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Burmese Gurkha

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Title: Burmese Gurkha  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Demographics of Nepal, Ethnic groups in Myanmar, Orders, decorations, and medals of Myanmar, Suk Bahadur, Shan State
Collection: Burmese People of Nepalese Descent, Ethnic Groups in Myanmar, Gurkhas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Burmese Gurkha

Gurkha People
Total population
500,000 (est.)
Regions with significant populations
Myanmar, Yangon, Mandalay, Mogok, Pyin Oo Lwin, Taunggyi, Mandalay Division, Shan State, Kachin State
Burmese, Nepali
Hinduism, Buddhism
Related ethnic groups

Gurkha People (Burmese: ေဂၚရခါးလူမ်ိဳး) (Nepali: गोर्खाली) are a group of people of Gurkha (Nepalese) ethnic origin living in the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar (formerly Burma). While the Gurkhas have lived in Burma for many centuries, it was during the British rule in Burma that the majority of the Gurkha migrated from Nepal to Burma.

The majority of Gurkha now reside in Yangon (Rangoon), Mandalay, Pyin U Lwin, Mogok, Tamu, Kalaymyo, Mandalay Division, Kachin State, Chin State and Shan State.


  • History and demography 1
  • Culture 2
    • Language 2.1
    • Education 2.2
  • Notable Gurkha People in Burma 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

History and demography

Like many other people who reside in Myanmar and who have their origin in the South Asian nation of Nepal, the majority of Gurkha came along with the British administration. Many Gurkhas served during the Second World War in the Burma Campaign, especially as rear guard units for the British retreat from Burma

After Burma's independence in 1948, the Gurkhas joined the infant Burma Army. Many Gurkhas served in the new republic's various campaigns against ethnic insurgents and the Kuomintang invasions. The Gurkha were considered key assets of the Burmese Army in the 1950s.[1]


Many Gurkha in Myanmar practice Hinduism and Buddhism. There are a few Gurkha Buddhist and Hindu temples in the cities around Kachin State, Shan State, Yangon and Mandalay. Gurkha form a large minority in Myitkyina and the hill station of Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo). Gurkhas still serve in all branches of the modern Myanmar Armed Forces.


Most Gurkha typically speak Nepali language as their mother tongue. Those with higher education also speak English and Burmese.


The Gurkha place high importance on education, and they represent a disproportionately high share of those with advanced (medical, engineering or doctorate) degrees in Burma.[2][3]

Notable Gurkha People in Burma

  • Private Aung San Thuriya Suk Bahadur Rai - No.4 Infantry Battalion (4th Gurkha) Myanmar Army.[4] - recipient of the Aung San Thuriya award, the highest award in the Myanmar army
  • Corporal Thiha Thura Man Bahadur Thapa - No.4 Infantry Battalion (4th Gurkha) Myanmar Army
  • Lt. Colonel Zeya Kyawhtin Thura Lachhuman Rai- No.4 Infantry Battalion (4th Gurkha), Myanmar Army
  • Colonel Zeya Kyawhtin Tanka Dhoj -Director General of Hotel and Tourism Department under Ne Win's government.
  • Suk Bahadur (Burmese: ဗဟာဒူး) is a Burmese footballer who served as the captain of Myanmar national football team (1952 – 1970). He is considered as the greatest Burmese footballer that ever lived for the tremendous success he brought to country's football
  • Major Zeyakyawhtin Bhagiman Subba - No.4 Infantry Battalion (4th Gurkha), Myanmar Army
  • Professor of Chemistry Attar Singh Chettry (M.Sc.), Mandalay University, Myanmar
  • Laxminarai (Cherry Myae Maung Tin Tun) (Writer)
  • Nyein Thazin (Taekwando) two gold, three silver and two bronze medals
  • Ms. Lily Limbu (UN Second Secretory of Burma)
  • Nandasoe (MPF Boxer)


  1. ^ Defence Museum, Yangon
  2. ^ Burma Citizenship Law harsh on ethnic Burma Citizenship Law harsh on ethnic|
  3. ^ Burma Citizenship Law 1982|
  4. ^ Defence Museum, Yangon

Further reading

  • May Myo Chit Swe, "Myanmar Pyi Phwar Gurkha", 2000 November (in Burmese).

External links

  • Nanda NayUparnay Dhammasala
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