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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Fort Kochi - Part 10 : Maritime Museum

“Maritime Museum” announced a board. “It is closed today” said our auto driver, and we reluctantly turned the other way. The next morning, however, before heading out of Fort Kochi, we decided it was time to try the museum once again. “There is nothing much to see” lamented our driver of the day, but we insisted, and, in the pouring rain, arrived at INS Dronacharya, which is home to the Southern Naval Command (SNC) Maritime Museum. 




INS Dronacharya is the Gunnery school of the Indian Navy, and the museum is located in two magazines used for storage of ammunition by the British during World War II. The grounds are used to display artifacts too huge to fit inside. I wonder, though how they manage to maintain them with the kind of weather Kochi has. It poured cats and dogs while we were there, and it was summer, not even monsoon!




Inside, the walls are lined with paintings, maps and replicas of documents detailing the birth of the Indian Navy and its transformation over the centuries.



Our attention was captured by this plaque, explaining the Indian Navy’s motto, and its origin….



Take a closer look at this replica of Rajaji’s letter, suggesting the same…



Meanwhile, Samhith had found something more of interest to him – a section devoted to the maritime history of the region, depicted through murals and figurines.


A whole wall is dedicated to the Kunjali Marakkars, the admirals to the Zamorins of Calicut.



The murals depicting the evolution of Kochi as a port, and fort, reminded me of Bassein Fort, also a Portuguese stronghold, and I ruminated on the similarities between them.



The murals aren’t works of art, but they do depict the history in an attractive manner, and especially help in engaging kids!



Another section focuses on naval history of India before the Europeans arrived here. There are maps of ancient ports and trade routes in Southern India, as well as maps of important forts along the western coast.




Across the museum are timelines of the evolution of the Indian Navy – extremely interesting, but for the fact that it does not include the seafaring ventures of the Indus Valley Civilization or the Chola Navy, and other such pre-Colonial naval milestones (which find mention in some sections of the museum, and could easily have been included).



The museum is a treasure trove of information of India’s glorious naval history – a must visit if you are in Fort Kochi!



Information:
  • Location: The Maritime Museum is located quite near the beach, at INS Dronacharya. There are plenty of boards directing you here.

  • Timings: The Museum is closed on Mondays and Public Holidays. On all other days, it is open from 09:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and again from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM.



Comments

  1. Unfortunately it was my own younger brother who spoke the Auto Drivers words to me. Next time I will overrule him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually, PNS, when someone says there is nothing to see, there is something interesting that no one has noticed!!! you should certainly go visit the museum on your next visit. Would love to see what you notice there!

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  2. I had been to Fort Kochi several times. Never knew of this place before.

    ReplyDelete

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