Former cadets of the National Defence Academy will feel nostalgic on learning that the punishment run to Sinhgarh has been abolished. Sinhgarh is the formidable fortress located near Kharakvasla that was conquered by Chhatrapati Shivaji’s general, Tanaji Malsure in 1670 by using a monitor lizard (called a Ghorpad) to scale a vertical rock face and surprise the Mughal defenders.
The term Sinhgarh Run or just simply ‘Sinhgarh’ has become part of NDA lore. There possibly couldn’t be an ex-cadet who hasn’t run it as a punishment or simply as a test of stamina.
It isn’t a statutory punishment in that it isn’t recorded in a cadet’s dossier and one can do any number without damage to one’s career. Restrictions on the other hand are statutory and being awarded more than a certain number could lead to relegation or even withdrawal.
Any kind of misdemeanour - bad drill, improper turnout or even cheeky behaviour could lead to one being sent on the hike.
The cadets detailed for the run set off on Sunday morning at 7am dressed in dungarees and Field Service Marching Order, scale B. A total distance of 25 kilometres has to be run in a time of 6 hours.
The cadets aim to reach the base of the hill by 9am taking another 45 minutes to climb the 2,000 feet to the fort. Packed breakfast consumed they set on the return journey aiming to make it back by 1pm, some of the tougher cadets even running all the way home.
This has now been discontinued because of the increased traffic en route posing a safety threat. The replacement is a run to Point 988 with similar terrain and difficulty which is to be termed as the Kapra Hike.
Strengthening the bonds of jointmanship
The defence services have strong ties with each other through shared training institutions. But in this era of enhanced jointmanship these bonds need to be strengthened further. One of the methods used to accomplish this is to affiliate warships of the navy with army and air force regiments and units.
These are based on shared history, associations or even a regional connection For example the affiliation of the guided missile frigate INS Ganga with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry commemorates the fire support given by it during the withdrawal of the regiment’s 2nd Battalion from the abandoned UN mission in Somalia in 1994.
Other affiliations are - INS Viraat with the Garhwal Rifles, INS Mumbai with the Maratha Light Infantry, INS Mysore with the Madras Regiment, INS Delhi with the Rajputana Rifles, INS Talwar with 16th Cavalry, the destroyers Rajput and Rana with the Rajput Regt, INS Ranvijay with the Dogra Regiment, INS Ranjit with the Punjab Regiment, INS Ranvir with the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, INS Brahamputra with the Bengal Engineers and No. 30 Squadron, IAF, INS Vindhyagiri and the Mahar Regiment, INS Magar and the Bombay Sappers, INS Gharial and the Mechanised Infantry, INS Khukri and the Gorkha Brigade , INS Khanjar and the Kumaon Regiment, INS Kirpan with the Sikh Regiment, INS Beas and the Grenadiers, INS Shardul and 65 Armoured Regiment, INS Dronacharya (gunnery school) and the School of Artillery, INS Trishul and the Jat Regiment, INS Shivalik and 7th Cavalry and INS Satpura with the Scinde Horse.
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