Rezang La

Coordinates: 33°25′08″N 78°50′58″E / 33.4188°N 78.8494°E / 33.4188; 78.8494
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Rechin La
Rezang La
Rechin La is located in Ladakh
Rechin La
Elevation5,500 m (18,045 ft)
LocationLeh district, Ladakh, India - Rutog County, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
RangeHimalaya, Ladakh Range
Coordinates33°25′08″N 78°50′58″E / 33.4188°N 78.8494°E / 33.4188; 78.8494

Rechin La (Chinese: 熱欽山口; pinyin: Rè qīn shānkǒu),[1] which was called Rezang La[2] in the English language sources in the 1960s, is a mountain pass on the Line of Actual Control between Indian-administered Ladakh and the Chinese-administered Spanggur Lake basin. The pass is located on the watershed ridge of the Chushul Valley, on its east. China claims that the ridge is the boundary between the two countries, but India's claim line is further east.

About 3 km southeast of Rechin La (33°24′52″N 78°52′29″E / 33.4144°N 78.8748°E / 33.4144; 78.8748 (Rèzàng Shānkǒu)) on the same ridge is a pass leading to an adjacent valley, which China recognizes as Rezang La (Chinese: 热藏山口; pinyin: Rèzàng Shānkǒu).[3]

About 3 km northwest of Rechin La (33°26′38″N 78°49′48″E / 33.4440°N 78.8300°E / 33.4440; 78.8300 (Rezang La (1962))) is a pass that was the site of a major battle of the 1962 Sino-Indian War.[1] The "C" Company of India's 13 Kumaon battalion( pure Ahir battalion), made of Ahir soldiers, fought to the last man in an effort to block the Chinese PLA troops from crossing the ridge into the Chushul Valley. In which 1500+ PLA troops were killed by the 120 Indian Soldiers.

During the 2020–2021 China–India skirmishes, these passes were again the site of a major face-off between the two nations' armies.


Map 1: Spanggur Lake basin (AMS, 1954)

The old survey maps of the region label two adjacent valleys leading to the Spaanggur Lake as "Rezang Lungpa". (See Map 1.) The pass at the head of the western valley (33°25′08″N 78°50′58″E / 33.4188°N 78.8494°E / 33.4188; 78.8494 (Rechin La)) at an elevation of 16,420 ft (5,000 m) is labelled "Rezang La". The pass at the head of the eastern valley (33°23′20″N 78°55′44″E / 33.3888°N 78.9290°E / 33.3888; 78.9290 (Rezang La)), unlabelled in the survey map, is at a much higher elevation of 20,670 ft (6,300 m).

In 1963, the Government of India used the name "Rezang La" for pass marked on the survey map, the one at the head of the western valley.[2] References to "Rezang La" in the literature on Sino-Indian War in English language, presumably refer to this pass.

Chinese sources use the name "Rechin La" for the western pass pass,[3] which has also been adopted by the Indian news media in 2020.


Map 2: Rezang La, Rechin La and their valleys leading to the Spanggur Lake
A statue of Major Shaitan Singh in a central square of his native city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

Rechin La as well as the present Rezang La are mountain passes on the ridge line adjoining the Chushul Valley, which China claims as its border. India's claimed border is further east, and it coincides with the border shown on most British and international maps prior to Indian independence. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) resulting from the 1962 Sino-Indian War coincides with the Chinese claim line in this region.

To the north of Rechin La along the LAC are various strategic hill peaks, Mukhpari, Magar Hill, and (after Spanggur Gap) Gurung Hill. To the south of Rezang La is Mount Sajum.[1] (Map 2)

The Chushul village and Indian military post are 27 km northwest of Rezang La.

Military operations[edit]

1962 battle of Rezang La[edit]

During the Sino-Indian War in 1962, Rechin La (then called Rezang La) was the site of the last stand of the Charlie "C" Ahir company[4][5][6] of 13 Kumaon, consisting of 124 Indian soldiers.[7][8] According to the official Indian history of the war, the Rezang La picket of Charlie company was located at an elevation of 5,500 metres (18,000 ft), 11 km south of the Spanggur Gap, on the same ridge line as Rezang La.[9]

Lance Naik SinghRam Yadav, VrC killed 24 Chinese soldiers with his bare hands seeing which Chinese commander kept "Bravest of the Brave" on his body after battle.
Lance Naik SinghRam Yadav, Veer Chakra, Village Dhawan, Rewari

The company was led by Major Shaitan Singh,[10] who won a posthumous Param Vir Chakra for his actions.[11][12][13] 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.[13]

The Chinese employed human wave tactics, sending up to eight waves against the Indian troop positions.[14][15][16] In the action on 18 November 1962, 114 Indian soldiers out of a total of 120 lost their lives, and more than 1000 Chinese troops were killed according to Indian sources.[17] A memorial in Rewari, where most of the Ahir soldiers came from, claims that 1,300 Chinese soldiers were killed in the battle.[18] The Indian side was led by Major Shaitan Singh, who was later posthumously awarded Param Vir Chakra, India's highest gallantry award for conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy.

This battle was also important as China declared ceasefire after watching the bravery of Indian soldiers in this battle.

2020 border standoff[edit]

During border standoff in summer, the Indian Army deployed troops along the Line of Actual Control south of the Pangong Tso, including at Rezang La and Rechin La. This was said to give them a commanding view of the Spanggur Gap and China's "Moldo sector" (the deployments around the Spanggur Lake).[19]

War memorials (Ahir Dham)[edit]

Rezang La War Memorial at Chushul[edit]

The inscription on the War Memorial at Chushul, Ladakh raised by the Indian Army in memory of the soldiers who died in the Battle of Rezang La, reads as below.[20][21] The first four lines are quoted from Horatius, a poem by Thomas Babington Macaulay, member of the Governor-General of India's Supreme Council from 1834 to 1838[22]

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
18 November 1962.
Built by all ranks
13th Battalion the Kumaon Regiment.

