India is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas today. On this day in 1999, the Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict, formally came to an end, with Indian soldiers successfully recapturing mountain heights that had been seized by Pakistani intruders. It was only possible through the valour of the soldiers of the armed forces.
Here are the stories of 10 heroes of Kargil war victory:
Captain Vikram Batra, (13 JAK RIF)
Captain Vikram Batra of the 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifle immortalised himself by turning a soft-drink ad's tagline "Yeh dil mange more" (My heart asks for more) into an iconic war cry while showcasing on national television the enemy's machine guns he had captured in his first gallant exploits in the Kargil war.
He died fighting Pakistani forces during the Kargil war in 1999 at the age of 24. He was given the highest wartime gallantry award Param Vir Chakra posthumously.
Due to his exemplary feat, Captain Vikram was awarded many titles. He came to be fondly called the 'Tiger of Drass', the 'Lion of Kargil', the 'Kargil Hero', and so on. Pakistanis called him Sher Shah after the ferocious warrior king of medieval India.
Captain Vikram's most difficult mission was the capture of crucial peak - Point 4875. He had led his team despite high fever and got fatally injured trying to save another officer.
Going into battle, he had said, "I will either come back after raising the Indian flag in victory or return wrapped in it."
Lieutenant Balwan Singh (18 Grenadiers)
Lt Balwan Singh, now a Colonel, was the Tiger of Tiger Hill -- the decisive battle of the Kargil wara. Singh was tasked with the recapture of Tiger Hill.
At 25, he led soldiers of the Ghatak platoon through a steep, treacherous path on 12-hour journey to reach the hilltop. The assault took the enemy by surprise as India was not expected to take such a difficult route.
In the ensuing close combat, Lt Singh killed four enemy soldiers despite being serious injured. Rest of the Pakistani soldiers opted to flee than facing wrath of the brave Indian officer.
He planted the Indian tricolour atop the Tiger Hill and was later awarded the Mahavir Chakra for his bravery. Before setting off for the Tiger Hill, Lt Singh took a vow with his soldiers: "Tiger Hill pe Tiranga fahrake ayenge, chahe kuchh bhi ho jaye." ("We will hoist the Tricolour atop Tiger Hill, come what may.")
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav (18 Grenadiers)
Then 19-years-old, Yogendra Singh Yadav (now Subedar Major) was the youngest person to ever be awarded the Param Vir Chakra.
He was the sole survivor of an attack on Tiger Hill in which he took 15 bullets. He was a part of the Ghatak platoon that recaptured three strategic bunkers on Tiger Hill on July 4, 1999.
Yadav led the assault but halfway through enemy lines opened fires, killing his colleagues. Yadav, was himself hit by several bullets which rendered his left arm immobile.
Determined to achieve his objective, Yadav strapped his arm in a belt, wrapped a bandana around his leg and continued to fight the enemy. He killed four enemy soldiers in close combat and silenced the automatic fire.
This gave the rest of his platoon the opportunity to climb up the cliff and capture the positions.
Major Rajesh Adhikari (18 Grenadiers)
On May 14, 1999, Major Rajesh Adhikari was leading the central arm of three 10-man teams trying to capture a bunker at 16,000 ft at the Tololing feature.
He displayed exemplary valour in recapturing Tololing, where he engaged in direct combat with the Pakistani soldiers guarding the bunkers.
Major Adhikari suffered serious bullet injuries to which he succumbed beyond enemy lines on May 15. He was the second army officer to be martyred in Kargil war.
His body was recovered 13 days later. In his pocket was an unread letter from his wife. He was posthumously awarded Mahavir Chakra for his bravery.
Major Vivek Gupta (2 RR)
Vivek Gupta of the 2 Rajputana Rifles was leading a dangerous uphill assault against the Pakistani intruders. He captured two bunkers before being enemy bullets tore open his torso in Drass.
The Major lay in the snow alongside dead colleagues for two days. He died fighting exactly seven years after being commissioned in the 2nd Rajputana Rifles -- June 13, 1992.
Naik Digendra Kumar (2 RR)
Naik Digendra Kumar is best known for his plan to recapture Tololing that is located an altitude of 15,000 feet. His plan had surprised General VP Malik, the then army chief, who held a Sainik Darbar in Drass on June 2, 1990 after three failed attempts to get back Tololing.
His idea of following the same route as the enemy sounded too risky to the army chief. But Naik Digendra Kumar insisted and set off on the mission.
The team of 10 commandos came under heavy firing from 250 Pakistani soldiers. Nine commandos died. But before that they handed over their guns and grenades to Naik Digendra Kumar, who lodged them in all 11 bunkers of the enemy.
