Highest Gallantry (Military) Awards of India

Gallantry awards of India are are known as Military awards. It is conferred to Army personnel for acts of extreme valor, courage and self sacrifice while fighting with enemies. Military awards can be divided in two types – Wartime Gallantry awards and Peacetime Gallantry awards. Major gallantry awards of India in order of their merit are – Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra. Peacetime gallantry awards of India include Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra. These awards are produced at Indian Government Mint of Kolkata.

 

Wartime Gallantry Awards of India

Highest Military Award : Param Vir Chakragallantry awards of india

  • It is the highest military award conferred to army personals for their acts of extreme bravery, valour, courage or self sacrifice for saving others in front of enemy, whether on land, at sea or in air.
  • The decoration is made of gold and it is circular in shape. It has on obverse four replicas of “Indra’s Vajra” embossed around the state emblem in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers in middle.
  • The decoration is worn on the left breast with a plain purple coloured riband about 3.2 cm in width.
  • Major Somnath Sharma of Kumaon regiment was first recipient of this honor posthumously. He got this award due to his performance during the war of 1947 to evict the Pakistan supported intruders in Kashmir.
  • Till date only 21 soldiers have been awarded by this prestigious honor.
  • Out of 21, only one officer from Indian Air Force (Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon) received this medal. All remaining 20 recipients belong to Indian Army.
  • The award also carries some Cash or pension of Rs 10,000 for the officers below the rank of Lieutenant.
  • The name of the lady who designed this decoration is Savitri Khanolkar. Major Somnath Sharma who was the first recipient of this award was co-incidentally her Son’s in Law brother.
  • Captain Vikram Batra was the last posthumous recipient of this award. He got this award due to his extreme courage and self sacrifice during Kargil War of 1999.

2nd Highest Military Award : Mahavir ChakraGallantry awards of india

  • Mahavir chakra is the second highest gallantry awards of India and is awarded for acts of conspicuous gallantry in presence of enemy, whether on land, at sea or in air.
  • It is made of silver and it is circular in shape. On the obverse a five pointed heraldic star is embossed with a domed centre-piece bearing the gilded National Emblem in centre. The words “ Mahavir Chakra” are embossed in Hindi and English on the reverse side along with two lotus flowers in the middle. The decoration is worn on the left breast with half white and half orange riband about 3.2 cm in width, the orange being near the left shoulder.
  • Lt Col Dewan Rajit Rai, Diwan Singh, Chand Singh and Bishan Singh were among the first recipients of this award for the Indo-Pak war over Kashmir in 1947.

 

3rd Highest Military Award : Vir Chakragallantry awards of india

  • Vir chakra is third in order of gallantry awards of India given for act of gallantry in the presence of enemy, whether on land, in sea or in air.
  • The decoration is made of silver and is circular in shape. Embossed on the obverse is five pointed heraldic star which has Ashoka Chakra in centre. Within this Chakra is a domed centre-piece bearing gilded state emblem. On the reverse, words “Vir Chakra” are embossed, both in Hindi and English with two lotus flowers in middle. It is worn on left breast with a half-blue and half-orange riband about 3.2cm in width, the orange being nearer the left shoulder.
  • Sub. N Bheemaiah was the first recipient of this award during the Kashmir War of 1947.
  • Cap. Harbaksh Singh, Hav. Ishwar Singh were the second recipients for their bravery in Operation Polo (Integration of Hyderabad state in India).

Peacetime Gallantry Awards of India

Ashoka Chakragallantry awards of india

  • Ashoka Chakra is the country’s highest peacetime gallantry awards of India which is equivalent to Param Vir Chakra. This is accorded for showing extreme courage, valor or self sacrifice away from battlefield.
  • This is not necessarily for Military persons but civilian can also be awarded with this.
  • The chakra is made of gild gold and is circular in shape. Embossed on the obverse is a replica of Ashoka Chakra surrounded by a lotus wreath. Along the edge is pattern of lotus leaves, flowers and buds. On the reverse, the words “Ashoka Chakra” are embossed both in Hindi and English, with lotus flowers in intervening space.
  • The medal is worn on the left breast with a green silk riband about 3.2 cm in width and divided into equal segments by an orange vertical line.
  • This award was established in year 1952 and the first person to receive this award was Flt. Lt. Suhas Biswas who was Indian Air Force Officer.
  • The equivalent award to Ashoka Chakra during British India was George Cross Award.

 

Kirti ChakraGallantry awards of india

  • The medal is awarded for conspicuous acts of gallantry and courage away from battlefield.
  • It is equivalent to Mahavir Chakra of Battlefield award and comes as second degree of honor after Ashoka Chakra.
  • It can be conferred to Military personnel as well as civilians.
  • It is made of silver and is circular in shape. The obverse and reverse are exactly the same as in Ashoka Chakra. The medal is worn on left breast with a green riband, about 3.2 cm in wdth and divided equally into two by orange vertical lines.
  • This award was established in year 1952 and Flt. Lt. U A D’Cruz,  Sgt. Ram Chandra Dua and Sgt. Dev Raj Singh were the first recipients of this award in year 1952.

 

Shaurya Chakragallantry awards of india

  • The medal is awarded for an act of gallantry away from battlefield. It is generally conferred for counter insurgency operations
  • It comes as third degree of honor after Kirti Chakra.
  • It can be conferred to Military personnel as well as civilians.
  • It is exactly like Ashoka Chakra with only difference that it is made of bronze.The medal is worn on the left breast with a green silk riband, about 3.2cm in width and divided into four equal segments by three orange vertical lines.

 

Peacetime Distinguished Service Awards

Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal and Vishist Seva Medalgallantry awards of india

The Vishist Seva medals are awarded to personnel of all the three services in recognition of distinguished service of “most exceptional”, “Exceptional” and “high order” respectively. Param Vishist Seva medal is made of gold, Ati Vishist of silver and Vishist of bronze. All these medals are circular in shape and 3.5 cm in diameter. Each medal has on its obverse five pointed stars and its reverse has the Lion Capitol. Its ribbon is golden with one dark-blue strip down the centre for Param Vishist, two dark blue strips for Ati Vishist and three dark blue strips for Vishist Seva Medal.