Chinkara theatre of the naval base at Kochi has been transformed
into a maritime museum. Commissioned on February 8, 1989 it showcases the
maritime history of the country and provides a good insight into how the
present-day Navy has evolved.
Welcoming the visitors to the museum
are two saluting guns. A gleaming black life-size canoe, the typical
Kerala fishing boat commonly called ‘vallam’ with a boatman takes
centerstage in the museum. This boat, almost 300 years old belonging to
the King of Ambalapuzha and carved out of a single tree, depicts the boat
building style of that period. A model of the Sea King helicopter
rests on a podium with the national flag and Naval ensign in the
background. On either side of this, along the fore and aft line, are
cubicles housing artefacts of the past.
of the two cubicles describing the growth of Indian Navy gives a brief
idea about the modern-day Navy, with a large picture of the first Chief of
Naval Staff, Admiral RD Katari, drawing immediate attention. There are
different corners depicting the history of Delhi, Mysore,
Vikrant, Garuda and other major ships. The other cubicle shows
ammunition and communication used in the Navy. On display is a model of a
complete 6-inch Turret triple barrel gun and various communication
equipment that were used in the Navy earlier.
‘Navy at War’ is the theme of
another cubicle which depicts the 1971 war by way of a light and sound
show. Navigation charts used during this war and pictures of ship movement
in the Bay of Bengal are the highlights here.
Maritime Heritage cubicle shows pictures of various objects from
the Mohenjodaro culture. There are tools, pictures and notes on different
techniques used in maritime activities during the days of Indus Valley
civilization. There are some rare coastal charts providing a description
of Dwarka, Shankhodhara and Lothal. There is also an extract of an ancient
Pictures of various types of boats
of the Maratha Navy - Gurab, Galbat, Galbat Sadashiv, Pal, Phatemar (the
cargo carrier) and the flagship of Shekhoji Angre— are displayed in the Heritage
cubicle. There are also pictures of a naval battle and shipbuilding in
the 19th century.
events at sea and the impact of wars are depicted in two elaborate
cubicles titled ‘influence of sea power’. Ezhimala, Malabar Coast
chart of the 18th century, a tomb-stone from an English cemetery on Fort
of Quilon, attack on Gheria Fort by British Armada in 1756, a stone
describing Vasco-Da-Gama’s landing at Kappad, stories of Vijaydurg Fort,
Khanderi Fort, Fort Janjira, Sindhudurg Fort and other maritime items are
The naval action in the liberation
of Goa, the saga of the submarine arm victory at Kargil and martime
heritage of Kerala are on display at the museum. There are a number of
crests on display besides gun barrels, ammunition and some navigation
instruments used by the Navy earlier.
input : Cdr