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The Gurkhas or Gorkhas (/ˈɡɜːrkə, ˈɡʊər-/), with endonym Gorkhali (Nepali: गोरखाली, [ɡorkʰali]), are soldiers native to South Asia of Nepalese nationality and Indian Gorkha ethnicity recruited for the British Army, Nepalese Army, Indian Army, Gurkha Contingent Singapore, Gurkha Reserve Unit Brunei, UN peacekeeping forces and in war zones around the world. Historically, the terms "Gurkha" and "Gorkhali" were synonymous with "Nepali", which originates from the hill principality Gorkha Kingdom, from which the Kingdom of Nepal expanded under Prithivi Narayan Shah. The name may be traced to the medieval Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath who has a historic shrine in Gorkha District.


  • The Khas, Magars, Gurungs, and Thakurs are the military tribes of the kingdom, from which the fighting element of the Nepalese army is drawn. They are the descendants of the aboriginal tribes who intermarried with Rajputs and other Hindus who took refuge from Muhammadan conquest in the hills of Nepal in the twelfth century.Since the Gurkha conquest, they have spread throughout the whole country, though their real habitat is to the west of the Valley of Nepal. It is to these tribes that the often misapplied term ‘ Gurkha or ‘ Gurkhali ' should be confined.
    • Imperial Gazetteer Of India Afghanistan And Nepal [1]
  • They are ' said to have come originally from Rajputana, whence they fled early in the fourteenth century, after the capture of Chitor by Ala-ud-dm Khiljl. After passing through the Kumaun hills, they first settled near Palpa, and thence gradually extended their dominions. Prithwi Narayan gladly availed himself of the opportunity thus given of establishing a secure footing in Nepal. Ranjit Mai, however, soon found out his mistake, and was obliged to come to terms with the neighbouring kings in order to resist the encroachments of the Gurkhas. Nevertheless Prithwi Narayan succeeded in taking Kirttipur, a town belonging to the Patan Raja, and then proceeded to attack Patan itself. At this junctui’e the Nepalese applied for assistance to the British Government. Aid yas granted, and Captain Kinloch was dispatched with a small force in the middle of the rainy season. But his force was quite inadequate for the purpose it had in view, and being still further weakened by sickness, was repulsed before he had penetrated into the Valley. The Gurkhas then returned and attacked Katmandu. Prithwi Narayan, having obtained possession of this city by treachery, directed his attention again to Patan and later on to Bhatgaon. Both were taken, and in 1769 the conquest of Nepal by the Gurkhas was complete.
    • Imperial Gazetteer Of India Afghanistan And Nepal [2]

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