INHS Asvini: The Cutting Edge of Medical Sciences

By Ms Bhavyashree GNS, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

The oldest Command Hospital of the Indian Navy, Indian Naval Hospital Ship  (INHS) Asvini derives its name from the Vedic deities Asvins or Asvin Kumaras, also known as the horse twins who were proficient in the knowledge of health, medicine, and science. In the Rig Veda, the Asvins are depicted as guardian deities who tend to the ailments of people by ensuring their safety, further coming to aid in the time of need. Located in Navy Nagar, Colaba, INHS Asvini was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 18 September 1951. Even though it has only been 71 years since its establishment, the facility has a remarkable history of over 250 years. Continue reading “INHS Asvini: The Cutting Edge of Medical Sciences”

Iconography of Maritime Machinery in Ancient India

By Bhavyashree GNS, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the term ‘iconography’ refers to the use of images and symbols to represent ideas or the particular images and symbols used by a religious or political group. In simple words, iconography is concerned with the visual aspect of the study in regard to ideas, cultures, and the study of these. Iconography is considered as an important aspect as it makes use of various symbols, themes, and subject matter to convey meaning of the work.[1] Continue reading “Iconography of Maritime Machinery in Ancient India”

Reminiscing the Past: INS Khukri

By Ms Maitre Shah, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

Introduction

In the Indo-Pak War of 1971, at the naval frontiers many warships played important roles, INS Khukri (F149) being one of them. INS Khukri was attacked and sunk during the war. To commemorate its valour, a Khukri class corvette was commissioned in the same name. 23 August 2022 marks the 33rd commissioning anniversary of the Indian Naval Ship INS Khukri (P49). On this day, let us revisit the past and reminisce the journey of both the majestic vessels. Continue reading “Reminiscing the Past: INS Khukri”

Enduring legacy of INS Kunjali

By Amruta Talawadekar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

At the very end of the Navy Nagar in Colaba, Mumbai is a naval establishment that overlooks the southern tip of Mumbai called INS Kunjali. INS Kunjali is the naval base set up to administer the Regulating School of the Navy, the School of Music, the Provost Headquarters of the Navy at Mumbai, the IN-Detention Quarters, and the Indian Naval Band. 01 Jul 1954 marks the 68th commissioning anniversary of the Indian Naval base INS Kunjali. On this day let us revisit the saga of its meritorious service. Continue reading “Enduring legacy of INS Kunjali”

The Anathema to Narcissus

By Ms Gargie Kode, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

Nautical Fiction is a genre that has intrigued the masses with its larger-than-life representation of sea voyages, the life of the seamen and bringing forth various aspects of nautical culture. This is a genre that is filled with the finest details of the voyages and expeditions, elucidation of the roaring deep blue sea, narratives of the struggles of the sailors together laced with lores of the maritime expanse. As the genre evolved, it became synonymous with Joseph Conrad- one of the most famous exponents of this genre. Popular among readers for his works like the “Heart of Darkness“, “Lord Jim“, “Typhoon” and one of his distinguished works which was disputable for its contentious title: “The Nigger of the Narcissus“. Continue reading “The Anathema to Narcissus”

Spirit of Adventure at Sea

By Ms Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

It has been a little over 500 years completion of the first-ever circumnavigation under sail undertaken by Magellan. While he succumbed to death before the completion of his historic voyage, it was eventually concluded by Juan Sebastian Elcano. While this pioneering attempt is hailed for the sheer enormity of the vision, the changes in Indian maritime perspective towards the spirit of adventure also deserves an equal applause. Continue reading “Spirit of Adventure at Sea”

India’s North Eastern Maritime Connect

By Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

Our Indian historical narratives have references of heroes and legends of the maritime domain. The names of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sarkhel Kanhoji Angre, Rajendra Chola of the Chola dynasty, Rani Abbakka, Marthanda Verma etc. are fairly prominent. But, in our academic narratives and curriculum, the history of North-East India remains under-explored in terms of its outreach pan-India. Similarly, when the maritime domain is discussed, our attention is immediately diverted to the western, southern and eastern coastal frontiers. But, the riverine frontiers in the north go amiss. A prominent study of this region in terms of its history, geography and culture is binding, more so, due to the military engagements in recent times. Continue reading “India’s North Eastern Maritime Connect”

Royal Charter: The Beginning of a Saga

By Ms Sundari Khargonkar, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

Mumbai, (erstwhile Bombay) has been a treasure trove for several rulers whose influence has led to political changes in the region. In 1661, the then seven islands of Bombay were given as a gift to King Charles II of England on his marriage to the Portuguese Princess Infanta Catherine of Braganza. The British Crown then rented the islands to the English East India Company (EEIC) who significantly contributed to Bombay’s development. The blog throws light on the aftermath of the Royal Charter signed between the British Crown and EEIC on 27 March 16681. Continue reading “Royal Charter: The Beginning of a Saga”

Trade and Polity in the Indian Ocean: State Formation in Late Medieval Kerala

By Ms Jibita Jans Binnu, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

Introduction

The term Malabar denotes the Indian Subcontinent’s southwestern region, which comprises Malayalam-speaking areas. Geographically, it extended from the Western Ghats to the Arabian Sea. Following the intrusion of the Europeans, the process of state creation and the idea of the power structure in various areas of Kerala underwent a massive change.

Continue reading “Trade and Polity in the Indian Ocean: State Formation in Late Medieval Kerala”

INS Viraat – The Unfading Legacy

By Amruta Talawadekar & Janhavi Lokegaonkar, Senior Research Associates, Maritime History Society

This day, in the year 2017, i.e., 06 March, was when India’s second aircraft carrier, the mighty INS Viraat was decommissioned after 30 years of glorious service to the nation. This article is written as a tribute to this unique warship, which kept India’s shores safe and citizens protected during one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history. Thus, this article intends to rewind the clock and take a peek at those glory days through the eyes of one of its Captains who commanded INS Viraat when it was in full sail on the Indian high seas. Continue reading “INS Viraat – The Unfading Legacy”