The Gurkha kukri is everything you need in a melee weapon— its downward curved blade that could be used for chopping, piercing, slashing, smashing, and eliminating the enemies. Its design is nothing complex yet is effective in serving its purpose.

The Uses of Kukri Knife

Knife (Kukri) with Sheath, Small Knife, Belt, Pouch, and Box.

The kukri is a traditional multipurpose knife of the Nepalese people that can be traced back to the 13th century. However, some historians believe it has been around during the time of Alexander The Great, around 356 – 323 BC. It is typically associated with the Gurkhas, Nepal soldiers recruited by the British Army. Outside of combat, the kukri is Nepal’s national weapon. It is used for regular cutting, clearing, chopping firewood, digging, slaughtering animals for food, and the like. It is also used in traditional rites like wedding ceremonies.

The weapon became popular during the Anglo-Nepalese War, also known as the Gurkha War, a territory disputed between the Gorkhali Army of Nepal and the British forces of India. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Sugauli in March 1816. As part of the agreement, the British were allowed to recruit Gurkha warriors and Himalayan men into their army. Since then, the warriors (and their kukris) have been part of the British military ranks.

Combat Use

Gurkha soldiers are still issued their kukri knives, and they are not ones you want to mess with. As Prince Charles once said, “In the world, there is only one secure place; that’s when you are between Gurkhas.” And as per Adolf Hitler, “If I had Gurkhas, no armies in the world would defeat me.”

They didn’t say that for no reason. The tandem of a Gurkha soldier and his kukri is perhaps the perfect combination for a brave, fearsome warrior. In fact, in September 2010, a Gurkha named Bishnu Prasad Shrestha was on board a train on his way home after a voluntary retirement from the Indian army. At around midnight, 40 armed bandits boarded the train and looted people of their belongings.

Bishnu Prasad Shrestha with his injured arm. Photo from

Shrestha allowed himself to be robbed, but when the bandits started harassing an 18-year-old girl in front of her parents, who were watching helplessly, he couldn’t just sit and watch. He brought out his kukri knife and killed three of the thugs and wounding eight of them. The rest fled. Shrestha was wounded on the left hand, but all the items were retrieved from the bandits, everyone was safe, and the girl only got a small cut on her neck.

If you’re curious to see the kukri knife in action, you can watch it here: