. The battalions were – 1st (Russell’s) and 2nd (Berar). 4th, and The Kumaon Rifles. There were eight more battalions that became a part of the 19th Hyderabad Regiment during the war.
The 19th Hyderabad Regiment fought in the Middle East, North African campaign, Persia, Battle of Malaya, Battle of Singapore, and Burma campaign.
Indo-Pakistani War (1947- 48)
1 Kumaon and 4 Kumaon went to Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the war. The Kumaonis fought gallantly and stopped the Pakistani intruders from entering Kashmir. The 1st and the 4th Kumaon were honored as the saviors of Kashmir.
Major Somnath Sharma was given the prestigious honor of Param Vir Chakra. The Kumaon Regiment was the first to receive this highest honor and recognition.
Which are the other major campaigns of which the Kumaon Regiment was a part?
- Sino-Indian War of 1962 (Battle of Walong)
- Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 – Battle of Kumaon Hill, 3rd Kumaon (Rifles), Battle of Maharajke, Battle of Chhamb
- Indo-Pakistan War of 1971
- Operation Meghdoot
- Operation Pawan
- Kargil War
Units of the Kumaon Regiment
- 2nd Battalion (Berar)
- 3rd Battalion (Battle of Sharon & Kumaon Rifles)
- 4th Battalion (The Fighting Fourth/ First PVC Paltan)
- 5th Battalion
- 6th Battalion
- 7th Battalion
- 8th Battalion
- 9th Battalion
- 11th Battalion
- 12th Battalion
- 13th Battalion
- 15th Battalion (former Indore State Infantry, Imperial Service Troops
- 16th Battalion
- 17th Battalion (Bhaduria Paltan)
- 18th Battalion
- 19th Battalion
- 20th Battalion
- 21st Battalion
- 1st Battalion is now 3rd Battalion
- 10th Battalion is now the Kumaon Regimental Centre
- 14th Battalion (former Gwalior State Infantry, Imperial Service Troops) is now 5th Battalion
- Three battalions of the Naga Regiment, a Navy ship, and an Air Force Squadron now have affiliation with the Kumaon Regiment.
Gallantry Awards of the Kumaon Regiment
The Gallantry awards of the Kumaon Regiment are –
- 2 Param Vir Chakras
- 4 Ashok Chakras
- 6 Kirti Chakras
- 15 Maha Vir Chakras
- 78 Vir Chakras
- 1 Vir Chakra & Bar
- 2 Uttam yudh Seva Medals
- 127 Sena Medals
- 23 Shaurya Chakras
- 2 Sena Medals and Bar
- 24 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals
- 8 Param Vishisht Seva Medals
- 36 Vishisht Seva Medals
Param Vir Chakra
- Major Somnath Sharma (posthumous), 4 Kumaon (Badgam) – Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
- Major Shaitan Singh (posthumous), 13 Kumaon (Rezang La)- Sino-Indian War
- Ashok Chakra
- Major Bhukant Mishra (posthumous), 15 Kumaon – Operation Blue Star
- Nk. Nirbhay Singh (posthumous), 15 Kumaon – Operation Blue Star
- Sub. Sujjan Singh (posthumous), 13 Kumaon
- Nk. Rambeer Singh Tomar (posthumous), 15 Kumaon
Maha Vir Chakra
- Lt. Col. Dharam Singh – Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
- Sep. Man Singh (posthumous) – Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
- Nk. Nar Singh (posthumous) – Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
- Sep. Dewan Singh – Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
- Maj. Malikiat Singh Brar (posthumous) – Indo-Pakistan War of 1947
- Brig. (later General) Tapishwar Narayan Raina – Sino-Indian War
Kumaon Regiment Officers
- Maj. Gen. S.B. Pope, DSO, CB – 28 August 1931 to 31 May 1949
- Gen. K.S. Thimayya, Padma Bhushan, DSO – 1 June 1949 to 8 May 1961
- Lt. Gen. Kanwar Bahadur Singh, MBE – 16 May 1961 to 15 May 1971
- Gen. T.N. Raina, Padma Bhushan, MVC – 16 May 1971 to 31 May 1978
- Lt. Gen. P.N. Kathpalia, PVSM, AVSM – 1 June 1978 to 31 October 1985
- Lt. Gen. R.N. Mahajan, PVSM, AVSM – 1 November 1985 to 31 July 1991
- Lt. Gen. D.D. Saklani, PVSM, AVSM – 1 August 1991 to 31 December 1993
- Lt. Gen. M.M. Lakhera, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC – 1 June 1994 to 31 October 1995
- Maj. Gen. Surendra Shah, VrC, VSM – 1 November 1995 to 31 July 2001
- Maj. Gen. A.K. Sarwate AVSM – 1 August 2001 to 28 February 2003
- Lt. Gen. A.S. Bahia, PVSM, AVSM – 1 March 2003 to April 2006
- Lt. Gen. Satyevir Yadav, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM – May 2006 to December 2007
- Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash, PVSM, AVSM, VSM – January 2008 to January 2010
- Lt Gen. NC Arun Parashar, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM – February 2010 to May 2013
- Lt. Gen. Om Prakash, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM – June 2013 to 30 April 2015
- Lt. Gen. Bobby Mathews (general), PVSM, AVSM, VSM – 1 May 2015 to 28 February 2017
- Lt. Gen. B.S. Sahrawat, SM – 28 February 2017 to 2019
- Lt. Gen. Rana Pratap Kalita 2019 to date
So this was all about the Kumaon Regiment – the honors, awards and recognitions, officers, motto, campaigns, and more about it. I hope this article seemed helpful to you.