Inaugurated in 1998, this museum is one of only two military museums in India. In fact, it is the only Naval aviation museum in all of Asia. The museum displays a number of aircraft that were used by the indian navy throughout its history. These are displayed outside in the museum’s open air gallery.
The interior of the museum is designed to look like the interior of a naval aircraft carrier the INS Viraat and has a number of interesting galleries displaying naval equipment, prominent battles, a simulation room and an extensive granite plaque paying tribute to those brave souls who gave their lives in service of their country.
Where to Go
The museum of Naval Aviation in Goa is located near Bogmala, on the Vasco-Bogmalo road about 6km from the port town of Vasco da Gama, more commonly known as Vasco. The museum is built on a plateau which overlooks the popular Bogmalo beach and gives one an unimpeded look at the splendid ocean vistas.
When to Go
The museum is open to public from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 5.30pm. The museum does, however, remain closed on National Holidays. A day at the museum is a pleasant outing at any time of the year.
What to See
Upon entering the museums premises, the first sentinel is the bulking form of the Super Constellation, a craft originally used as a passenger plane by the Indian Airlines. It was later handed over to the Air Force as a transport vehicle, who then gave it over to the Indian Navy. It was eventually decommissioned but has remained within the Naval purview.
The outdoor gallery has an impressive display of 13 aircrafts, both planes and helicopters as well as a display of aircraft engines and parts. The thirteen crafts on display are
The interior galleries of the museum are accessed through a ship’s hatch and are designed to look like the interior of the INS Viraat, a naval aircraft carrier. The two main galleries are the Viraat gallery and the Vikrant gallery. Both galleries boast wooden models of the ships that they are named for.
One of the first rooms displays a collection of arms and armaments including bombs, torpedoes, rockets, warheads, depth charges, etc. The Sonobouy Room has a collection of sonobouys which are sensors that are used by Aircraft for detection of underwater enemy targets.
The Suraksha room has various gear and gadgets used for protection while at sea and in the air, including the floating dinghy, parachute, ejector seat, pilot’s overalls etc. Perhaps the most interesting room is the Multimedia room which also houses the Jet cockpit simulator; a programme that allows visitors to simulate the experience of being in the cockpit of a fighter jet.
One of the museum walls is adorned with a granite slab known as ‘Shradhanjali’ which has inscribed on it the names of all those who have given their lives in the service of their country. These are the Naval Pilots from the year 1958 to 1997. Adjacent to this plaque is the Meditation room which is the heart of the museum. Decorated with cool granite and graceful art, the room exudes peace and serenity.
The museum also houses a photo gallery that commemorates all the major naval battles that have taken place since the formation of the Indian Navy. The freedom struggle of Goa, notably the ‘Operation Vijay’ is depicted by a stunning series of black and white photographs.
The museum also boasts a gift shop that sells a number of souvenirs fashioned along the lines of the exhibits in the museum.
The museum is a great place to visit, not only for its uniqueness in subject matter, but also for an in-depth look at the glorious military history of the country. The museum is also meant to inspire people to look to the seas and the skies and their protectors.