Rezang La is a pass on the south-eastern approach to Chushul Valley in Ladakh, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. It is 3,000 yards long and 2,000 yards wide, with an average height of 16,000 feet.
Rezang La was the site of the last stand of the 13 Kumaon, an all-Ahir company, during the Sino-Indian War in 1962. The company led by Major Shaitan Singh, who won a posthumous Param Vir Chakra for his actions. From the Indian point of view, Rezang La had the drawback that an intervening feature blocked artillery operation, so that the Indian infantry had to do without artillery cover.
In this action on 18 November 1962, 114 Indian soldiers out of a total of 124 were killed. A memorial in Rewari, where most of the Ahir soldiers came from, states that 1700 Chinese soldiers were killed in the battle. A memorial was constructed near Dharuhera Chowk in Rewari city by Rezangla Shaurya Samiti. Every year, memorial functions are held by the Samiti in collaboration with district administration and the Kumaon Regiment, and family members of those who died at Rezangla also take part.
The Indian side was led by Major Shaitan Singh (IC 7990), who was later awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest gallantry award for conspicuous bravery or self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy.
There is a small memorial at Rezangla, which reads:
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.
Fragment quoted from Horatius, a poem by Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, member of Governor-General of India's Supreme Council from 1834 to 1838
- Don’t forget the heroes of Rezang La
- MOHAN GURUSWAMY (November 20, 2012). "Don’t forget the heroes of Rezang La". MOHAN GURUSWAMY. The Hindu. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- ‘Nobody believed we had killed so many Chinese at Rezang La. Our commander called me crazy and warned that I could be court-martialled’
- War Memorial of 13 Kumaon A monument dedicated to the fallen soldiers of the 13 Kumaon who perished at the Battle of Chushul, in the 1962 Indo-Sino War. The inscription on the monument, right above the wreaths
- Better picture of memorial
- Project Gutenberg's Lays of Ancient Rome, by Thomas Babbington Macaulay