He killed Major Anwar Khan of Pakistan Army in hand-to-hand combat slitting enemy's throat with his dagger. He planted Indian flag on the hilltop before falling unconscious. He woke up in an army hospital.
Major Padmapani Acharya (2 Rajputana Rifles)
Major Padmapani Acharya was a company commander and assigned the task of recapturing an enemy position in Tololing. Bracing a hail of Pakistani shells and bullets, Major Acharya overran the enemy position.
He was grievously injured in the process and succumbed to his injuries soon after completing his mission. Days before the battle, he had written a letter to his father telling him "combat is an honour of a lifetime".
In the same letter, he requested his father to tell "a story a day from the Mahabharata" to his daughter Charu, who could never got to see her father again but at 20, she wishes to join the army.
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar (13 JAK Rif)
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar was once a taxi driver and had been rejected thrice by the army. Today, he is the youngest of three surviving Param Vir Chakra decorated soldiers of the Indian Army.
During the Kargil war, he was part of a column that was tasked to capture area Flat Top of Point 4875 in the Mushkoh Valley.
When automatic fire from one of the enemy bunkers posed stiff opposition and stalled the column, Kumar charged at them head on. He was hit in the leg and hip. But he single-handedly wiped out a bunker after others from his unit had fallen.
Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey (1/11 Gorkha Rifles)
According to his father, Manoj Kumar Pandey had joined the Indian Army with the sole ambition of getting a Param Vir Chakra, the highest gallantry award. He got one in Kargil conflict albeit posthumously.
Lieutenant Pandey was a soldier of 1/11 Gorkha Rifles. His team was tasked to clear enemy positions in order to prevent his battalion from getting exposed in the daylight. The battlefield was Khalubar.
He led his team valiantly and was shot on a ledge but he made it to the top of a cliff. He busted enemy bunkers before succumbing to bullets. His daredevilry finally led to the recapture of Khalubar.
Major Saurabh Kalia (4 Jat)
On 15 May 1999 Lt Saurabh Kalia and five other soldiers - Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh of the 4 Jat Regiment had gone for a routine patrol of the Bajrang Post in the Kaksar sector in the rugged, treeless mountains.
They were encircled by a platoon of Pakistani rangers and captured alive. No trace of the patrol was left. Meanwhile, Radio Skardu of Pakistan announced that Captain Saurabh Kalia had been captured by Pakistani troops.
It was after this that India discovered Pakistan Army troops had surreptitiously occupied certain peaks on the Indian side of the Line of Control.
Lt Saurabh Kalia and his men were in captivity from 15 May 1999 - 7 June 1999 (twenty four days) and subjected to torture. Their mutilated bodies were handed over by the Pakistan Army on 9 June 1999.
Post-mortem examinations revealed that the Pakistanis had tortured them by burning their bodies with cigarettes, piercing the ear-drums with hot rods, puncturing eyes before removing them, breaking most of their teeth and bones, fracturing their skulls, cutting the lips, chipping of nose, chopping off limbs and private organs of the soldiers, and finally shooting them through temple.
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Also Watch | 20 Years of Kargil: A ground report from Tololing in Drass
Who was the main Hero of the Kargil War? ›
On July 7, 1999, during the Kargil conflict, the country lost one such courageous son, Captain Vikram Batra. He is often termed the 'Kargil War Hero'. Captain Batra was awarded the highest bravery honour, the Param Vir Chakra, for his heroic sacrifice.Who are the heroes of Kargil? ›
Today is the Kargil Vijay Diwas... The Vijay (victory) that was possible only because of many heroes like Captain Vikram Batra, Captain Anuj Nayyar and Grenadier Yogender Yadav who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty and made India win.Who is bravest man in India? ›
|Captain Vikram Batra PVC|
|Official military portrait, 1997|
|Born||9 September 1974 Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Died||7 July 1999 (aged 24) Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir (now Ladakh)|
|Allegiance||Republic of India|
|Years of service||1942–45 (U.S. Army) 1950–66 (Texas Army National Guard) 1966–69 (U.S. Army Reserves)|
This particular operation was given the codename Operation Safed Sagar. The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani troops—disguised as Kashmiri militants—into positions on the Indian side of the LoC, which serves as the de facto border between the two states in Kashmir.Who lost Kargil War? ›
A total of 527 soldiers from the Indian Army had lost their lives during the war. The war came to an end on July 26, 1999, with the Pakistan army evicting troops from their occupied positions - marking India's victory.Which is the bravest regiment in Indian Army? ›
The Sikh Regiment was the first unit to have been bestowed with the Honour of The “Bravest of The Brave” by the Chief of Army Staff on 15 January 1997.How many heroes does Kargil have? ›
As many as 527 soldiers from the Indian Armed Forces sacrificed their lives during the 60-day Kargil war. Kargil Vijay Diwas is observed on July 26 across the country to commemorate the Indian heroes who valiantly fought and sacrificed their lives to make 'Operation Vijay' a success.Who is famous in Indian Army? ›
Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat
A hero of the 1962 Indo-China war, Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat of the 4th Garhwal Rifles Infantry Regiment is the only soldier in the history of the Indian Army who has risen through the ranks after his death.
