India has a strong naval fleet of dedicated and selfless services provided by the men of naval force, which deems them as one of the top ten naval powers of the world. The Maritime Museum, situated at INS Dronacharya in Fort Kochi, is just a kilometer south of the Chinese Nets. It is a demonstration of the genesis, evolution, and history of the Indian Navy. The two fortified ammunition bunkers built by British around World War II have been converted into a captivating and enthralling museum. Check out the first bunker to discover the maritime history of Kerala with the second highlighting the evolution of Indian Navy. The museum takes you back to the ancient times of the Indus Valley Civilizations, indicating the trade links of Kerala with the Arabs. Further, the museum is a representation of the Indian naval power's influence in Southeast Asia and colonization of India by European powers in the medieval period.
The museum is categorized into different sections, with each one presenting some interesting aspects of shipbuilding in India. Here, different vessels and boats are displayed, including a 300-year old boat which belongs to the King of Ambalapuzha. Carved out of a single tree, this boat depicts the shipbuilding style of that epoch. It was this expertise in shipbuilding that took the Indian culture to the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Bali between the 3rd century BC and 12th century AD. The Maritime Museum also has a separate section that exhibits Indian Navy's glory, portraying the battle on its aggressors, eventually emerging victorious. Some sections particularly emphasize on the valor and courage of the naval fleets which took place between the geneses of Indian Navy till date.
Right from the evolution of the navy from 1612, when Indian Marine was established in Surat, the museum journeys you through several aspects of its expansion. Some important details include Junaghad operation, the Goa liberation, Indo-Pak conflicts of 1965 and 1971, Operation Cactus, Operation Pawan, and the strategic drills during the Kargil war. A separate chamber is dedicated to Kunjali Marakkar, a legendary name in the history of Indian maritime, who is regarded as the most glorious wartime hero in the history of Indian Navy. The museum can be paid a visit anytime round the year from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The museum lies one kilometer from St. Francis Church in Fort Kochi, which is easily accessible from all parts of India. The nearest railway station is Ernakulam Junction, about 15 km from the museum, while the closest airport is Cochin International Airport, at 20 km from Ernakulam.
The Maritime Museum at Kochi showcases and traces the maritime and naval history of India.