Major Padmapani Acharya, MVC

Date of Birth : Jun 21, 1968

place of Birth : Hyderabad, AP

Service: Army

Last Rank: Major

Service Years: 1995 - 1999

Unit : 2 Raj Rif

Arm/Regt : The Rajputana Rifles

Awards: Maha Vir Chakra

Date of Martyrdom : Jun 28, 1999

Major Padmapani Acharya, MVC

Maj Padmapani Acharya was born on 21 June 1968 in an Air Force family originally belonging to Odisha, but settled down in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Maj Acharya was married to Charulatha, who was pregnant with Aparijita, their daughter when her husband was martyred in 1999. Major Acharya’s father, Wg Cdr Jagannath Acharya, is a former wing commander of the Indian Air Force and had served during 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.


Maj Acharya’s brother Padmasambhav Acharya was a captain in the Indian Army in 1999 and was a part of Operation Vijay in Kargil. Mrs. Vimala Acharya, the mother of Major Acharya, is a social worker and recalls her son as a jovial person and a voracious reader.


Battle of Tololing: 28 June 1999


Just a week after his birthday, on June 28, 1999, Indian Army’s 2nd Rajputana Rifles was assigned the task to take possession of the enemy bunker at the Tololing Top as it was a dominant position overlooking the Srinagar – Leh Highway (NH 1D). The success of the battalion hinged on the early capture of this position. The Battle of Tololing was thus, one of the pivotal battles in the Kargil War.


Unfortunately, the assault company suffered a large number of causalities owing to heavy artillery attack by the enemy forces. But this didn’t deter Major Acharya from going ahead with his assigned mission. Unmindful of his own safety, Major Acharya took the reserve platoon and led it through raining bombardment. Some of his men were seriously injured but he continued to encourage them and charged at the enemy with the remaining soldiers. He himself crawled up to the enemy bunker and lobbed grenades. When he was severely injured and unable to move, he ordered his men to leave him and attack the enemy while he continued to fire. After a night-long fierce hand-to-hand battle, the battalion succeeded in recapturing Tololing top, thus turning the course of Kargil War. Maj Acharya, however, succumbed to his injuries after completion of the mission.


Maj Padmapani Acharya was awarded nation’s second highest gallantry award, “Maha Vir Chakra” for his outstanding bravery, unfaltering leadership, and supreme sacrifice. He is survived by his father an Air Force veteran, Wg Cdr Jagannath Acharya, mother Mrs. Vimala Acharya, wife Mrs. Charulatha Acharya and daughter Aparijita.

The citation for the Maha Vir Chakra awarded to him reads:


On 28 June 1999, Major Padmapani Acharya as a Company Commander, was assigned the formidable task of capturing an enemy position which was heavily fortified, strongly held and covered with mines and sweeping machine gun and artillery fire. The success of the battalion and brigade operation hinged on the early capture of this position. However, the company attack almost faltered at the very beginning when the enemy’s artillery fire came down squarely on the leading platoon, inflicting large numbers of casualties. With utter disregard for his personal safety, Major Acharya took the reserve platoon of his company and led it through raining artillery shells. Even as his men were falling to the murderous enemy fire, he continued to encourage his men and charged at the enemy up the steep rock face with his reserve platoon.


Unmindful of the hail of bullets from the enemy’s position, Major Acharya crawled up to the enemy position and lobbed grenades. In this daring assault, he was seriously injured. Despite heavy injuries and unable to move, he ordered his men to leave him and charge at the enemy while he continued to fire at the enemy. The enemy position was finally over-run and the objective was captured. He, however, succumbed to his injuries after completion of the mission.


Major Padmapani Acharya displayed exceptional courage, leadership and spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of the enemy.

  • PADMA PANI SOCIETY FOR HUMAN EXCELLENCE (PSHE). It is a non-profit Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) formed by like-minded young professional social workers working to create high standard of living for vulnerable and marginalized communities. Executive Board’s versatility is enriched through the presence of social workers, financial experts, medical professionals and local community ensuring holistic approach to cater to all kinds of social development activities for all spheres of life. PSHE firmly believes that any desired change in the lives of underprivileged children will come only when more and more privileged people participate proactively in finding a solution to the problem.


  • A petrol bunk has been awarded to his family from the State Government in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, which is named after him and is run by his family.


  • A road, called Major Padmapani Acharya Marg was named in his honor which leads to Major Acharya’s house in Hyderabad


  • Film adaptation: The events of Battle of Tololing was adapted as one of the prominent battle scenes in the Hindi war film LOC Kargil in which actor Nagarjuna portrayed the role of Maj Acharya.

Maj Acharya’s quote in his last letter to his father, “Combat is an honor of a lifetime and I would not think of anything less. What better way to serve the nation”.


What his family has to say about him…

  • “You have to accept the inevitable and adjust accordingly. It is tough to digest, but we all are proud of him and miss him,” says his father Wg Cdr Jagannath Acharya.
  •  “As a mother, I am definitely sad and hurt but as a patriot, I am proud of my son. He lives forever, whereas I will not. He made me promise that I would not cry when he left for the front,” says Major Padmapani Acharya’s mother Vimala Acharya.
  • “Now that the Army has opened its gates for women. I would love to see my granddaughter join the Army,” says Wg Cdr Jagannath Acharya, proudly.

He last spoke to his family on June 21, 1999 which happened to be his birthday. Ironically this turned out to be the last time he spoke to his family. Seven days later, on June 28, 1999, the family of Major Padmapani Acharya received a phone call from the Army saying that he had fought bravely in Kargil and was no more.


He had posted a letter dated June 19, 1999 to his father, Wg Cdr Acharya, which is shown below.


padmapani acharya letter


In the letter, Major Acharya had also talked about Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Kargil. His father sent a copy of this letter to the prime minister, who replied to him acknowledging Major Acharya’s sacrifice.


During the gallantry award investiture ceremony in New Delhi on Republic Day, which Wg  Cdr Jagannath Acharya attended to receive the Maha Vir Chakra, Prime Minister Vajpayee came up to him and again thanked him for the letter. He also asked then President K R Narayanan to come up to Major Acharya’s father to meet him.

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  • Seema Mohanchandran

    2019at11:11 am Reply

    We thank you for your sacrifice. May your memory always continue to inspire your family.

  • Sunita dhonkaria sister of Kargil Martyr Capt Amit bhardwaj

    2019at12:03 pm Reply

    It was great pleasure meeting the family of MAHAVEER ,few months back.The way legacy of the warrior is carried on is really commendable.Never felt met them for the first time,the love and affection we got from them.
    It’s the great support of the family charu got to upbring bubbles..
    Can never forget when I had goosebumps reading,amrapali holding bubbles just after her birth, wearing acharya’s uniform.
    God bless you amrapali and other family members ,the way you look after charu and bubbles is really a inspiration and example for all of us.

  • Mamata Lakshmanna

    2019at10:49 am Reply

    Amrapali thanks for the beautiful and touching story of your brother Major Padmapani Acharya , our Babloo. We all remember him and miss him. Our salute to the hero and his brave family.

  • Dev Akoijam.

    2019at3:48 pm Reply

    Salutations to this braveheart. We were next door neighbours at an Air Force Station called Mountain Shadow in Borjhar, Assam – near the Guwahati airport in the early 80s Padmapani – babloo – to us was 3 class junior to me in school. Got to know Padmapani’s father, Acharya uncle passed away on Dec 2017. RlP uncle.

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