The Indian Army, often referred to as the “Land of Warriors,” is the ground-based military branch of the Indian Defence Forces. Established on April 1, 1895, it is the second-largest standing army in the world and plays a pivotal role in safeguarding India’s territorial integrity, national security, and aiding in domestic disaster relief operations.
The Indian Army is renowned for its rich heritage, characterized by its traditions, discipline, and valor. It has a storied history, with soldiers who have shown unwavering courage in numerous battles and conflicts, including the two World Wars.
Comprising various divisions and regiments, the Indian Army is organized into several commands that oversee different geographical areas. Each command is tasked with maintaining operational readiness, ensuring the security of India’s borders, and responding swiftly to any threats.
Modernization has been a focus, with the induction of advanced weaponry and equipment to meet evolving challenges. The Indian Army’s soldiers, often referred to as “jawans,” undergo rigorous training to prepare them for the diverse terrains and weather conditions they may encounter, from the mountains of the Himalayas to the deserts of Rajasthan.
The Indian Army is not just a defensive force; it actively engages in peacekeeping missions and humanitarian efforts both within India and in collaboration with international organizations. Its commitment to both the nation’s security and the welfare of its citizens makes it an indispensable and respected institution within India.
Here are 20 interesting facts about Indian army to know more about it.
- Second Largest Standing Army: The Indian Army is the second-largest standing army in the world, with over a million active personnel.
- British Colonial Legacy: The modern Indian Army traces its origins to the British Indian Army, which played a significant role in both World Wars.
- President’s Bodyguard: The President’s Bodyguard, an elite unit, is responsible for the security of the President of India.
- Siachen Glacier: Indian soldiers patrol the Siachen Glacier, often referred to as the “world’s highest battlefield,” at altitudes of over 20,000 feet.
- Kargil War: The Indian Army played a pivotal role in the 1999 Kargil War, successfully evicting infiltrators from the Indian side of the Line of Control.
- Peacekeeping Missions: Indian Army personnel have participated in numerous UN peacekeeping missions, promoting global peace and stability.
- Mountain Strike Corps: India is in the process of raising a Mountain Strike Corps to bolster its defenses along the Himalayan border.
- Gurkha Soldiers: The Indian Army recruits Gurkha soldiers from Nepal, known for their bravery and loyalty.
- Rezang La Battle: The Battle of Rezang La in the 1962 Sino-Indian War is remembered for the extraordinary valor displayed by Indian soldiers.
- Army Day: Indian Army Day is celebrated on January 15th every year, marking the day when Field Marshal K. M. Cariappa took over as the first Indian Commander-in-Chief in 1949.
- Various Regiments: The Indian Army comprises a wide range of regiments, each with its history, traditions, and specific roles.
- Para Special Forces: The Parachute Regiment (Special Forces) is a special operations force known for its elite soldiers and daring missions.
- Siachen Conflict: The Siachen Conflict, a territorial dispute with Pakistan, has continued since 1984, with soldiers enduring extreme conditions.
- Military Schools: The Indian Army operates several prestigious military schools like the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun and the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai, which groom officers for the armed forces.
- Rashtriya Rifles: The Rashtriya Rifles is a counter-insurgency force that operates in the conflict-prone regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
- Tank Fleet: The Indian Army’s tank fleet includes indigenous tanks like the Arjun and imported ones like the T-90.
- MARCOS: The Marine Commandos (MARCOS) are a specialized naval special operations force capable of operating in maritime environments.
- Dog Squads: The Indian Army employs dog squads for various roles, including tracking and search-and-rescue operations.
- War Elephants: In ancient times, war elephants were an essential part of Indian armies, used for their size and strength.
- UN Peacekeeping: India has contributed significantly to UN peacekeeping missions, with Indian troops serving in various conflict zones globally.
The Indian Army stands as a formidable force, deeply rooted in a legacy of valor and service to the nation. It is a symbol of unwavering dedication to safeguarding India’s territorial integrity and ensuring national security. From the icy heights of Siachen to the scorching deserts of Rajasthan, the Indian Army’s soldiers, known as “jawans,” exhibit unmatched courage and resilience. Their sacrifices and commitment, whether in times of conflict, disaster relief, or peacekeeping missions, are a testament to their unyielding loyalty to the nation. As a guardian of India’s borders and a force for good in the world, the Indian Army is not just an institution but a source of pride and honor for the nation. It embodies the nation’s strength, unity, and readiness to defend its land and its people.