Naval Expedition

India is sending a Sail Training Ship "INS Sudarshini” on a commemorative ship expedition to ASEAN countries along the route of the monsoon trade winds. The ship expedition would retrace the sea routes developed during the 10th to 12th centuries, linking India with South East Asia, covering most of the modern and ancient ports in ASEAN countries.

The ship expedition was conceptualized to demonstrate India’s historical proximity with its ASEAN neighbours and to commemorate the longstanding ASEAN-India maritime and trade relationship. The expedition would also enhance people-to-people and naval links between India and the ASEAN nations. INS Sudarshini is a ‘Sail Training Ship’ built by the Goa Shipyard Ltd and was commissioned in 2011. This is the second Sail Training Ship in its class, after INS Tarangini, which was commissioned in 1997.

INS Sudarshini sailed from 15 September 2012 to 25 March 2013. The ship made 13 ports of call in nine ASEAN countries apart from Kochi, Chennai and Port Blair in India during this period. The 13 ASEAN ports of call of the ship are: Padang, Bali, Manado, Brunei, Cebu, Manila, Da Nang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Singapore, Klang, Phuket and Sittwe.

Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff flagged-off INS Sudarshini at Kochi on September 15, 2012. Press Release: link.

Various "Marker” events – commercial and cultural, were hosted by India at 12 of the ports of call, i.e. Bali, Manado, Brunei, Manila, Da Nang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok, Singapore, Klang, Phuket and Sittwe. Apart from these, a business marker event was hosted in Kuala Lumpur and a cultural event in Malacca, when INS Sudarshini is anchored in Klang. In India, marker events were organized in Kochi, Chennai and Port Blair.

INS Sudarshini is carried 35 naval cadets and 7 Officers. In order to further enhance Navy-to-Navy cooperation and camaraderie between the naval cadets of the Indian Navy and ASEAN member states’ Navies, as suggested by ASEAN countries, the ship picked up two naval officers/cadets of each ASEAN country from the first port of call in that ASEAN country until the next port of call.

Sudarshini Crest: The Crest depicts two flying doves over the ocean and an eight sided star within a circle against the blue background. Sudarshini is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘something beautiful’ or a provider of good omen when visited upon. It also reflects the fact that the ship would provide good omen to the young trainers as they embark upon the journey of learning. Its significance is apt for someone whose presence is bound to spread knowledge.