The highly revered Indian Military Academy also known as IMA is an officer training academy which was established in 1932. With course strength of 40 Gentleman Cadets, the academy became functional on October 1, 1932. Brigadier L.P. Collins, DSO, OBE was the first commandant of IMA. The IMA building near FRI in Dehradun is known as Chetwoode Hall named after then Commander-in-Chief of India.
Nestled in the luscious surroundings of Dehradun, Indian Military Academy is the place where young boys turn into men. The Garhwal Rifles and Kumaon Regiment are the two jewels of the Indian Army. If you happen to visit this place on the permission of the officials, you can see the Museum, Library, War Memorial, Arms and Ammunition, Shooting Demonstration rooms and the FRIMS Golf Course.
IMA Cadets are organized as a Regiment with four training battalions, of four companies each. There were sixteen companies in 2013. Battalions are named for generals of the Indian Army (except for Siachen Battalion), while companies are named for battles of the Army.
- CariappaBattalion: Kohima Company, Naushera Company, Poonch Company, Hajipir Company
- ThimayyaBattalion: Alamein Company, Meiktila Company, Dograi Company, Chushul Compan
- ManekshawBattalion: Imphal Company, Zojila Company, Jessore Company, Sangro Company
- BhagatBattalion: Sinhgarh Company, Keren Company, Cassino Company, Basantar Company
- Siachen Battalion: erstwhileArmy Cadet College
The IMA Campus
The Indian Military Academy is snuggled on the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, about 8 km west of Dehradun. The IMA campus is located on NH72, separating the North Campus from South Campus. The academy sprawls over an area of 1,400 acres i.e. 5.7 km square. The Chetwoode Hall or the IMA building on the Drill Square was built in 1930. It houses the administrative headquarters of the Indian Military Academy and is also the hub of academic training. The Chetwoode Hall features lecture halls, fully equipped computer labs and a cafe.
The Khetrapal Auditorium inaugurated in 1982 having a seating capacity of 2000, lies on the opposite side of the Drill Square. The newer wing of the Chetwoode Hall which was added in 1938 houses the Central Library. The IMA Museum on the campus displays artefacts of historic importance. Offering unspoilt views of the resplendent Tons River etched by the Himalayas, the Commandant’s residence is an elegant colonial structure, having a well manicured 6-acre garden. In the north-west of the campus is the IMA helipad located in the Tons Valley
Athletic Facilities at IMA
Developed in the 1970s, the South Campus of IMA includes facilities for the Somnath Stadium and the Salaria Aquatic Centre. Other facilities offered by the South Campus include stables with a stud farm and a small arms shooting range. While the North Campus features a Polo Ground along the Tons River. The Tons Valley on the north-west of IMA campus is outlined by the forks and bends of Tons river which is used for battle training, para-dropping and para-gliding.
War Memorial at IMA
The War Memorial erected at IMA pays homage to the alumni of the academy, who left their lives fighting for the country. At the sanctum santorum of the memorial, there is a bronze statue of a Gentleman Cadet with a sword presenting arms. The War Memorial was inaugurated by Field Marshal Manekshaw on November 17, 1999, weeks before the Kargil War. Many IMA officers shed their blood safeguarding the country among which many have become household names in India and are still remembered for their valorous deed. Among the ranks were two Param Vir Chakra recipients and eight Maha Vir Chakra recipients.
Cadet Life at IMA
Since the military academy expects its graduates to imbibe high moral and ethical values, when a trainee enters IMA he is referred to as a Gentleman Cadet. The academy lives up to its credo, extracted from the speech of Field Marshal Chetwode at the inauguration of the academy in 1932:
The safety, honour and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command come next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety come last, always and every time.
The Gentleman Cadets coming from diverse backgrounds are treated like one and unity is preached in the campus of IMA. Every GC goes through rigorous training, from gruelling route-marches to photography, painting, seminars, term-papers, tours and sports they have to take part in all the sessions. The training is actually an action-filled scenario nurturing their mental and physical potential, for which they need to give an outstanding performance. Each Gentleman Cadet is given an equal space and time to polish himself both mentally and physically for the challenges that he’ll face on the battlefield
The Gentleman Cadets at IMA undergo strict training for one year which includes intense physical training, drills, weapons training and developing leadership qualities. The exceptional trainees selected through Combined Defence Services Exam of UPSC, who are graduates of a non-military college, go through one and a half years of training. The training imparted to the GC is done with the purpose of grooming future military leaders of the Indian Army.
How to reach IMA
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) is located near the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun. It situated at a distance of 6 km from Clock Tower Dehradun and around 268 km from Delhi. Private buses to Dehradun are easily available from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi at a nominal fare. The nearest railhead to IMA is Dehradun railway station at 6.2 km away. Jolly Grant airport at 35 km away is the closest air connectivity to IMA. Taxis to IMA are easily available from this airport.