In 2022, China had the largest armed forces in the world by active duty military personnel, with about 2 million active soldiers. India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five largest armies respectively, each with over one million active military personnel.
Who helped India in Kargil war? ›
Here's the only country which directly assisted India in the Kargil war. Last year, the Israeli embassy in India revealed that during the Kargil war it was one of the few countries that had directly helped India by providing mortars and ammunition.How many wars has Pakistan won from India? ›
Since Independence in 1947, India and Pakistan have been in four wars, including one undeclared war, and many border skirmishes and military stand-offs.What did the war in Kargil teach us? ›
The most important lesson that India learnt from the Kargil imbroglio is that the essential requirements of national security should not be compromised.Who is the No 1 Army in World? ›
According to a ranking of the world's strongest militaries, the United States possesses the most potent military force. In this post, we'll provide you a detailed list of the top 10 armies in the world as of 2022.Who is the top 10 army? ›
“Billy Yank” A Union soldier during the Civil War. “Doughboy” A World War I Soldier. “Dogface” A World War II and Korean War Soldier. “Grunt” A Vietnam War soldier. “Leatherneck, Jarhead” A US Marine.How many soldiers died in Kargil? ›
The Kargil War lasted from 3 May 1999 to 26 July 1999 and saw 527 Indian soldiers and 1,600 Pakistani soldiers killed in action, resulting in victory for the Indian Army, who made the Pakistan Army vacate every inch of Indian land.How did the Kargil War end? ›
The Kargil War came to an end on July 26th 1999 with the aid of international diplomatic intervention, due to which Pakistani troops exited Indian territories. By the end of the war it was estimated that more than 500 soldiers had been killed and over 1000 injured.When did Kargil War end? › Did Pakistan won any war against India? ›
The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April and September 1965. This year marks the 54th anniversary of the war that both India and Pakistan claim to have won.
Why did Pakistan lose Kargil? ›
To conclude, Kargil war for Pakistan was a Defensive-offensive approach but it failed in both. A clearly won battle on military basis ultimately was lost badly on diplomatic level. Pakistan had to pay the price of this both, internationally and domestically.Who started Kargil War first? ›
The conflict was triggered by the infiltration of Pakistani troops—disguised as Kashmiri militants—into strategic positions on the Indian side of the LoC, which serves as the de facto border between the two countries in the disputed region of Kashmir.Which is the No 1 regiment of Indian Army? ›
1. Sikh Regiment. Motto–Nischay Kar Apni Jeet Karon (With determination, I will be triumphant).Which caste is maximum in Indian Army? ›
No, all the regiments in the Indian Army are not based on caste. For instance, Rajputana Rifles have an equal number of Rajputs and Jats. Similarly, Rajput regiment has Rajputs, Gurjars and Muslims. In addition to this, the support and technical arms are not caste-based.Who is the father of Indian Army? ›
Seven years later Major Stringer Lawrence, 'the father of the Indian Army', was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the East India Company's field forces in India with its headquarters at Fort St.Which country has no army? ›
Ref. Andorra has no standing army but has signed treaties with Spain and France for its protection. It has small volunteer army which is purely ceremonial in function.What is the smallest army in the world? ›
Being one of the smallest countries in the world automatically qualifies it to have the world's smallest army that comprises of 110 men. The arm is famously known as the Swiss Guard that has been in existence for the longest, and are best known for their courage to fight the tough battles.
With military bases in many parts of the world, the US armed forces remain the most powerful of any on the globe.Which commando is best in world? ›
1. Special Forces, USA. Overview – United States Special Operations Forces (SOF) are the special forces of the United States of America (USA). It works under the United States Department of Defense's United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) within the United States Armed Forces.Is Indian Army good? ›
With strength of over 1.4 million active personnel, it is the world's second-largest military force and has the world's largest volunteer army. It also has the third-largest defence budget in the world. The Global Firepower Index report lists it as the fourth most-powerful military.
Why is 9 para sf special? ›
9 Para SF are specially trained in unconventional warfare and are as good as MARCOS and were also meant for secret operations deep within foreign soil, go to depths of 7 to 50 km inside (hostile territory) and are trained in such way, but overused and sometimes misused to fight insurgents all the time, so casualties ...Which country is the friend of India? ›
Countries considered India's closest include the United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation, Israel, Afghanistan, France, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and the United States.
