Lt. Colonel Vishwanathan

Date of Birth : Jan 12, 1960

place of Birth: Kochi, Kerala

Service: Army

Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel

Service Years: 1981 - 1999

Unit: 18 Grenadiers

Arm/Regt : The Grenadiers Regiment

Awards: Vir Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Jun 2, 1999

Lt Col Ramkrishnan Vishwanathan VrC

Lt.Colonel Ramakishnan Vishwanathan was born in Kerala and did his initial schooling from Kochi. After finishing his school he joined National Defence Academy which is a cradle for producing  officers for Indian defence forces. He  was commissioned in 1981 after completing his training at the National Defence Academy Khadakvasla, and IMA Dehradun. During his army carrier, besides serving on Indian soil he also had served with Peace Keeping force in Sri Lanka and later with UN Peace Keeping Force in Angola. He was known to be a very dedicated soldier who was committed to service of the nation.


Lt. Col. R Viswanathan was second in command of 18 Grenadiers at the time of Kargil war. Amidst the action during the war he assumed the role of a leader of one of the missions wherein they had to retrieve the bodies of 3 of their comrades from the windswept slopes of the Tololing ridge and  get them down.  Leading his troops on the night of 2nd June 1999, Lt. Col. RViswanathan crawled up the ridge on his stomach under heavy enemy fire. He was up against the intruders whovwere up on the top, well ensconced in bunkers with their LMGs blazing in the still night. He captured three enemy bunkers before bullet injuries on the thigh and groin stopped him. First aid didn’t help and as his troops were trying to get Lt. Col. Viswanathan back to Drass, when he succumbed to his injuries on the way.


As the second-in-command of the battalion, Vishwanathan need not have gone to the higher altitudes where the actual fighting was taking place. However, when reports came into base camp of a company having been trapped by the enemy, he volunteered to lead a rescue team. Climbing the steep cliff at night, he and his men attacked the enemy under the cover of darkness and killed many intruders.


For his rare valour and courage in the face of enemy, leading from the front and display of camaraderie without caring for his own life he was awarded the gallantry award Vir Chakra posthumously.

The citation for the Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:

During ‘Operation Vijay’, Lieutenant Colonel Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan was the Second-in-Command of 18 Grenadiers, which was conducting operations in the Tololing area of Drass sector. He displayed rare valor in closing in on enemy positions under prohibitive enemy automatic fire and intense artillery shelling, thus taking the enemy by complete surprise along a very difficult approach and terrain at an altitude of over 15,000 feet. During the attack, Lieutenant Colonel Vishwanathan sustained multiple gunshot wounds. In spite of being severely injured he refused to be evacuated and exhorted his troops to press on further. He charged through enemy defenses destroying three enemy positions and eliminated four intruders single-handedly in a close hand-to-hand combat. Due to his efforts, the battalion could secure a foothold on the enemy location which later facilitated capture of Point 4590. Though Second-in-Command of his unit, Lieutenant Colonel Ramakrishnan Vishwanathan disregarded his seniority and preferred being where his men were fighting: and led from the front during assaults on well-fortified enemy positions in Tololing. He however succumbed to his injuries making the supreme sacrifice for the nation in the best traditions of the Indian Army.

  • His Father V. Ramakrishnan received his body on behalf of the state government, representatives of the army and navy and the district authorities paid rich tributes to Lt Col Vishwanathan.
  • The body was kept for an hour at the statue junction at Thripunithura to enable the public to pay homage before being taken to his village.
  • The family got huge community support after his martyrdom and the family was overwhelmed by the support.
  •  The army museum at Jabalpur displays his uniform as a tribute to its brave soldier.
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6 Tributes
  • aniket ingle

    2017 at 2:21 pm Reply

    salute to you my hero brave son of INDIA

  • Wg Cdr Ravi Menon (Retd) - Bangalore Urban,Karnataka

    2017 at 10:58 pm Reply

    A great friend, NDA course & Squadron mate, comrade in Arms…you made us proud…you stay in our hearts forever!
    You grew up in God’s own Country…
    Now you rest in God’s own Arms!
    RIP my brother!

  • R Shravni - Palakkad,Kerala

    2017 at 12:09 pm Reply

    I salute your heroism and sacrifice. We shall forever remain indebted to you for your service to the nation. Jai Hind

  • Valsan Kunnath - Thrissur,Kerala

    2017 at 6:34 pm Reply

    Big Salute to the Brave Son of Bharath Lt Col Ramkrishnan Vishwanathan, Vir Chakra
    “Duty beyond Death” “Soldiers go beyond call of Duty”
    You proved the Patriotism in the most inspiring way to the Nation.
    You will never be forgotten and always be Saluted for your Utmost Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice. Jai Hind.

  • Sanal Kumar - Thiruvananthapuram,Kerala

    2019 at 9:13 pm Reply

    Vishu, a brother, coursemate, classmate through NDA, and a bosom friend,
    Not a day passes without pangs of survivor’s guilt…
    missing you, but feeling your presence all the while.
    keep smiling, wherever you are in Valhalla!

  • Maj Gen JN Nayar (Retd) - Pune,Maharashtra

    2019 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Dear Vishu!
    Your pic on this panel brought back a flood of memories of our days at NDA when the grass was green & roses red….almost saw you once again in KDs.
    You have inspired a generation through your unparalleled act on Tololing! You have done your duty unto your Motherland!
    Rest in peace, dear friend!

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