The fort of Malaun or Malown stands witness to an important event in Gorkha history that reshaped the map of the Gorkha Empire.
The fort of Malaun is situated on the border of Solan and Bilaspur districts in the Arki Tehsil of Himachal Pradesh. From a strategic point of view, it was a very important fort, from here one could see all the surrounding areas.
The war fought between amries led by Gorkha commander Bada Kazi Amar Singh Thapa and General Ochterlony at this fort was a decisive battle shaping the course of the Anglo Gorkha War.
The fort of Malaun is situated on Malaun Dhar, to its east is Bahadurgarh, to the west Chambi and Taragarh, to the north is the fortresses of Ratangarh and to the south are Nalagarh and Ramshahar forts. These were the principal hideouts of the Gorkha army, with the headquarters in Arki.
Commanded by Brigadier General Ochterlony, with 3000 – 4000 native troops the East India Company planned to advance against the abovementioned forts and concentrate the Gurkha forces led by Amar Singh Thapa at Arki.
The campaign started on on 31 October 1814 with the siege of Nalagarh and Taragarh forts , advancing through Ramgarh Fort General Ochterlony's army surrounded Malaun on 15 March 1815.
The Gorkha warriors with their bravery severely damaged General Ochterlony's army and prevented them from advancing. With Supply line cut off from Arki and Bilaspur, soon the Gurkha forces started having the scarcity of provisions and ammunition.
On 15 April 1815, the Gorkha commander Amar Singh Thapa, under the leadership of his most capable commander, Bhakti Thapa, decided to take the worst attack yet, but it proved to be a suicidal move. On April 16, 1815, Sardar Bhakti Thapa became a martyr in a fierce face-to-face battle, causing the morale of the Gorkha army to fall. Bhakti Thapa was a very able and respected commander among the gorkha soldiers and with his martyrdom, they accepted the moral defeat.
With the morale of the Gorkha soldiers falling apart and fighting on the grass suppers for several months, Commander Amar Singh Thapa signed the treaty on 15 May 1815. Under this treaty, all the possession of the Gurkha Empire from Sutlej to Kali River or Sharda River was handed over to the East India Company.
Today the fort of Malaun stands a witness to the indomitable courage of Sardar Bhakti Thapa and Gorkha soldiers.
Witnessing the Gorkha courage and loyalty, the East India Company recruited them with honors in their army and named the first Gorkha rifle after this fort. 1 Gorkha Rifle is still known as The Malaun Regiment.