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The Brief History of 39 Gorkha Training Centre in Varansi

The Indian Army has a large Cantonment area in the holy city of Varanasi (or Benares, or Kashi). This Cantonment, established in the last century, is the training Centre for the 3rd and 9th Gorkha Battalions and hence known in the army terms as 39 Gorkha Training Centre (39 G T C). It is a huge complex, most beautifully kept and efficiently managed It houses all the facilities to train the new Gorkha Recruits arriving raw from Nepal and India. In 42 weeks of intensive and thorough training these recruits are turned into well-disciplined and trained soldiers of the Indian Army. The process is supervised by the Battalion Training Commander under the Commandant of the 39 GTC

1.    3 Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre (3 GRRC) was located at Ghangora and the 9th Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centre (9 GRRC) was located at Birpur (the land on which they stood was/is regimental property) during the pre World War II years and several years thereafter. In the early 1950s a decision was taken by the government to amalgamate a few infantry regimental centres. As a consequence 3rd and 9th Gorkha Rifles Regimental Centres became 39 Gorkha Training Centre. (39 GTC) and was located at Birpur, the erstwhile location of 9 GRRC

2.    At the time of amalgamation, Lt Col UC Pant (later Brigadier) was the Commandant of 3 GRRC and Lt Col DK Palit, Vr C (later Maj Gen) was the Commandant of 9 GRRC.  The latter was to become the first Commandant of 39 GTC and Capt RO Kharbanda (later Brig RO Kharbanda, AVSM) was the first Adjutant.  The formal amalgamation was marked by a simple ceremony of hoisting the flags of the two Regiments at the Quarter Guard of 9 GRRC in Birpur at 0930h on 01 Oct 1952.

3.    By an unwritten understanding the Command Structure of the new Centre was to be evenly distributed between the two Regiments down to the lowest level.  Accordingly, it came to be accepted that if the Commandant was from one Regiment, the Deputy Commandant would be from the other Regiment. The appointments of Adjutant, Subedar Major, Head Clerk, Subedar Adjutant, were to be alternately rotated between the two regiments. It was to be ensured that both the regiments enjoyed parity and equal share in the ranks structures of officers, JCOs and NCOs posted to the Centre.

Move to Varanasi
4.    Pursuant to a decision taken in August 1975 regarding locations of field formations, a number of regimental centres were moved from their original home stations to military stations where accommodation and other infrastructure were readily available. Accordingly 39 GTC was moved to Varanasi in Dec 1975.  The last train with Col Guman Singh, the Commandant, arrived at Varanasi on 01 Jan 1976, which came to be celebrated as the Centre Day.

Three Decades at Varanasi
5.    The Regimental Centre can justifiably take pride in the achievements since it arrived at Varanasi in Jan 1976.  When the Centre arrived, the station was in a state of neglect and decay. There was no sanctity attached to it. Encroachment on military land and assets were rampant and trespassing was common. The boundaries of the Centre were neither demarcated nor fenced, stray cattle roamed on playgrounds and civilian population misused the training areas at will.  With the herculean efforts of Col Guman Singh and his team of officers, the Centre soon established its identity and a long-term plan to build the required infrastructures was started. Each successive Commandant and his team continued to expand the foundation and brought to bear his commitment and creativity to the process of building, which continues.

Commandants since Amalgamation
6.    The Commandants since amalgamation are as under:-

                           Lt Col DK Palit, VrC                   9 GR        01 Oct 1952     -  03 Oct 1954
                           Lt Col UC Pant                          3 GR        04 Oct 1954    -  05 Jun 1957
                           Lt Col EE Williamson                 9 GR         22 Jul 1957    -  14 Nov 1961
                           Lt Col AK Mitra                          9 GR         21 Nov 1961    -  30 Aug 1963
                           Col UC Pant                              3 GR        14 Aug 1963    -  31 Dec 1963
                           Col P Raghwan                         3 GR        30 Mar 1964    -  11 Mar 1966
                           Col NL Jamwal, SC                    9 GR        12 Mar 1966    -  19 Dec 1967
                           Col BS Grewal                           9 GR         20 Dec 1967    -  21 Mar 1969
                           Col CV Campagnac, AVSM       3 GR         22 Mar 1969    -  14 Jul 1971
                           Col MP Bhatia,                          3 GR        02 Oct 1971    -    27 Mar 1974
                           Col Guman Singh, AVSM          9 GR        25 Mar 1974    -  11 Oct 1978
                           Col DS Jaggi                             3 GR         09 Mar 1979    -  08 Oct 1980
                           Brig DS Jaggi                            3 GR         09 Oct 1980    -  04 Dec 1981
                           Brig PN Kacker, SC, VSM          9 GR         05 Dec 1981    -  18 Aug 1986
                           Col AS Nirodi                             3 GR        19 Aug 1986    -  06 Jan 1988
                           Brig Upendra Kumar, VSM         9 GR         07 Jan 1988    -  18 Apr 1990
                           Brig AS Nirodi                            3 GR         23 Jul 1990    -  23 Jan 1993
                           Brig DS Rawat, VSM                  9 GR         20 Sep 1993    -  04 Nov 1996
                           Brig AK Pait                               9 GR         05 Nov 1996    -  20 Jan 1999
                           Brig Anil Malhotra                      3 GR         22 Jul 1999    -  21 Mar 2002
                           Brig Amar Chatterjee                 9 GR         22 Mar 2002    -  20 Dec 2002
                           Brig DK Ghosh                          9 GR        16 Jan 2003    -  28 Apr 2005
                           Brig VA Natu                              9 GR        29 Apr 2005    -  31 Dec 2007
                           Brig Rajbir Singh                       3 GR        19 Jun 2008    -  04 Mar 2009
                           Brig JS Pama, SM                      3 GR        05 Mar 2009    -  21 Feb 2011
                           Brig Akhil Dixit                            9 GR        22 Feb 2011    - 24 Nov 2012
                           Brig K Birendra Singh                3 GR        25 Nov 2012    - Till date