Japan is the largest bilateral donor to India. Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) has been supporting India's efforts for accelerated economic development particularly in the infrastructure sector. Cumulative commitment of ODA till March 2013 reached Yen 3807.763 billion on commitment basis.How many Kargil heroes received Param Vir Chakra? ›
Till date, only 21 Indian soldiers have been awarded this honor. Out of which 20 were from the Indian Army and one from the Air force.Has India lost any war? ›
|Overview of India China War of 1962|
|Year of the War||1962|
|Conclusion||China was victorious|
According to the most recent study from Global Firepower Ranking, the military might of India and Pakistan is completely unmatched. In terms of the total power index, India is only behind the United States, Russia, and China, while Pakistan is far behind in 10th place.Is Pakistan Army brave? ›
Bravery, commitment and gallantry have remained the hallmarks of the Pakistan Army since day one. Pakistan Army is the only army in the whole world where the officer leads from the front. In other armies, the officers remain at the back and soldiers move to the front.Why India did not use air force in Kargil War? ›
With the high mountainous terrain and the pattern of enemy deployment, the air force could not, however, be as effective in causing large-scale destruction of enemy's fighting positions, as in the plains.Who started Kargil War and who won the Kargil War? ›
The Kargil war was fought between India and Pakistan between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LOC). During the war, the Indian Army evicted Pakistani intruders and succeeded in recapturing the Tiger Hill and other posts as a part of Operation Vijay.What is full form of LoC? ›
The full form of LOC is Line of Control. The LOC is the military command line between the parts of the former princely state of Jammu & Kashmir administered by India & Pakistan. For both India and Pakistan, the Line of Control is not a legally recognized international boundary, but a de facto border.
Which country helped India in Kargil war? ›
Here's the only country which directly assisted India in the Kargil war. Last year, the Israeli embassy in India revealed that during the Kargil war it was one of the few countries that had directly helped India by providing mortars and ammunition.Who were killed in Kargil war? ›
Nearly 490 Indian army officers, soldiers and jawans were killed during the course of the battle.How many died in Kargil war? ›
The Kargil War lasted from 3 May 1999 to 26 July 1999 and saw 527 Indian soldiers and 1,600 Pakistani soldiers killed in action, resulting in victory for the Indian Army, who made the Pakistan Army vacate every inch of Indian land.Who got Param Vir Chakra in Kargil? ›
|Name||Rank**||Place of action|
|Manoj Kumar Pandey||Lieutenant||Khaluber /Juber Top, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
|Yogendra Singh Yadav||Grenadier||Tiger Hill, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
|Sanjay Kumar||Rifleman||Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
|Vikram Batra||Captain||Kargil, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan has spent several decades under military rule (1958 – 1971, 1977 – 1988, 1999 – 2008).Why Pakistan started Kargil War? ›
The cause of the war was the infiltration of Pakistani soldiers and Kashmiri militants into positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control, which serves as the de facto border between the two nations.Which country is the friend of India? ›
Countries considered India's closest include the United Arab Emirates, Russian Federation, Israel, Afghanistan, France, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and the United States.
Pakistan's army won Kargil war militarily but did not win it diplomatically as well as politically. Indian diplomats exploited the conflict and went to get support from America, in which they succeeded.Why is Kargil important? ›
Kargil War, also known as the Kargil conflict, was fought between May-July of 1999 in the Kargil district of Jammu and Kashmir along the Line of Control (LoC) in which India got victory. Therefore, the day is dedicated to the martyred soldiers of the Kargil war.How many wars has Pakistan won from India? ›
Since Independence in 1947, India and Pakistan have been in four wars, including one undeclared war, and many border skirmishes and military stand-offs.
How many Gurkhas died in Kargil War? ›
As many as 527 soldiers from the Indian Armed Forces lost their lives during the Kargil War. The 22nd Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas is being celebrated across the country today. The nation is remembering its war heroes and paying tributes to Martyrs on Kargil Vijay Diwas.How many Pakistani soldiers died in 1971? ›
Estimates of casualty figures in this conflict vary widely. Some state 26,000 soldiers from all sides lost their lives, while others put the military death toll at between 50,000 and 100,000. Anywhere between 300,000 and three million Bangladeshi civilians are thought to have been killed.How did the Kargil War end? ›
The Kargil War came to an end on July 26th 1999 with the aid of international diplomatic intervention, due to which Pakistani troops exited Indian territories. By the end of the war it was estimated that more than 500 soldiers had been killed and over 1000 injured.