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Who are Gurkhas

Gurkhas:The Fact, details and origins of Gurkhas and VC Winner:

Much of the question has been answered in reference to the Khukuri because without one the other is nothing. The appellation Gurkha by now the other name for valor, courage, steadfastness, loyalty, neutrality and impartiality come from the small principality of Gurkha, which by the middle of the 18th century had conquered most of what is today known as Nepal. Prithivi Narayan Shan the king of Gorkha and his successors became so powerful that they overran the whole of the hill country from the border of Kashmir to the east of Bhutan. Turning south, they began to raid into the territories of Britain’s Honorable East India Company. This was a situation that could not be tolerated by “John Company”, which declared war against the Gurkhas in 1814. There followed a series of bloody campaigns until a peace treaty was signed in the spring of 1816. The British, after seeing how bravely these small statured Gorkhalis fought and also with the possession of most of the quality that makes an ideal infantrymen, they made a provision in the treaty to recruit them in the British Army as the Brigade of Gurkhas. Since then many Nepalese, mostly the Rai’s , Limbus, Gurungs and Magar have served and still serve in the British Army. Their courage, sincerity and loyalty have won them praise and friendship from their counterparts and fear and respect from their enemies. For their valor, many Gurkha soldiers have been decorated with medals of honor, including the Victoria Cross, the highest military honors for bravery in the British Army.

Few Gurkha Tales

During one battle in Italy, Rifleman Jagatbahadur, a runner of C Company of the 2/7th, passed a message through a hole to two soldiers in a cellar. When a voice thanked him in German he knew he had made a mistake, so he passed them a live grenade.

At the battle of the Sangro, Jemadar Ram Singh Rana, intellienge officer of the 1/5th, has just set up his section to work on maps in a deserted house when heard sounds coming from the cellar. He and his men put down their pencils and drew their kukris. Downstairs they found and killed nine Germans. Ram Singh and his clerks then cleaned their kukris and picked up their pencils as calmly as if they had interrupted their work for lunch.

Not long after the capture of Passano Ridge a group of 2/10th Gurkhas collided with a party of Germans. In true Gurkha style, Rifleman Ganjabahadur Rai charged with his naked kukri and engaged a six foot tall German who tried to fend him off with his rifle. Ganjabahadur broke though his guard and hacked him to death. (The German rifle with marks of kukri slashes on it was picked up and is still in the possession of the 10th Gurkhas.) Having killed one man, Ganjabahadur turned and sliced another from his neck to his hip before a party of Germans comning onto his flank killed him.

Fourteen Victoria Crosses have been won by Gurkha Regiments.

Some of the Legendary story of GurkhaVC Winners:

Ram Bahadur limbu:

Rambahadur's unit, C Company of the 2/10th, had found the Indonesians strongly entrehched in platoon strength on top of a steep hill on their own side of the frontier. The only approach to the position was along a knife-edge ridge that would allow only three men to move abreast. Leading his support group, Rambahadur could cee a sentry and a machine gun in the nearest trench. He inched forward until about ten yards from the trench when the sentry saw him and fired, hitting his friend, Bijuliparsad Rai, who was on his right. 'I saw blood on his face', said Rambahadur later. 'As soon as I saw his blood, my own blood began to boil. I swore that the enemy would pay for this with their blood. Blood for blood and nothing but blood would settle this account. For a few moments I could think of nothing else'.
Running forward Rambahadur jumped into the trench and killed the sentrym but the enemy was now alerted and concentrated a heavy fire by automatic weapons on the attackers, particularly on the trench held alone by Rambahadur. Realizing that he could not support his platoon from this position, he left the comparative safet of the trench, collected his fire group, and led them to a better position forward. He then tried shouting and mking hand signals to indicate his intentions to his platoon commander, but the clatter of machine guns and the roar of exploding grenades made this impossible, so he again moved into the open to report.
It was while reporting to his platoon commander that he saw two younf riflemen of his platoon lying seriouly wounded in an explsed position. He began his rescue attempt cautiously, at a crawl, but on coming under extreml heavy fire from two machine guns he decided that only speed would succeed; he jumped to his feet and ran, Hurling himself on the ground beside one of the men, he called for support from two light machine guns. When they came up on his right, he picked up the wounded man and carried him to safety, then turned back to heav fire to bring in the second. The enemy were obviously making a concerted effort to stop him and it seemed to those who watched that he had no chance of coming through alive. His citation says: 'That he was able to achieve what he did against such overwhelming odds without being hit, was miraculous'. Said Rambahadur modestly: 'A man with small structure like me has some advantage ... It must have been my lucky day'.



