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Major M Saravanan was born on 10 Aug 1972 in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu. He was the son of an Indian Army Officer, Lt Colonel Adi Mariappan, and Mrs. Amrithavalli Mariyappan. From his childhood, he made up his mind to follow the footsteps of his father and will serve the nation by the joining Indian Army. In 1989, his father died in a road accident in Bengaluru. He was a ‘C’ certificate holder, which is the best grade that an NCC cadet can achieve. Major Saravanan, after completing his graduation from St Joseph’s College in Tiruchirappalli, joined Indian Army following his father’s footsteps. After completing his training, he got commissioned as 2nd Lt. M Saravanan in 1 Bihar Regiment. Till 1999, he has been promoted to the rank of Major.

Service NumberSS-36288
Place of BirthTamil Nadu
Unit1 Bihar
RegimentBihar Regiment
AwardVir Chakra
Date of Martyrdom29th May 1999

In May 1999, 1 Bihar moved to Kargil after the news came of the infiltration of some terrorists in Kargil heights. The unit was tasked to capture Point 4628 which was in Jubar Ridge on the western side of the Batalik sector. The terrain was very difficult there. It was very hard to take a breath there. And they were tasked with a very difficult mission. Major M Saravanan was tasked with the attack. Before him, there had been two failures while attacking the peak. The attack was launched at early 4 a.m. on 29th May with his final command to the men, “Do or Die”. During the attack, he took the rocket launcher in his hand, and fired from it, which killed two enemy soldiers. And in counter-fire by the enemy, he was hit by bullets which injured him badly. Then the CO of the unit asked him to fall back, but he stood on his task, and didn’t lose his will to win, and continuously motivated his men. He added, ‘Nothing will happen to your Genghis’, which was his code name. He charged upon the enemies very badly, which make that night the last night to the enemy. He was the first one to reach the top but had received a bullet injury in the head at around 6.30 a.m. and he fell into a ravine. Then, his unit 1 Bihar took the task as a respect for their officer, and then they charged upon the enemy fearlessly in the next battles which came in their way later on. Major Saravanan’s body could only be recovered 37 days after his death, following a bitter fight. The entire Jubar ridge was cleared by 8 July after fighting many brave wars on the peaks.

For his brave deeds, he had done, he was awarded ‘Vir Chakra’, which was presented to his mother by then-President K Narayanan.

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