Major Vikram Batra

It was one man who became the face of the Indian soldier at Kargil, whose words reverberate even today – ‘Yeh Dil Maange More..’ Captain Vikram Batra took the advertising slogan and elevated it to a motto for life.

The intrepid soldier lost his life on this day, 12 years ago, while trying to save a fellow soldier.

Here’s a look at the ‘Sher Shah’ whose valiant efforts paved the way for India’s victory in the Kargil war.

Vikram Batra initially wanted to join the Merchant Navy. His uniform had been stitched and his tickets booked, but he changed his mind.

The nation now remembers him as Shaheed Captain Vikram Batra, Param Vir Chakra.

vikrambatraVikram Batra was commissioned in the Indian Army as a Lieutenant of the 13 Jammu & Kashmir Rifles. He was later promoted to the rank of a Captain on the battlefield itself. During the war, he was ordered to recapture the peak 5140, at a height of 17,000 feet, as the Pakistani invaders had taken positions there in bunkers. The peak was the highest point on the Tololing Ridge and one of the most arduous and crucial peaks in the Drass region.

Knowing that the steep cliffs do not provide any cover against the enemy’s line of sight, Captain Batra decided to lead his company from the opposite side to surprise them. Even though he was seriously injured, he led a hand-to-hand combat, and flung grenade after grenade at the infiltrators’ gun posts.

Their heavy machine gun, which was not letting Indian troops advance, was finally brought down, and the soldiers of 13 Jammu and Kashmir Rifles took over. “He called me right after he triumphed, and his words were, ‘Dad, I have captured the post’. That was the happiest day of my life,” smiled his father fondly.

Captain Vikram Batra had managed to lead his team to a decisive victory and all his men made it alive. The brilliantly led operation that is considered by many as one of India’s toughest campaigns in mountain warfare, catapulted Captain Vikram Batra to the national headlines. His triumph was being beamed from television screens across the country.


The capture of Point 5140 subsequently led to other success stories.

After that ordeal, the young lion, with his pack, ravaged through adjoining peaks, even though he was wounded. Amid thick fog, Captain Vikram with his men began a precarious climb to peak 4875 at a height of approximately 16,000 feet.



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