Khalanga War Memorial

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About Khalanga War Memorial

Located at just 5 kms from Dehradun city center at Sahastradhara Road, Khalanga War Memorial is a famous tourist spot in Dehradun which still depicts the brave story of Gorkhas. Its becomes big honour when an enemy erects a memorial of their opponent. It is perhaps world's first memorial erected by an army for their opponent. It was Britishers who constructed Khalanga War Memorial in the memory of their General "Gilaspy" and other army men as well as Gorkha General "Balbhadra Thapa" to pay tribute to their courage jointly after the battle of Nalapani which was faught in 1814.

Dehradunon Sahastra Dhara road
13.4 kms / 39 mins
From IBST Dehradun
30 mins

Khalanga War Memorial in Dehradun

Khalanga War Memorial is also known as Kalinga War Memorial or Khalinga War Memorial.

The Bravery of Gorkha's

In the month of October 1814, Major General Sir Rollo Gillespie of the British army had advanced along with 3,500 troops and eleven pieces of cannon to occupy the Nepali territories situated between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in the Gharwal and Kumaon regions that had been occupied by the Nepali forces. Captain Balabhadra Kunwar had maintained his position at a 400 cubits high hill in a place called Nalapani, situated north-east of Dehradun, to check his advance. On Kartik 8, 1871, Bikram Samvat (October 1814), British troops reached Dehradun. A battle took place between British and Nepali troops at Nalapani on Kartik 10, 1871 B. Samvat. The British were unsuccessful and withdrew to Dehradun. Another battle was fought between the two sides at Nalapani on Kartik 17, 1871 Samvat (ca. Oct 31, 1814). General Gillespie, the British Commander, lost his life in that battle along with Col. Alice. The siege continued for a month until the British, convinced that they could not win by military ways, blocked the source of water to the fort so that the Nepalese would die of thirst. For the Nepali Army it was a hard struggle fighting a very well equipped and trained modern army, belonging to one of the largest colonial Empires of the world. Balbhadra Kunwar had asked for reinforcements from the capital but Kathmandu could not send them any soldiers as the Nepali army had no reserve army and were an emerging power which means that they did not have troops to match the East India Company. The Nepalese army was outnumbered in Nalapani as it was in every battlefield.

Even though the Nepali army lacked water they were still determined to defend their position. Because the walls had collapsed, cannonballs fired by the British started reaching the interior of the fort. Many men were killed or injured. Despite losing their comrades and friends the remaining men were still determined to defend their position. In order to drink water from the river they came out of the fort in a single line, and the British forces watched in surprise as the Nepali troops quenched their thirst and returned to their fort. On Marga 16 (Nov 1814), four of the commanders, including Capt. Balabhadra Kunwar, in the night was forced to abandoned the fort of Nalapani with their remaining Gorkhali troops. On seeing the Nepalis abandon the fort, the British attacked them. The Nepalis resisted the attack but continued to advance. They reached Dwara in the morning of Marga 17, 1871 and stayed the whole day there.

After 4 days of thirst, and a severe loss of troops, without surrendering, Capt. Balbhadra emerged from the fort with drawn kukris in his hands (along with other 70 survivors) and roared to the British - "You could have never won the battle but now I myself voluntarily abandon this fort. There is nothing inside the fort other than dead corpses of the children and women"! He and his remaining troops escaped into the hills on November 30, 1814. A peace treaty was signed on Dec 2, 1815 between the then King Girvan Yuddha Vikram Shah and the British East India Company, known as the Sugauli Treaty. The British soldier-poet, John Ship, had written during the war about the Gorkhas:

"I never saw more steadiness Or bravery exhibited in my life. Run they would not and of death They seemed to have no fear though their comrades were falling Thick around them, as bold For we were so near to know That every shot of ours told."

Khalanga War Memorial - A Salute to Gorkhas by Britishers

Famous Gorkha War or Anglo-Nepalese or Anglo-Gorkha War was fought between Britishers and Gorkhas of Nepal. In Battel of Nalapani, 600 Gorkhas fought bravely against 3000 odd soldiers in Khalanga Fort near Nalapani, Dehradun. For six weeks, Gorkhas were protecting the fort without food and water. Impressed by the unmatched bravery, Britishers erected the Khalanga (Kalinga) War Memorial to honor Gorkhas. After that Britishers recruits Gorkhas in their army too. This memorial is under conservation of ASI.

Location of Khalanga War Memorial

Khalanga War Memorial is located in Dehradun ( on Sahastra Dhara road).

Location & How to Reach Khalanga War Memorial

Khalanga War Memorial is located at 5 km Dehradun city at Sahastradhara Road. One can reach easily at Khalanga War Memorial by autorickshaw (vikram), taxi or by bus from any part of the Dehradun city. Dehradun railway station is at less than 6 kms from Memorial and Jolly Grant Airport is at 27 kms.

Read How to Reach guide for Dehradun.

What is Khalanga War Memorial famous for?

Khalanga War Memorial is popular place for following activities/ interests - War memorial.

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