Who are the Gurkhas?
"Many of the Gurkha troops are and are still being recruited from the (Mongoloid) hill tribes of Magar, Gurung, Rai and Limbu. With small amount coming from Sunuwar and Tamang." - Dor Bahadur Bista (People of Nepal, 1989)
"Collectively the Mongoloid hill tribes of Nepal are known as Kirat." - Dor Bahadur Bista (Fatalism and Development: Nepal's Struggle for Modernization, 1991)
Kiratas are first mentioned in the Yajurveda (Shukla XXX.16; Krisha III.4,12,1), and in the Atharvaveda (X.4,14), describing them as "mountain people and hunters in the forests and deadly warriors." The Vedas, Ramayana and Mahabharata viewed them as fearful and terrible highlanders.
The Ramayana describes: "Kiratasca tiksna-cudasca hemabhah priya-darsanah, antar-jala-cara ghora nara-vyaghra iti srutah" (Kiskindhya-Kanda, 40, 27, 28, quoted by N.N Vasu) upon translation is
"The Kiratas with their hair down up in knots, shining like gold and pleasant to look upon, bold enough to move under water, terrible, veritable tiger-men, so are they famed".
Hence since ancient time, Kiratas have been seen as the mountain men, brave and steadfast and deadly warrior by the various enemies. With the turn of 2010 AD, Kiratis have been called by different names. Others call them the Himalayas race. Still others write them as 'indomitable peasants".
The British officers call the Kiratis "Martial Race". Gorkha and Gurkha are other two names added in 18th century AD. Not forgetting "the Bravest of the Braves" was given by Sir Professor Sir Ralph Turner. By 1990's the term "MaGuRaLi" came to exist to abbreviate Magar, Gurung, Rai, Limbu, the four Kirat ethnic group of Nepal who have been supplying the British Army with the Gurkhas for past 150 years.
No matter what names are given to Kirat people, however, the most often used in the past and appropriate seems to be Kirat. The Kirat viz Gurkhas are the true ambassadors for Nepal. They are truly the world deadliest warrior the world have seen. The Kirat Civilization