Vir Chakra
Vir Chakra

Vir Chakra and its ribbon, the third highest military decoration of India
Awarded forActs of gallantry in the presence of the enemy, whether on land or at sea or in the air.
CountryIndia Republic of India
Presented byIndia Republic of India
EligibilityMilitary Personnel Only
StatusCurrently Awarded
First awarded1947
Last awarded2021
Total awarded posthumously361
Total recipients1335 (As of 2023)[1]
Next (higher) Ati Vishisht Seva Medal[2]
Equivalent Shaurya Chakra[2]
Next (lower) Yudh Seva Medal[2]

The Vir Chakra (pronunciation: ʋɾa akɾa) is an Indian wartime military bravery award presented for acts of gallantry on the battlefield, on land or in the air or at sea.[3]

It is third in precedence in wartime gallantry awards and comes after the Param Vir Chakra and Maha Vir Chakra.[4]


It was established by the President of India on 26 January 1950 (with effect from 15 August 1947). The statutes were amended on 12 January 1952 to readjust the order of wearing as new decorations were established.[5]

It replaced the British Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), Military Cross (MC) and Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC). Award of the decoration carries with it the right to use Vr.C. as a postnominal abbreviation [note the care to distinguish this abbreviation from that for the Victoria Cross (V.C.)


The medal is 1-3/8 inch circular silver medal.[6] A five pointed star, with the chakra in the centre, and, on this, the domed gilded state emblem. The decoration is named on the rim and suspended from a swiveling straight-bar suspender. The decoration is almost always named and dated on the edge. Around a plain centre, two legends are separated by lotus flowers; with Vir Chakra in Hindi above and in English below. The ribbon is 32 mm, half dark blue and half orange-saffron; dark blue 16 mm, saffron 16 mm.[7]

The award carries with it a cash allowance and, in some cases, a lump sum cash award. This has been a rather controversial issue throughout the life of the decoration. From 1 February 1999, the central government set a monthly stipend of Rs. 850 for recipients of the award. In addition, many states have established individual pension rewards for the recipients of the decoration.

List of Vir Chakra recipients

A total of 1327 personnel received Vir Chakra. Some of the notable Vir Chakra awardees include:[8]

