Home Indian Army Why Is Indian Army’s Naga Regiment Called ‘Headhunters’?

Why Is Indian Army’s Naga Regiment Called ‘Headhunters’?

The Naga Regiment of the Indian Army is sometimes referred to as the “Headhunters” because of the traditional practice of headhunting that was prevalent among some of the Naga tribes in the past.

Headhunting was a practice in which warriors would collect the heads of their enemies as trophies. It was a ritualistic practice that was believed to bring prestige and honor to the warrior and his tribe. The practice of headhunting was prevalent among many tribal societies in the northeastern region of India, including the Naga tribes.

The Naga Regiment has its roots in the Territorial Army unit raised in Nagaland in 1947, which was called the Naga Hills Battalion. The unit was composed of Naga tribesmen who were recruited to help maintain law and order in the region. The battalion was later disbanded, and the Naga Regiment was raised in 1970.

The Naga Regiment has a proud history of serving the country in various conflicts, and its soldiers are respected and admired for their bravery, professionalism, and discipline. The nickname “Headhunters” is a nod to the martial traditions and rich cultural heritage of the Naga tribes, and it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices and contributions made by the soldiers of the regiment.

Some Facts About Naga Regiment

  • Active: 1970
  • Role Type: Line Infantry
  • Military Role: Infantry
  • Battalion Size: 3 battalions
  • Battle cry: Ji Durga Naga
  • Regimental Centre: Ranikhet, Uttarakhand
  • Regimental Motto: “Parakramo Vijayate” (Victory to Valor)
  • Regimental Colours: The colours are gold that represents the rising sun, green stands for infantry while red stands for authority.
  • Regimental Insignia: A pair of crossed Naga spears and a dao( a cutting weapon used by the Nagas), with a shield bearing a mithun(bull) head


  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion
  • 3rd Battalion
  • 164 Infantry Battalion (TA) (Jakhama, Nagaland)


  • 1 Maha Vir Chakra
  • 8 Vir Chakras
  • 1 Kirti Chakra (Major David Manlun), posthumous.
  • 6 Shaurya Chakras
  • 1 Yudh Seva Medal
  • 1 Vishist Seva Medal
  • 48 Sena Medals


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