Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award, List of Winners

This article is meant for information on Param Vir Chakra awards, amazing facts, rare, unknown and interesting facts about Param Vir Chakra award. The article also covers about information and facts about winners of the one of most prestigious awards of India.

Quick Basic Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award

  • Award type/category – Gallantry (Military) Award 
  • Awarded to – Indian Armed Forces
  • Awarded by – President of India
  • Instituted on – 26th Jan, 1950
  • First awarded on -3rd Nov 1947
  • Criteria/reason – “most conspicuous bravery or some daring  or pre-eminent act of valour or supreme sacrifice, in the presence of enemy, weather on land, at sea, or in the air”.

    Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award

    Param Vir Chakra Medal

Design & Aesthetic Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award

  • The medal of Param Vir chakra was designed in its present form by Savitri Khanolkar.
  • Savitri Khanolkar was the wife of Vikram Khanolkar who worked in Sikh Regiment of Indian Army.
  •  The shape of the medal is circular disc. It is made up of gold. The diameter of disc is 1.375 inches.
  • The front of the disc bears National Emblem of India in center.  National Emblem is surrounded by four images of “Vajra” (वज्र) on the periphery each one separated by 90 degree angle. As per ancient Indian mythology, Vajra is the most lethal, mighty and ferocious weapon of King of Gods, Indra (इन्द्र).
  • National emblem in center of the medal symbolizes and represents that recipient is committed wholeheartedly towards the nation.
  • Four replicas of God’s weapon Vajra surrounding the Lion Capital, the National Emblem of India, symbolises that the country India is being protected and constantly guarded by the gods.
  • The reverse side of the medal bears the text Param Vir Chakra in both English and Devanagari script separated by lotus flowers.
  • The medal is suspended by straight swivel type suspension bar. A purple color ribbon holds the straight bar. The length of ribbon is 1.3 inch long.

Interesting Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award

  • The importance and rareness of Param Vir Chakra award can be understood by the fact that it has been given only 21 times in 70 years of Indian history.
  • Param Vir Chakra award is equivalent to Medal of Honour in United States (highest military award of USA) and Victoria Cross in UK(highest military award of UK).

    Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award

    Major Somnath Sharma

  • Major Somnath Sharma of 4th Kumaon regiment was the first winner of this award. He got this award for showing valour and giving supreme sacrifice during capturing Srinagar airport occupied by Pakistani infiltrators during India-Pakistan was of 1947. He received the award posthumously.
  • It is a co-incidence that Major Somnath Sharma, the first winner of Param Vir chakra was son in law’s brother of Savitri Khanolkar, the designer of medal.
  • Till now (by the time of writing this) out of 21 total recipients, 20 awardees belong to Indian Army and only one belong to Indian Air Force. There is no recipient from Indian Navy so far.
  • Out of total 32 Infantry regiments of Indian Army, Gorkha Rifles have won maximum of three awards.
  • The only Indian Air Force officer, Nirmal jit Singh Shekhon won this award posthumously for his bravery in 1971 India Pakistan (Bangladeh liberation) war.
  • Out of 21 total awardees, 16 got this award for their critical role in different India-Pakistan wars. 2 officers got the award for their action in India-China war of 1962.
  • 2 Indian Army officers got Param Vir Chakra award for their action on foreign soil. Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria of Gorkha Rifles gave his supreme sacrifice during Congo crisis and was awarded posthumously. Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran of Mahar regiment died due to his injuries in Sri Lanka during Operation Pawan while fighting with terrorists. He got the award posthumously.
  • Param Vir Chakra award comes with monetary benefit for those who are below the lieutenant level. Monthly pension of Rs 10,000 is provided to the widow till she is remarried or dies bachelor. In case if the martyr is bachelor, this pension is given to the surviving parents.

Rarely known Facts about Param Vir Chakra Award

  • Subedar Yogendra Singh Yadav was the youngest recipient of Param Vir Chakra. He received this award at the age of 19 years for capturing Tiger Hills during Kargil war. Earlier he was declared as posthumous recipient of this award. Later it was found that he has survived and recuperating in army hospital. Another army personal with exactly same name was also killed in this mission and this created confusion. When this incident came to light, posthumous word was later dropped from his name.
  • PVC is used as acronym (abbreviation) for Param Vir Chakra.
  • Unlike Bharat Ratna and other civilian award winners, the recipients of Param Vir Chakra can use this award in their surname.
  • Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has honoured the first fifteen recipients of Param Vir Chakra Award by naming their 15 crude oil carrier ships on the names of these winners. These fifteen ships of SCI are called as PVC (Param Vir Chakra) series ships. After completing their valuable life of 25 years of service these ships have been removed from active service.

List of Recipients of Param Vir Chakra Award

Name RankWarUnitRemarks
Major Somnath SharmaMajorBattle of Badgam, India Pakistan war of 19474 Kumaon Posthumously
Naik Jadunath SinghNaikIndia Pakistan war of 1947 near Nowshera1 RajputPosthumously
Rama Raghoba RaneMajorIndia Pakistan war of 1947 near NowsheraBombay SappersPosthumously
Piru Singh ShekhawatHavildar MajorIndia Pakistan war of 1947 near Tithwal6 Rajputana RiflesPosthumously
Karam SinghSubedar, Honorary CaptainIndia Pakistan war of 1947 near Tithwal1 Sikh1st Non Posthumous
Gurubachan Singh SalariaCaptainCongo Crisis at Katanga, Elisabethville in 19613 Gorkha RiflesPosthumously
Dhan Singh ThapaLiutenant ColonelIndia China war of 1962 near Ladakh8 Gorkha Rifles2nd Non Posthumous
Joginder Singh SahnanSubedarIndia China war of 1962 near Tawang1 SikhPosthumously
Shaitan SinghMajorIndia China war of 1962 near Rezang La, J&K13 KumaonPosthumously
Abdul HamidHavildar Battle of Asal Uttar near Khemkaran, India Pak war of 19654 GrenadiersPosthumously
Ardeshir Burzorji TaraporeLiutenant ColonelBattle of Chawinda near Sialkot Pakistan, India Pak war of 196517 Puna HorsePosthumously
Albert EkkaLance NaikBattle of Hilli near Gangasagar Agartala, Liberation of Bangladesh 197114 GuardsPosthumously
Nirmaljit Singh SekhonFlying OfficerIndia Pak war of 1971 near Srinagar18 SquadronOnly Air Force officer, Posthumously
Arun Khetarpal2nd LieutenantIndo Pak 1971 near Shakargarh, Pakistan17 Puna HorsePosthumously
Hoshiar SinghColonelIndo Pak 1971 near Shakargarh, Pakistan3 Grenadiers3rd Non Posthumous
Bana SinghSubedar Major, Hon. CaptainRecapturing Siachen glacier in Iperation Rajiv in 1987J&K Light Infantry4th Non Posthumous
Ramaswamy ParmeshwaranMajorCombating terrorist during operation Pawan in Sri Lanka, 19878 MaharPosthumously
Manoj Kr. PandeyCaptainOperation Vijay, Kargil war of 199911 Gorkha RiflesPosthumously
Yogendra Singh YadavSubedarTiger Hill battle in Kargil War 199918 Grenadiers5th Non Posthumous
Sanjay KumarNaib SubedarKargil War of 199913 J&K Rifles6th Non Posthumous
Vikram BatraCaptainKargil War of 199913 J&K RiflesPosthumously