Ever wanted to be Top Gun or captain an aircraft carrier? Walk into these museums to relive the glory days of the Indian armed forces.
Almost every little boy grows up with the dream of being a fighter pilot. Few actually do. For those whose dreams of joining the armed forces have fallen short, there are numerous armed forces museums where they can learn about the achievements of the Indian armed forces. These museums are often maintained by the armed forces in pristine conditions and they are situated all over India.
Palam Air Force Museum, Delhi
The Palam Air Force Museum is the ideal stop for aspiring pilots to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon soaking in the accolades of the Indian Air Force. Located near the technical area gate of Palam Air Force Station, a half-hour drive from Indira Gandhi International Airport, the Palam Air Force Museum
usually goes unnoticed by visitors to Delhi. The museum is open every Wednesday to Sunday, from ten a.m. to five p.m.
The Air Force museum is split into twoâ€”an annexe and a main hangar. As you enter the annexe, you will revel in the history of the Indian
Air Force laid out in a pictorial form, as photographs adorning the
walls. This section traces the growth of the Air Force, from its early
days in Risalpur to latest group photographs of the current top
echelons. The section also has miniature models of aircrafts that have been in service in the Indian Air Force. The second section of the annex celebrates certain officers and pilots that have made significant contributions during their service in the Second World War. There is also a photo of IAF legend Wing Commander K. K. Majumdar who was the only Indian Officer during the Second World War
to win the Distinguished Flying Cross twice. The annexe also has a
number of small arms, medals, and ceremonial swords on display.
The hangar section of the museum showcases a number of vintage aircraft.
On display is the first plane to fly through the Khyber Pass in 1929,
two Hunter fighter bombers and a Sukhoi 7. Airplane enthusiasts will
love to have a look at the Hurricane, Tempest, and Lysander of Second World War fame. The museum also has a twin tail vampire jet fighter plane in the hangar.
Naval Aviation Museum, Dabolim, Goa
If the Air Force Museum at Palam whets your appetite, it is time for you to fly over to the Naval Aviation Museum at Goa.
Situated at Bogmalo Beach near Dabolim, this museum allows you to get
up close and personal with various aircrafts. This is the second
largest aviation museum in India.
This museum boasts of 12 aircrafts, one of which is the Lockheed Super Constellation. The Lockheed Constellation is the largest aircraft
on display and the exhibit allows visitors to walk through the plane,
right into the cockpit. There are aircrafts from the World War II era,
such as the Fairy Firefly. There is also a tiny Hughes Hu300 helicopter
which is dwarfed by a Westland Sea King and Chetak Helicopter. If you
are a modern war bird enthusiast, there is a BAe Sea Harrier.
Indoor exhibits at this museum highlight how various safety equipments on an aircraft
work. One such exhibit is an ejector seat, used by Lt. Cdr. S. Chitnis,
who successfully used it to eject from a Kiran at Viskhapatnam, in
1999. There are also separate sections that highlight various armaments
used by the Navy and sensors that are deployed in aircrafts.
There is a massive mock-up of the INS Vikrant, India's first aircraftcarrier
in one of the interior galleries. The museum is open to visitors on all
days from ten in the morning to four in the evening, and is closed on
Mondays and national holidays.
INS Vikrant, Mumbai
planes are not your cup of tea, it is time to join the Navy. The best
way to find your sea legs is to take in what life might be on the INS
Vikrant in Mumbai. The INS Vikrant is a majestic, light aircraftcarrier. Now decommissioned, it has been converted into a floating museum at the naval dockyard in Mumbai.
The Vikrant played a critical role in the 1971 war. She played a key
role in sinking several Pakistani patrol boats and other naval vessels
even though she had a crack in her boiler. The boiler is an important
part of any steam engine and its purpose is to produce steam which
drives the ship's propulsion system. The museum, which is only open to
the public a few weeks in a year, allows visitors to take a tour of the
entire ship. From the bowels of the engine room to the landing deck,
the Vikrant has been peppered with numerous displays that are related
to its rich naval history. The landing deck of the aircraftcarrier
houses a Sea Hawk, a Chetak, and a Westland helicopter each. Viewers
can step inside the Westland. Visitors are also allowed to take a
closer look at the cockpit of the Sea Hawk.
The carrier's main hangar below the landing deck has been modified to
hold most of the exhibits. These range from medals and arms to
equipment used by the navy during operations, such as scuba gear, decompression chambers, armaments, and several aircrafts. The tour through the carrier
is well planned and covers all the major sections of the ship from the
infirmary and the pilots' ready room, where pilots were briefed about
the objectives of their mission before they embarked, to the control
tower and bridge of the ship.
Kursura Submarine Museum, Vizag
If you fancy a stealthier career below the waves, you would want to
take in the Kursura Submarine Museum at Vizag. Situated on R K beach,
this is a one of a kind museum in India. This Soviet built 1-641 class
submarine has been berthed in a special enclosure on the beach. The
submarine has been converted into a museum and made accessible to
tourists. Visitors need not worry about having to enter through the
coning tower. Instead a special door and walkway have been cut into the
side of the submarine allowing easy access. The submarine gives an idea
of life on a submarine. It showcases its entire weapons package
including torpedoes. The museum showcases milestones of evolution of
the submarine defence fleet through photographs, written scripts, and
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Have you ever wanted to join the armed forces? Should the armed forces be more open to allowing access to the public for educational purposes? Do you think the armed forces need to do more to encourage quality Indian talent to join?
Do these museums have interesting relics of wars, military operatipons etc. Would love to view these things? Informative displays are fine, but you need genuine relics to complete the museum experi...
I think that most museums can have some interactive displays using screens, videos , power points or some ambient sounds. ...
I had never heard about these armed forces museums before as far as Ican recall. These would be a great way for civilians to learn something about the miilitary and how it operates. This is something ...