Burmese Gurkha

Burmese Gurkhas (Burmese: ဂေါ်ရခါးလူမျိုးများ; Nepali: गोरखाली) are a group of Nepali language speaking Burmese people of Khas/Gurkha ethnic group living in 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.

Burmese Gurkhas
Regions with significant populations
Myanmar, Yangon, Mandalay, Mogok, Pyin Oo Lwin, Taunggyi, Mandalay Division, Shan State, Kachin State
Burmese and Nepalese
Hinduism, and Buddhism
Related ethnic groups
Nepalese peoples and Indian Gorkhas

The estimated population of Gurkha is nearly 1 million.The majority of Gurkha now reside in Yangon (Rangoon), Mandalay, Pyin U Lwin, Mogok, Tamu, Kalaymyo, Taunggyi, and other parts of the country.

History and demographyEdit

Like many other people who reside in Myanmar and who have their origin in 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]This was also the soldier named Suk Bahadur Rai  that won the highest honor of Tatmadaw, The Aung San Thuriya Medal.


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, Mogok and the hill station of Pyin U Lwin (Maymyo).


Most Gurkha typically speak Nepali and Burmese languages.


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 BurmaEdit

  • Private Aung San Thuriya Suk Bahadur Rai – No.4 Burma Regiment (4th Gurkha) Myanmar Army.[4] – recipient of the Aung San Thuriya award, the highest gallantry award in Myanmar.[5]
  • 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. He's also a major in Myanmar Army[6]


  1. ^ Defence Museum, Yangon
  2. ^ Burma Citizenship Law harsh on ethnic Burma Citizenship Law harsh on ethnic|"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2013-05-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Burma Citizenship Law 1982|http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3ae6b4f71b.html
  4. ^ Defence Museum, Yangon
  5. ^ "ဆာ့ခ္ဗဟာဒူးရြိဳင္း၊ (ေအာင္ဆန္းသူရိယ)". 23 February 2016. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  6. ^ "Hamro Myanmar". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.

Further readingEdit

  • May Myo Chit Swe, "Myanmar Pyi Phwar Gurkha", 2000 November (in Burmese).
  • Scott of The Shan Hills, Edited By G.E Mitton(Lady Scott)
  • Report of Frontier Areas Committee of Enquiry, Part 2,1947
  • Burma Gazetteer,28.6.1948
  • Ruby Mines District Gazetteer
  • New Times of Burma,7.6.1948
  • New Times of Burma,10.6.1948
  • The Hundred Days of Burma, Lt.MACHOTON

External linksEdit