The fort stands not just as a symbol of conquest but as a beacon of resilience, reminding us that the indomitable spirit of the Gurkhas continues to endure, transcending time and borders
In the picturesque landscapes of Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, the echoes of Gorkhali valor resonate through the ages in the form of the historic Gorkha Fort. This fortress, with its towering nine-feet-high walls and a strategic five-feet-four-inch width, stands not just as a physical structure but as a living testament to the indomitable spirit and triumphs of the Gurkhas over British forces.
Similar to the renowned Nalapani Fort, the Gorkha Fort in Pithoragarh unfolds a captivating saga of Gorkhali triumphs over the British, a tale that spans a remarkable 25-year rule. Historical records unveil the Gorkhali army's strategic capture of the fort as part of their westward expansion into Nepal, marking the initiation of a victorious era in the region.
Hembabu, a distinguished historian, sheds light on the early days when Gurkha soldiers seized control of the fort during the westward expansion of Nepal. From this vantage point, they ruled over Kumaon Gadwal for an uninterrupted 25 years, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of history.
Known interchangeably as Gorkha Fort and London Fort, this stronghold's roots trace back to its construction in 1789 by the Gorkhali army, a defensive measure preceding the Battle of Nalapani. Ramesh Pant Mitbandhu, an expert in history, notes, "Gorkhali ruler Bahadur Shah led the capture of this fort, marking 25 years of Gorkhali dominion over Kumaon Gadwal."
The dimensions of the fort tell a story of their own, with a length of 88.5 meters and a width of 40 meters. The walls, once witnesses to historical events, now stand adorned with etchings of a deep-rooted past. The fort even housed a well, a crucial resource for its inhabitants. Today, a Peepal tree stands in its place, symbolizing the resilience and continuity of life.
Bir Bahadur Chand, with nostalgia in his voice, recalls the fort's recognition as the Gorkhali Fort 61 years ago during his time in Pithoragarh. Emphasizing its significance for Nepali people, Chand remarks, "This fort is important and historical for Nepalese," highlighting the deep-rooted cultural and historical ties that bind the people to this architectural marvel.
Inscriptions within the Gorkha Fort unveil a rich tapestry of its use as a military stronghold by various clans during their respective reigns. The Malla, Bam, Chand, Gorkhali, and British all left their mark on the fort, each chapter adding to its historical significance. Today, under the protective watch of the Indian government, the Gorkha Fort stands as a living relic, a silent guardian of the Gurkha legacy.
As we gaze upon the majestic walls of the Gorkha Fort in Pithoragarh, we are reminded not only of the battles fought and won but of the enduring spirit of people who have etched their mark on the pages of history. The fort stands not just as a symbol of conquest but as a beacon of resilience, reminding us that the indomitable spirit of the Gurkhas continues to endure, transcending time and borders.