Battle of Rezang La: When 120 Indian soldiers held on to Ladakh till their last breath

Most Indians feel that India lost heavily in the 1962 India-China war and associate it with disgrace, but not many are aware about the heroics of Indian (Kumaon) soldiers at Rezang La. Here’s video shared by History Channel that provides insight into the battle at Rezang La.

The battle in snow-clad mountains of Chushul in Ladakh (on November 18, 1962) is still considered to be one of the greatest last stands in the history of armed forces across the world.

India-China War of 1962

Before the India-China War of 1962, India never though that China would ever attack India, but it did launch a military offensive against India.

Rezang La is the site where 120 soldiers of the Kumaon regiment, led by Major Shaitan Singh, valiantly fought hundreds (some reports say five thousand) of Chinese during the Sino-Indian War in 1962.

Here’s a video by History Channel which gives more information about the battle.

Military experts say that the Indians were at a disadvantage at Rezang La due to an intervening feature that blocked artillery operation, so the Indian infantry had to do fight without artillery cover.

In this action on 18 November 1962, 114 Indian soldiers out of a total of 120 were martyred. Major Shaitan Singh won a posthumous Param Vir Chakra for his actions.

The war ended the next day as the Chinese declared a ceasefire and pulled back; Rezang La was the last major action of the conflict.

Rezang La, also known as Ahir Dham, is located in Ladakh (in Jammu and Kashmir) in India.

Rezang La Memorial in Rewari

Rezang La Memorial in Rewari
Rezang La Memorial in Rewari

“How can a Man die Better than facing Fearful Odds, For the Ashes of His Fathers and the Temples of His Gods, To the sacred memory of the Heroes of Rezang La, 114 Martyrs of 13 Kumaon who fought to the Last Man, Last Round, Against Hordes of Chinese on 18 November 1962. Built by All Ranks 13th Battalion, The Kumaon Regiment.”

Haqeeqat (1964 Film)

Hindi film Haqeeqat (1964), starring Dharmendra, Balraj Sahni and others (directed by Chetan Anand), is based on the 1962 Sino-Indian War. The movie has some great songs, one of them is among the most patriotic songs of India.

Watch: Kar Chale Hum Fida song from the movie Haqeeqat, sung by Mohd Rafi

Also Read: Bollywood films shot in Ladakh.