MAJ M SARAVANAN

Vir Chakra(Posthumous)

Award Vir Chakra
Year of Award 1999 (Independence Day)
Service No SS-36288
Rank at time of Award MAJ
Unit 1 BIHAR
Father's Name N/A
Mother's Name N/A
Citation

Major M Saravanan was born on 10 Aug 1972 in Rameshwaram in Tamilnadu. son of an army 

officer Lt Col Adi Mariappan and Amrithavalli Mariyappan, Maj Saravanan had made up his mind 

to follow in the footsteps of  his father since his childhood. His father Lt. Colonel Adi Mariappan a 

doctor in the army died in a road accident in Bangalore in 1989, while serving in the Indian Peace 

Keeping Force during Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka.

Maj Saravanan, after completing his schooling in various places — Belgaum, Kannoor, Gurdaspur, 

Jorhat, and Bihar, had joined St Joseph’s College in Tiruchirapalli which was founded in 1844. Maj 

Saravanan during his college days was also the president of the student union at St. Joseph’s 

College in 1992 and was a C certificate holder of NCC. Maj Saravanan graduated from the OTA in 

1995 and was commissioned into 1 Bihar of the Bihar Regiment, a regiment known for its 

numerous battle honours. After passing out of OTA, he was posted to Tamulpur, Cooch Bihar, and 

Bhutan before moving to Kargil. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 1996 and major in 

1999.

 

Operation Vijay (Kargil) : 29 May 1999

Major M Sarvanan’s unit was moved from Assam to Jammu & Kashmir for the Kargil operation in 

1999. He wrote to his mother that he had been waiting for just such an opportunity and would 

bring home a “Vir Chakra”. Operation Vijay was launched on 26 May and his unit was tasked to 

capture Point 4268 in Jubar Ridge located on the western side of the Batalik sector, the second 

highest battlefield in the world after Siachen. The terrain comprised of jagged rocks covered with 

snow and knife-edge ridges with no greenery.

Following the failure of two attacks, Major Saravanan volunteered to launch the third attack. A 

frontal attack was the only way. The enemy was well entrenched on heights but the steep climb 

did not deter him. The attack was launched at 4 a.m. on 29 May with his final command to the 

men, “Do or Die”. He killed two enemy soldiers by firing a rocket launcher and was wounded in the 

stomach by shrapnel, but he did not give up. His commanding officer asked him to fall back in view 

of many casualties. Maj Saravanan replied that he was close to the objective and would not spare 

the enemy who had killed his men. He added, ‘Nothing will happen to your Genghis’, which was 

his code name. He charged through a hail of bullets and killed two more enemy soldiers. He was 

the first to reach the top but received a bullet injury in the head at 6.30 a.m. and fell into a ravine. 

His unit 1 Bihar took an oath to capture Point 4268, which they did by 6 July. Major Saravanan’s 

body could be recovered, 37 days after his death, following a bitter fight. The entire Jubar ridge 

was cleared by 8 July.

The body of Major Sarvanan was brought by air and the Tri-colour draped coffin was placed at the 

feet of his mother. Hundreds of garlands were placed on it and thousands of people came to pay 

homage  to the hero of Batalik-  the first officer casualty of Operation Vijay. He was posthumously 

awarded the Vir Chakra and it was presented to his mother by President K Narayanan.

Major M Saravanan is survived by his mother Amrithavalli Mariyappan, and two sisters Chitra and 

Revathy.

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