Subedar Majors since Amalgamation

7.    Subedar Majors since amalgamation are as under:-
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Birta Singh Gurung      
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Khark Bahadur Mall
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Lt    Sul Bahadur Rana
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Madan Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj & Hony /Capt Kalu Thapa
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Bhakta Bahadur Gurung
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Kharka Bahadur Khadka
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Tek Bahadur Pun  
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Tek Bahadur Pun
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Dhan Bahadur Khattri
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Lt    Pram Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Nim Bahadur Mall
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Bom Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Bharat Singh Thapa
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt     Dum Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Chham Bahadur Mall
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Bir Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Uday Kumar Tamang
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Kum Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Mithuraj Adhikari
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Ram Bahadur Chhetri
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Suresh Rana
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt MP Suibedi
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Bet Bahadur Rana
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Kasha Ram Gurung
                           Sub Maj &  H/ Capt    PP Adhikari
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt    Bhim Bahadur Thapa
                           Sub Maj  Netra Bahadur Shahi
                           Sub Maj Ashok Kumar Shahi
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt  Netra Bahadur Shahi        29 Mar 06 - 31Oct 06
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt  Ashoka Kumar Shahi         01 Jan 06  - 31 Aug 07
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Pratap Chandra Thapa         01Oct 07   - 31 Dec 07
                           Sub Maj Mohan Bahadur Thapa                 01 Jan 08  - 30 Apr 08
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Dhan Bahadur Chhetri ‘SM’    01 May 08 - 30 Sep 08
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt  Mohan Bahadur Thapa         01 Oct 08  - 31 Jan 09
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt  Bal Bahadur Chhetri         01 Feb 09 - 31 May 09
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Capt Mani Kumar Thapa         01 Jun 09 - 31 Oct 09
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Lt     Manbir Gurung             01 Nov 09 - 31 Mar 10
                           Sub Maj &  Hony/Capt Madan Kumar             01 Apr 10 - 28 Feb 11
                           Sub Maj Janak Bahadur Thapa                 01 Mar 11 - 31 Dec 11
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Lt    Chandra Bahadur Thapa        01 Jan 12  - 29 Feb 12
                           Sub Maj Lil Bahadur Thapa                01 Mar 12 - 30 Nov 12
                           Sub Maj & Hony/Lt     Keshar Bahadur Chhetri, SM     01 Dec 12 - till date

8.    The 3 GR and 9 GR have separate regimental tunes based on pre-independence Scottish tunes, the Colonels of both the Regiments decided to adopt a common regimental song and march-past tune.  The song, ‘Aghi Barh Aghi Barh Veer Gorkha Daju Bhai’ was compiled by Major Gopal Lal Sharma, 9 GR and the lyrics composed by Shri LB Gurung, ex Director, Army Music School, Pachmarhi.  The lyrics are as under:-

Aghi Barh aghi,
Veer Gorkha Daju Bhai,
Jhanda Uncha rakhnu chha
Untalis Gorkha lai !   
    Virta ko pardarshan garera
Vishwa yudh ladyon,
Gaja Dekhi France samma ra
Burma dekhi malayaon
Hamile fatah garyon pakhalyo
Ragat ko khukri,
Ahmedkhel ra Cassino ma aai !
Aghi Barh aghi,
Veer Gorkha Daju Bhai,
Jhanda Uncha rakhnu chha
Untalis Gorkha lai !   
    Shingo river valley ma ladi
Jeete Pirkanthi ra,
Burma ladi purvajharu le
Jeete Chindit pani
Marera pani amar chhan
Puran Bahadur, Jas Bahadur,
Major Wheeler
ra Blaker pani
Aghi Barh aghi barh,
Veer Gorkha Daju Bhai,
Jhanda Uncha rakhnu chha
Untalis Gorkha lai !   
    Marera amar bhaye
Kulbir Thapa, Karna Bahadur
Sher Bahadur, VC

Lal Bahadur Mahavir bane,
Bayasath, painsath, ekattar
Vijay gare hami le,
Jammu-Kashmir, Kumarkhali
Bangla desh ma gayou !
Aghi Barh aghi barh,
Veer Gorkha Daju Bhai,
Jhanda Uncha rakhnu chha
Untalis Gorkha lai !   

    Nagahills ma Ashok Chakra
Jeetne Col Chitnis,
Bayasath ma MVC jeetne
Major Dogra,
Major Srikant Dogra ko
Anusharan garne chhon
Vishwa ko aglo ran bhumi
Siachin ma puge Chhon !
Aghi Barh aghi barh,
Veer Gorkha Daju Bhai,
Jhanda Uncha rakhnu chha
Untalis Gorkha lai !    
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