39 Gorkha Training Centre Memorial at Varanasi
In November 2008, as part of the Reunion celebrations of 3rd Gorkha Rifles and 9th Gorkha Rifles, my parents, Harish and Geeta Kapadia visited the 39 GTC. This was their second visit to the GTC. The first visit was in 2000. The magnificent memorial there serves as an inspiration to future jawans passing out from the GTC. Also see the account of our visit to the 39 GTC in 2000
The Indian Army has a large Cantonment area in the holy city of Varanasi (or Benaras, or Kashi). This Cantt., 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.
3rd Gorkha Rifles was Lt Nawangâ€™s Regiment. After being commissioned a an officer he reported to the 39 GTC and spent 21 days here in Sept-Oct 2000 before proceeding to join his unit, the 4th Battalion. He had spent some memorable time with officers here, played tennis, enjoyed in the Officers Mess and became familiar with the Gorkhas.
In the Officers Mess the army has a tradition to maintain a Visitors Book which has a silver cover. Lt Nawang Kapadia was asked to write an entry in the same, which will be preserved for posterity. He wrote:
â€œ Proud to join and be part of the Gorkha Brigadeâ€
He was equally proud to die for it, and become a part of its history.