The Gurkha fought several wars, depicting their strength and establishing their name as the mightiest warriors all over the world, also making Nepal famous as the "land of Gurkhas".
"It's better to die than to be a coward."
With the notion above-mentioned, the Gurkha soldiers have kept their name since the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-1816. Originated from the Gorkha district of Nepal, initially led by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Gurkha fought several wars, depicting their strength and establishing their name as the mightiest warriors all over the world, also making Nepal famous as the "land of Gurkhas". Fighting off the western armada during the western invasion, the Gurkha army was successful in portraying their bravery to all, by which even the western army was impressed, after which they were enrolled in the British army in 1857. Their prominent contribution to both the world wars is still of great significance in the history of the world.
The achievements of the Gurkha regiments are celebrated in the Gurkha Memorial Museum, which stands as a token of gratitude to the fearless courage of the Gurkha soldiers. The highest medal for bravery – the Victoria Cross is also exhibited in the museum.
In 1994 AD, the museum was first located in Lainchaur, Kathmandu which was opened as a grand reception for the 7 living Gurkha Victoria Cross winners. Back then, only archive data and military uniforms were displayed. Gradually, they received numerous donations and grants by which the exhibition was expanded, and more military items were put into showcasing.
In 2004, Commander Colonel Peter Sharland gave a leased land outside the Pokhara valley to the Gurkha Museum. The construction started, and Gurkha history Gallery was put up on the ground floor and was opened to the public in 2005. In late 2007, another floor was added. By 2008, Regimental Gallery was set up on the third floor. The full scope museum was completed in 2015 with the construction of the parking lot.
The museum is accompanied by sound effects, covering the Gurkha history from the 19th-century Indian Uprising, through two World Wars to current day disputes and peacekeeping missions. It exhibits the harsh life that Gurkhas led that made them the best soldiers in the World.
With the sounds of the wars in the background, it is a walk through the 1815 historic displays, 1857 Indian Mutiny, Campaigns, etc., followed by the First World War. The uniforms, military items, and historic photographs are on display.
Moving ahead, the sounds of World War II is heard, and the citation of the Victoria Cross achievers are seen. Then, you pass through the Malayan Emergency, Borneo Confrontation, the Falklands War, Anti-Illegal Operations in Hong Kong, Gulf War, and current UN operations sections. Finally, there is the display of the Nepalese Army, who helped the British Army during the Indian Mutiny, the time when the Gurkha soldiers went overseas to the frontlines in WW2.
The family life, regimental life, sports life, etc. of the Gurkha Army are seen here in old photographs. The customs and traditions of the infantry regiment are reflected here. The regimental march of the soldiers accompanies your walk through the first floor, where you can see their uniforms and how they led their extreme army life.
The second or the top floor of the Gurkha Memorial Museum is dedicated to the engineering, signals, and transport regiment. Others such as Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force, Gurkha Independent Parachute Company, Gurkha Military Police, and Gurkha Dog Company are also displayed here.
The uniforms, medals, flags, and many photographs of the Indian Army are showcased in a different section, which was a part of the British Army before WW2.
FEATURES AND SERVICES
The Museum has a car parking service for the visitors for free, while there is a small payment for the outsiders. Visitors can watch DVD films of the Gurkha history on a large screen inside. There is also a library facility with a small charge, to carry out projects, researches, etc. in the library itself as books are not allowed to be taken from the library. School visits are entertained with pre-information. The museum also provides a membership facility.
The museum also has donation schemes, as the renovation, improvement, and sustenance are managed with the funds of the supporters.
The museum also has a shop with various items that can be purchased as souvenirs. Some of them are Service Khukri, Ceremonial Khukri, Museum T-Shirt, Victoria Cross Chart, Pocket diary, handicrafts, sun hat, postcard, regimental ties, etc.
There is a certain entrance fee charged at the gate, and a small extra amount is charged for taking photographs inside the museum.
The Gurkha Memorial Museum lies just to the north of Mahendra Pul, near KI Sign Bridge in Pokhara.
It is one of the must-visit, a famous tourist attraction in Pokhara.