The armed forces succeeded the military of British India following India's independence in 1947. After World War II, many of the wartime troops were discharged and units disbanded. The reduced armed forces were partitioned between India and Pakistan. The Indian armed forces fought in all fours wars against Pakistan and two wars against People's Republic of China in 1962 and 1967. India also fought in the Kargil War with Pakistan in 1999, the highest altitude mountain warfare in history. The Indian Armed Forces have participated in several United Nations peacekeeping operations and are presently the second largest contributor of troops to the peacekeeping force.
The Rigvedic tribes of Indo-Aryans were led by their kings (raja) and engaged in wars with each other and other tribes. They used bronze weapons and horse-drawn spoke-wheeled chariots described prominently in the Rigveda. The main share from the booty obtained during cattle raids and battles went to the chief of the tribe. The warriors belonged to the Kshatriya varna. The earliest of such battles is noted in Rigveda as the Battle of the Ten Kings.
The expansionist King Bimbisara conquered Anga in what is now West Bengal and strengthened the military of Magadh's capital, Rajagriha. Ajatashatru built a new fort at Pataliputra, Magadh's new capital, to launch an attack on Licchavis across the Ganges River. Jain texts tell that he used two new weapons; catapults and a covered chariot with swinging mace that has been compared[by whom?] to modern tanks.
The Italian traveler Niccolo de Conti wrote of the Emperor of the Vijayanagara Empire as the most powerful ruler of India in the 15th century. In 1509, the Bahamani Sultan declared war against the Vijayanagara Empire. His large coalition army was defeated by Krishnadevaraya in a battle in which the Sultan was wounded. In 1510, Krishnadevaraya launched a counteroffensive against the Sultan at Kovelaconda; Yusuf Adil Shahi of Bijapur died in the battle. In 1512, Krishnadevaraya captured Raichur and Gulbarga after defeating Barid-i-Mamalik, the titular head of the Bahmani Sultanate, who escaped to Bidar. Later, Bidar also fell to Krishnadevaraya, who restored the Bahmani Sultan to his throne under the terms of their peace treaty.
In 1961 tension rose between India and Portugal over the Portuguese-occupied territory of Goa, which India claimed for itself. After Portuguese police cracked down violently on a peaceful, unarmed demonstration for union with India, the Indian government decided to reconquer. A lopsided air, sea, and ground campaign resulted in the speedy surrender of Portuguese forces. Within 36 hours, 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule was ended, and Goa was annexed by India. Portuguese losses were 34 killed, 57 wounded, and 3,306 captured. Indian losses were 22 killed and 51 wounded.
India's highest awards for military conduct in a time of war are, in descending order, the Param Vir Chakra, Maha Vir Chakra, and Vir Chakra. The peacetime equivalents are respectively the Ashoka Chakra, Kirti Chakra and Shaurya Chakra. The latter two awards were formerly known as Ashoka Chakra, Class II and Ashoka Chakra, Class III respectively. The peacetime awards have occasionally been bestowed on civilians. For meritorious service, the awards are the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, the Athi Vishisht Seva Medal, and the Vishisht Seva Medal. 2b1af7f3a8