Ganju Lama
Ganju Lama, a PIAT gunner, was with his battalio when it was ordered one rainy da, 11 Jun e1944, to relieve the 2/5th at the village of Ningthowkong. The 2/5th was under attack and two companies of the 1/7th, tring to go to its relief, came under the fire of three Japanese tanks. Ganju, who had already won the Military Medal b destroying two tanks, crawled forward with his PIAT to destroy these tanks. Unfortunately, he was seen and caught in a crossfire. He was wounded in the art and leg, and his left wrint was broken. NEvertheless, he crawled on through slick mud, bleeding profusely, draggin his weapon and ammunition. When he came within thirty yards of the first tank he set up his PIAT, fired, and saw the tank go up in flames. He somehow managed to load his weapon and fire again, and again accurately, destroying a second tank. As the tank crew survivors crawled out, he killed them with grenades. Then, his ammunition exhausted, he crawled back - for more projectiles. In spite of his wounds and loss of blood, he made his way forward afain and knocked out a third tank.
Twenty years later, when Ganju Lama was serving as an officer in the Indian Army, a large boil developed on his leg. It swelled up and finally brust. Out came a Japanese bullet.

Lachhiman Gurung
Another Gurkha who won the Victoria Cross during this phase of operations in Burma was Lachhiman Gurung, a rifleman in the 4/8th Gurkhas. He was a young soldier who had been in the battalion for only about two months when, on the night of 12-13 May 1945 at Taungdaw, twenty miles north of Pegu, he found himself in the forward trench of 9 Platoon, C Company. His battalion was then part of 89 Brigade in the famous 'Black Cat' 17th Indian Division engaged in blocking the Japanese escape toure from Arakan.
Lachhiman's post dominated a jungle path which led into his platoon's area and was the key to his company's position. An hour and twenty minutes poast midnight, some two hundred Japanese launched an assault on C Company's position. It began with a barrage of grenades hurled at close range. One grenade fell on the lip of the trench help by Lachhiman and two other rifleman. Lachhiman immediately seized it and threw it back. When a second grenade landed in the trench, he managed to throw this back as well. But when for a third time he attempted to return an enemy grenade it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm and severly wounding him in the face, bod and legs. His comrades, badly wounded, lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.
At this point Japanese drove in their attack, screaming as they ran forward almost shoulder to shoulders Lachhimanm in spite of his grievous wounds and the use of only one arm, wrenched his rifle into position and managed to fire, even to reload, with his left hand, calling out, 'Come and fight! Come and fight! While I live I will kill you!' The Japanese assault faltered but, despite heavy casualties, they pressed forward again and again in wave after wave of ferocious attacks. For four hours after receiving his wounds, Lachhiman remained alone with his wounded comrades, 'waiting with perfect calm for each attack', said his citation. Daylight revealed eighty-seven dead Janapese in front of C Company's position; of these, thirty-one lay in front of the trench help by Lachhiman Gurung. Later he said, 'I wanted to kill some Japanese before I died'.
After three days in a field hospital, Lachhiman was evacuated to a hospital in India. Doctors tried to save his right arm, but finnaly had to amputate it. He also lost the sight of his left eye. His recovery took five months. While he was in the field hospital he learned that he had been recomended for the Victoria Cross. When they told him, he thought there must be some mistake: 'I was not brave, but I saw all my friends wounded, and then I looked at my hand and I was very, very angry'.

Kulbir Thapa
A party of thirty-eight Gurkhas attacking near Fauquissart managed to crawl through the German wire ad rush the Germans they found. Rifleman Kulbir Thapa of the 2/3rd suddenly found himself alone and wounded. Then he stumbled upon a severly wounded soldier of the Leicestershire Regiment. Thapa made him as confortable as possible and lay beside him through the rest of the day and night. In the early morning when a heavy mist over the battlefield provided some cover, he decided to move out. Hoisting the wounded man on his back, he set off for his own lines. In places the way lay within a few feet of the Germans and it was often necessary to ease the wounded man to the ground and drag him through barbed wire. More than once he came close to being discovered. At one spot he came upon two badly wounded Gurkhas whom he was at the moment powerless to help. Further on, he found a shell hole in which he could shelter the Leicestershire soldier while he went back for the Gurkhas. He brought them both safely into the Allied lines, then turned back to the shell hole. The mist had now lifted and his last trip, with the Leicestershire soldier on his back, was accomplished under heavy fire.
Kulbir received the Victoria Cross he richly deserved. It was the first to be won by Gurkha. Unlike most of the valorous acts that merit the award, his was not an act performed in the hot-blooded excitement of battle but was herosim sustained over a forty-eight hour period. Philip Mason thought that as a single act of valour ' it must surely rank with the highest of all'. Perhaps so.

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