Major-General Ian Cardozo writes in his book Param Vir, Our Heroes in Battle:

When Rezang La was later revisited dead jawans were found in the trenches still holding on to their weapons... every single man of this company was found dead in his trench with several bullets or splinter wounds. The 2-inch mortar man died with a bomb still in his hand. The medical orderly had a syringe and bandage in his hands when the Chinese bullet hit him... Of the thousand mortar bombs with the defenders, all but seven had been fired and the rest were ready to be fired when the (mortar) section was overrun.

General T.N. Raina lauded:[23]

You rarely come across such example in the annals of world military history when braving such heavy odds, the men fought till the last bullet and the last man. Certainly, the Battle of Rezang La is such a shining example.

Rezang La War Memorial at Rewari[edit]

General K S Thimayya wished for a memorial to be built in Ahirwal region of Haryana in the memory of soldiers who were mostly from this area. He felt generations to come would seek inspiration from the immense courage and valour of their forefathers.[23] Consequently, another Rezang La war memorial was constructed by Rezangla Shaurya Samiti inside Rezang La Park near Dharuhera Chowk in Rewari city in Ahirwal region. Annual memorial function is held by the Samiti in collaboration with district administration, the Kumaon Regiment and family members of those who died at Rezang La also participate. In every special and cultural events in Delhi-NCR and Rewari the two "bravest soldiers", Capt. Ram Chander Singh and Hav Nihal Singh, Sena Medal, will be chief guests as they tell the story of Rezang La, which gives motivation to young generation about valour of Veer Ahirs. On 24 February 2023, they were the chief guests on Rao Bal Kishan Shaurya Diwas. They also unveiled the portrait of "Rao Bal Kishan".[24]


National Highway 3 is the closest NH for this location. One can reach to via Loma Bridge/Loma ITBP Check Post and Mahe Bridge. Both built over Indus river. Distance is 170 km. It meets to Miru, where proposed Bhanupli–Leh line will connect.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Lt. Gen. H. S. Panag, India sits on Black Top with Helmet under its boots, The Print, 9 September 2020. See "Map 1 – Kailash Range Chushul Sector".
  2. ^ a b Note given by the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, to the Embassy of China in India, 26 July 1963. "The location of Rezang La (E 78° 51' 10" N 33° 25' 30" [33°25′30″N 78°51′10″E / 33.42500°N 78.85278°E / 33.42500; 78.85278 (Rezang La (GoI))]) is well known... "
  3. ^ a b "Zhōng yìn tǎnkè yí zài bān gōng hú yǐ nán rè qīn shānkǒu duìzhì xiāngjù jǐn shǔ mǐ" 中印坦克疑在班公湖以南热钦山口对峙 相距仅数米 [Chinese and Indian tanks are suspected to be facing off at Rechin Pass, south of Pangong Lake, just a few meters apart], Sina Military News, 11 January 2021
  4. ^ Brig Chitranjan Sawant (2021). Living Life Loving Life. Prabhat Prakashan. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9788184303995.
  5. ^ Bisht, Rachna (2014). The Brave Param Vir Chakra Stories. Penguin Books Limited. p. all. ISBN 9789351188056. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  6. ^ Arora, Dr. N. D. (2017). Political Science for Civil Services Mains. McGraw-Hill Education. p. all. ISBN 9789352604906. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  7. ^ "The Battle of Rezang la".
  8. ^ "Micro review: 'The Battle of Rezang La' by Kulpreet Yadav". The Times of India.
  9. ^ Sinha & Athale 1992, p. 334.
  10. ^ Raj, Neha (1 December 2023). "Remembering Major Shaitan Singh Bhati: The Hero of Rezang La". PUNE.NEWS. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  11. ^ Press Information Bureau, Government of India (7 January 2007). "Remembering Rezang La heroes". Sainik samachar.
  12. ^ Col Dilbag Dabas (Retd) (15 December 2018). "Heroes of Rezang La 1962". The Tribune.
  13. ^ a b Mohan Guruswamy (20 November 2012). "Don't forget the heroes of Rezang La". The Hindu.
  14. ^ "Soldier who won respect of enemy; tale of Rezang La 1962 battle". TOI. 30 October 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  15. ^ "The 1962 War at Rezang La: A Story of Raw Courage and Spirit". Quint. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  16. ^ "Rezang La, 1962: When 120 Indian soldiers fought to the end & wiped out over 1,000 Chinese troops". Print. 22 October 2022. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  17. ^ Gen Dalbir Singh (20 November 2014). "Coas Paid Homage to Heroes of Battle of Rezangla". Indian Army.
  18. ^ Shekhar Gupta (30 October 2012). "'Nobody believed we had killed so many Chinese at Rezang La. Our commander called me crazy and warned that I could be court-martialled'". The Indian Express.
  19. ^ Manu Pubby, Chushul tense: Chinese troops within firing range of Indian soldiers, The Economic Times, 1 September 2020.
  20. ^ "Photograph of the memorial". Archived from the original on 28 January 2014.
  21. ^ "War Memorial of 13 Kumaon". Bharat Rakshak. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014.
  22. ^ Thomas Babbington Macaulay. "Lays of Ancient Rome". Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  23. ^ a b Atul Yadav, "Injustice to Ahir martyrs of 1962 war", Tribune India, 18 November 1999.
  24. ^ "नांगल पठानी में मनाया वीर अमर शहीद राव बालकिशन का शहीदी दिवस | Martyrs Day of Veer Amar Shaheed Rao Balkishan celebrated in Nangal Pathani - Dainik Bhaskar". Retrieved 14 March 2023.


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