The 39 Clues

Cahill

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The Ghurkas

The Legend

The Ghurka people of Nepal trace their beginnings back to a legend about a young prince named Kalboj. While out on a hunting expedition, Prince Kalboj came upon a wise man in deep meditation. Though his friends went off without him, the prince decided to stay and care for the wise man until he awakened from his trance.

When the wise man revived, he revealed himself to Prince Kalboj as Guru Gorknath, last of the nine eternal gurus who watch over humankind. In return for the devotion and care that he received from the young prince, the warrior-saint gave him an epic blade, known as Kukri. He was careful to warn the prince that if he drew the blade, he must satisfy its thirst for blood before sheathing it. He also gave him a name to call himself and his followers: Ghurkas. Guru Gorknath then advised his disciple to go out and halt the advance of the Muslim armies that were invading Afghanistan.

Rise to Power

After Prince Kalboj vanquished the enemies of his faith in the 8th century and conquered lands both near and far, the warrior-prince gave up his worldly possessions and lived a peaceful life at the top of a holy mountain. By 1769, the dynasty of Prince Kalboj had made the majestic peaks of Nepal the seat of their power. They named the region after their warrior-saint, calling it Gorkha. With the turn of a few centuries, they won control over the entire nation.

By the time British colonialists arrived, the Ghurkas had been established as legendary warriors for more than a thousand years. Then, in 1814, the British invaded. The Ghurkas fought them to a standstill. Awed by their opponents' ferocity, the British offered the Ghurkas a deal: Nepal would become a protectorate and retain independence, while the British would be able to recruit from the ranks of the Ghurkas. Though undaunted by the numbers of British soldiers and their firepower, the Ghurkas wanted peace. They accepted the truce.

Ghurkas Today

The first recruits refused to enter British military service just as soldiers, so the British gave them commissions as officers. Eventually this practice faded, and for any Ghurka to become an officer he had to first prove himself in the field as a warrior. The Ghurkas continued to serve in both British and Indian armies and became world-renowned for their valor and bravery in World War I and World War II. Today, Ghurkas serve in private security, armed forces, and as elite combat units around the world. Their uniform is dark green, and they still carry the bloodthirsty Kukri blade, which is their trademark. Their war cry is: “Glory be to the Goddess of War, here come the Ghurkas!”

Has anyone else heard that the Ghurkas are part of some secret organization?

What are you talking about? That’s totally crazy. They’ve been Nepalese warriors for centuries. No mystery there.

No! They became part of this secret family that runs the world!

Wow. The Internet is really full of nutcases.