Indicates posthumous honour
Rank Recipient Service Date
Lieutenant TGN Pai Indian Army 1950 1947 Indo-Pakistan War[9]
Jemadar Kanikasami Indian Army 1947 1947 Indo-Pakistan War[10]
Brigadier Harbaksh Singh Indian Army 1 May 1948 1948 Operation Polo[11]
Subedar Major and Honorary Captain Bhim Chand Indian Army 23 August 1948 and 27 December 1948 (2) 1947 Indo-Pakistan War[12][13]
Air Vice Marshal Ranjan Dutt Indian Army 26 Jan 1950 1947 Indo-Pakistan War[14]
Major Tirath Singh Oberoi Indian Army 26 Jan 1950 1947 Indo-Pakistan War[15]
Major General Ashwani Kumar Diwan Indian Army 18 Nov 1962 1962 Sino-Indian War
Wing Commander Krishan Kant Saini Indian Air Force 18 Nov 1962 1962 Operation Leg Horn[16]
Lieutenant General Zorawar Chand Bakshi Indian Army 05 Aug 1965 1965 Operation Ablaze[17]
Wing Commander Trevor Keelor Indian Air Force 03 Sep 1965 1965 Operation Riddle[18]
Flight Lieutenant Virendera Singh Pathania Indian Air Force 04 Sep 1965 1965 Operation Riddle[19][20]
Air Commodore Alfred Tyrone Cooke Indian Air Force 07 Sep 1965 1965 Operation Riddle[21]
Naib Subedar Ganesh Datt Indian Army 07 Sep 1965 1965 Indo-Pakistan War[22]
Wing Commander Amar Jit Singh Sandhu Indian Air Force 17 Sep 1965 1965 Indo-Pakistan War[23][24]
Air Marshal Denzil Keelor Indian Air Force 19 Sep 1965 1965 Operation Riddle[25]
Lieutenant General Mohammad Ahmad Zaki Indian Army 20 Sep 1965 1965 Operation Riddle[26]
Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas Indian Navy 01 Dec 1971 1971 Operation Cactus Lily[27]
Brigadier JK Tomar Indian Army 03 Dec 1971 1971 Operation Cactus Lily[28]
Lieutenant Colonel Satish Nambiar Indian Army 11 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[29]
Brigadier P V Sahadevan Indian Army 16 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[30]
Lieutenant Colonel Vikram Deuskar Indian Army 16 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[31]
Captain Satish Chander Sehgal Indian Army, 75 Medium Regiment 16 Dec 1971 1971 Battle of Basantar[32]
Air Commodore Jasjit Singh Indian Air Force 17 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[33]
Havildar Gurdev Singh Hans Indian Army 17 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[34]
Squadron Leader Ramesh Chander Kohli Indian Air Force 17 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[35]
Admiral Arun Prakash Indian Navy 21 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[36]
Wing Commander Sukhdev Singh Dhillon Indian Air Force 17 Dec 1971 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[37]
Squadron Leader M A Ganapathy Indian Air force 1972 1971 Battle of Boyra[38]
Group Captain Donald ‘Don’ Lazarus Indian Air force 1972 1971 Battle of Boyra[39][40]
Flight Lieutenant Lawrence Frederic Pereira Indian Air force 26 Jan 1972 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[41]
Naik Naib Singh Gill Indian Army, 6 Sikh Regiment 26 Jan 1972 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[42]
Lieutenant General Francis Tiburtius Dias Indian Army 15 August 1972 1971 Indo-Pakistan War[43]
Major Ngangom Joy Dutta Singh Indian Army 26 Jan 1988 1987 Operation Pawan[44]
Major-General Dalvir Singh Indian Army 26 Jan 1988 1987 Jaffna University Helidrop[45]
Lieutenant Commander Deepak Agarwal Indian Navy 26 Jan 1988 1987 Operation Pawan[46]
Sepoy Kamkholam Kuki Indian Army, Assam Regiment 17 Dec 1989 1987 Operation Pawan[47]
Flight Lieutenant Abdul Naseer Hanfee[48] Indian Air Force, 128 Helicopter Unit 26 January 1989 1984 Operation Meghdoot[49]
Captain Jintu Gogoi Indian Army, 18 Garhwal Rifles 15 Aug 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[50]
Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja Indian Air Force 01 Jan 1999 1999 Operation Safed Sagar[51]
Colonel Magod Basappa Ravindranath Indian Army, 2 Rajputana Rifles 28 Jun 1999 1999 Battle of Tololing[52]
Lieutenant Colonel Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan Indian Army, 18 Grenadiers Jun 1999 1999 Battle of Tololing[53]
L/Havildar Ram Kumar Indian Army, 18 Grenadiers Jun 1999 1999 Battle of Tololing[54]
Major Mariappan Saravanan Indian Army, 1st Bihar Regiment 15 Aug 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[55]
Colonel Lalit Rai Indian Army, 1/11 GR 15 Aug 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[56]
Lieutenant Colonel Yogesh Kumar Joshi Indian Army, 13 JAK RIF 15 Aug 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[57]
Captain Sanjeev Singh Jamwal Indian Army, 13 JAK RIF 15 Aug 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[58]
Gunner Sanjeev Gopala Pillai Indian Army, 4 Medium Regiment 15 Aug 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[59]
Captain Vijyant Thapar Indian Army, 2 Rajputana Rifles 16 Dec 1999 1999 Operation Vijay[60]
L/Havildar Chuni Lal Indian Army, 8 JAK LI 30 Aug 2000 1999 Operation Vijay[61]
Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman Indian Air Force 15 Aug 2019 2019 India-Pakistan Standoff[62]
Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren Indian Army, 16th Bihar Regiment 26 Jan 2021 2020 Operation Snow Leopard[63]
Naik Deepak Singh Indian Army, 16th Bihar Regiment 26 Jan 2021 2020 Operation Snow Leopard[64]
Sepoy Gurtej Singh Indian Army, 3rd Punjab Regiment 26 Jan 2021 2020 Operation Snow Leopard[65]


