“Gurkha Khukri” – probably the two of the most significant words that accurately depict valor, strength and legacy. The term Gurkha Khukri refers to the battle knife historically carried by the legendary Gurkha Army from the hilly region of Nepal, which in recent years has been even more glorified throughout the world.
Where does the name come from?
The word “Gurkha” (/ˈɡɜːrkə – ɜːr: ‘ur’ as in ‘fur’) was actually derived from the word “Gorkha”, (ɡʊər – ʊər; ‘our’ as in ‘tour’). Gorkha (currently a hilly district among the 77 districts of Nepal) was one of the many independent and divided states of the Himalayas. The king of the Gorkha state – Prithvi Narayan Shah unified all the divided states of the Himalayas into the modern day country of Nepal and kept his trusted troops from his Gorkha state in the core of the new Nepalese Army. While the words about the fierce and courageous troops from the Gorkha state had already spread throughout Nepal during the unification period, it was at the Battle of Naalapani in the year 1814 AD when the British troops first encountered this legendary brigade of troops from the Gorkha region.
The favorite battle weapon of these troops from the Gorkha region was the now famous Khukri knives.
It was after this encounter that the British started to recognize these warriors from the Gorkha state and started referring to them as the “Gurkhas” (the skewed version of the word Gorkha). Since then the people or more importantly the army men that came from the hilly region of Gorkha were introduced to the entire world as the Gurkhas and their place of origin as Gurkha.
In the modern days, the word Gurkha is widely in use worldwide to refer to Nepal, its army and the Nepalese people especially in the context of warfare.
Thus the service Khukri knife carried by these Gurkha troops started being referred to as the “Gurkha Khukri”.
Gurkha Khukri is a very unique knife that has an inwardly curved shape with a relatively much heavier weight and thicker one side of the blade allowing it to have an axe like thrust and razor sharp blade on the other side to provide it a sword like cut. The origin of the design of the Gurkha Khukri has been said to have influenced by the domestic sickles and the hunting boomerang shaped-bent sticks.
While the Gurkha Khukri started as a service weapon issued to the legendary Gurkha army, Gurkha Khukri now has also become an integral part of the daily household utilities in almost every home in Nepal. At the same time, the popularity and demand of the Ghurkha Khukri as spread all over the world in the recent years. The Gurkha Khukri can be used for hacking and cutting, slicing, used as survival tools and perfect showpieces and gifts.
Gurkha Khukri come in various shapes, sizes and designs and interested buyers can even have custom made Khukri manufactured based on their specific requirements and taste. Gurkha Khukri can be purchased from the Khukri shops spread around Kathmandu as well as can be ordered online from trusted sellers who deal in authentic Gurkha Khukri.
Many factors determine the cost of a Gurkha Khukri such as the skill of the blacksmith who made it, the material used, handle and scabbard, size, design & artwork, and the ultimate purpose and comfort of usage.
Though unofficially, nowadays the Gurkha Khukri is regarded as the national weapon of Nepal. While it is an integral part of the personal weaponries issued to the Nepalese army, images of Gurkha Khukri appears in most of the Nepalese emblems and insignias as well. Gurkha Khukri is also a mandatory part of the service weapons issued to any Gurkha regiments around the world. As a result, Gurkha Khukri has become somewhat a synonym with the Gurkhas.