  1. ^ "Awardees". Gallantry Awards. Archived from the original on 2017-08-16.
  2. ^ a b c "Precedence Of Medals". Indian Army. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  3. ^ "TDA - The Defence Aspirant Academy". Archived from the original on 29 December 2022. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Vir Chakra". Archived from the original on 2002-12-05.
  5. ^ "Vir Chakra: India's Third Highest Gallantry Award".
  6. ^ "Statutes and rules relating to the awards of the Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra and Air Chakra". 1 January 1970 (amendment of 1950 version).
  7. ^ "Bharat Raksahk Monitor: Volume 3(6)". Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  8. ^ "Awardees". MoD, GOI. Retrieved 12 January 2023.
  9. ^ "Major TGN Pai". Gallantry Awards.
  10. ^ "Jemadar Kanikasami". Gallantry Awards.
  11. ^ "Brigadier Harbaksh Singh". Gallantry Awards.
  12. ^ "Subedar Major and Hony Captain (then Subedar) BHIM CHAND" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Subedar Major and Honorary Captain (then Subedar) BHIM CHAND Vir Chakra".
  14. ^ "Air Vice Marshal Ranjan Dutt". Gallantry Awards.
  15. ^ "Major Tirath Singh Oberoi". Gallantry Awards.
  16. ^ "Wing Commander Krishan Kant Saini". Gallantry Awards.
  17. ^ "Lieutenant General Zorawar Chand Bakshi". Gallantry Awards.
  18. ^ "Wing Commander Trevor Keelor". Gallantry Awards.
  19. ^ "Flight Lieutenant Virendera Singh Pathania". Gallantry Awards.
  20. ^ "Group Captain Virendera Singh Pathania".
  21. ^ "Air Commodore Alfred Tyrone Cooke". Gallantry Awards.
  22. ^ "Naib Subedar Ganesh Datt". Gallantry Awards.
  23. ^ "Wing Commander Amarjit Singh Sandhu". Gallantry Awards.
  24. ^ "Service Record for Wing Commander Amar Jit Singh Sandhu 4705 F(P) at Bharat". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  25. ^ "Air Marshal Denzil Keelor". Gallantry Awards.
  26. ^ "Lieutenant General Mohammad Ahmad Zaki". Gallantry Awards.
  27. ^ "Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas". Gallantry Awards.
  28. ^ "Brigadier JK Tomar". Gallantry Awards.
  29. ^ "Lieutenant Colonel Satish Nambiar". Gallantry Awards.
  30. ^ "Brigadier P V Sahadevan". Gallantry Awards.
  31. ^ "Lieutenant Colonel Vikram Denkar". Gallantry Awards.
  32. ^ "Captain Satish Chander Sehgal". Gallantry Awards.
  33. ^ "Air Commodore Jasjit Singh". Gallantry Awards.
  34. ^ "Havildar Gurdev Singh". Gallantry Awards.
  35. ^ "Squadron Leader Ramesh Chander Kohli". Gallantry Awards.
  36. ^ "Admiral Arun Prakash". Gallantry Awards.
  37. ^ "Wing Commander Sukhdev Singh Dhillon". Gallantry Awards.
  38. ^ "Squadron Leader M A Ganapathy". Gallantry Awards.
  39. ^ "Group Captain Donald 'Don' Lazarus". Gallantry Awards.
  40. ^ "In 1971, the Indian Air Force shot down 3 Pakistani planes within 3 minutes". Archived from the original on 2021-08-03.
  41. ^ "Flight Lieutenant Lawrence Frederic Pereira". Gallantry Awards.
  42. ^ "Naik Naib Singh Gill". Gallantry Awards.
  43. ^ "Lieutenant-General Francis Tiburtius Dias". Gallantry Awards.
  44. ^ "VrC Major Ngangom Joy Dutta Singh". Gallantry Awards.
  45. ^ "Major General Dalvir Singh". Gallantry Awards.
  46. ^ "Lieutenant Commander Deepak Agarwal". Gallantry Awards.
  47. ^ "Vir Chakra (VrC) Awardee: Nk Kamkholam Kuki, VrC".
  48. ^ "Vir Chakra Awardee Capt Abdul Naseer Flew MI-17 Tirelessly to Help India Win Siachen in 1987". 11 November 2017.
  49. ^ "Flight Lieutenant Abdul Naseer Hanfee". Gallantry Awards.
  50. ^ "Captain Jintu Gogoi". Gallantry Awards.
  51. ^ "Squadron Leader Ajay Ahuja". Gallantry Awards.
  52. ^ "Colonel Magod Basappa Ravindranath". Gallantry Awards.
  53. ^ "Lieutenant Colonel Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan". Gallantry Awards.
  54. ^ "L/Havildar Ram Kumar". Gallantry Awards.
  55. ^ "Major Mariappan Saravanan". Gallantry Awards.
  56. ^ "Colonel Lalit Rai". Gallantry Awards.
  57. ^ "Lt Col Yogesh Kumar Joshi". Gallantry Awards.
  58. ^ "Captain Sanjeev Singh Jamwal". Gallantry Awards.
  59. ^ "Gunner Sanjeev Gopala Pillai". Gallantry Awards.
  60. ^ "Captain Vijyant Thapar". Gallantry Awards.
  61. ^ "Havildar Chuni Lal". Gallantry Awards.
  62. ^ "Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman". Gallantry Awards.
  63. ^ "Naib Subedar Nuduram Soren". Gallantry Awards.
  64. ^ "Naik Deepak Singh". Gallantry Awards.
  65. ^ "Sepoy Gurtej Singh". Gallantry Awards.

Further reading