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Naval Aviation Musuem – Goa One of a kind in Asia

When you think Goa! You think only of the sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets, dusk to dawn party time… Fun and Frolic!
Here, let me take you to one place of interest away from party time as a break! Of course during the day, not messing up your fun- time! 6 Kms from Vasco da Gama, enroute to Bogmalo beach on the Southern part of the Goa’s defence and civilian airport, Dabolim lies a Naval Aircraft Yard on a plateau adjacent the Arabian sea, it’s here you reach – ‘Goa’s Naval Aviation Musuem’. It is open to all between 10 AM to 5 PM with ample parking area and local transport availability. It remains closed on Monday and National Holidays.
This place looks like a defence restricted area, but it’s not! There’s a small entry fee of Rs.30 for adults and Rs 10 for kids. There’s also an additional charge for cellphone camera photography or camera photography… You could take your video camera for a fee too! This place is popular with schools and there’s a discounted fee entrance for that. Physically challenged have no entry fee! One is surprised at the footfalls of more than 4000 visitors! Holiday season sees an additional 1000 visitors. Tickets are sold at the reception, there are free lockers for your baggage. Don’t forget to try the most economically priced cafeteria in Goa for your coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks. One can take any number of selfies or photographs of the displayed planes and helicopters as long as you don’t touch the displays, you are right up breathing distance from the musuem displays! Please look into the souvenir shop at the reception, it’s great to pick up some memoroblia like key rings, caps, t-shirts, mugs, scaled model of aircrafts etc… All reasonably priced. All sections are manned by defence Naval personnel who are passionate and more than helpful.
The exhibition is divided into two major sections, outdoor and 2 floors of indoor displays. It could take 2 hours or more depending on your passion towards this arena. Outside displays are old aircrafts from the World War age and the phased out birds! Primarily there are 13 broadly classified planes and helicopters! Including engines and missiles on display.
Inside has photographs, charts, memoroblia, history of Naval Aviation, uniforms, scaled models of battle ships, sensors, sobars, sonbouys, models of aircraft carriers, functional ejection seat models, black box, parachutes, etc. The evolution of Naval Aviation history is capsuled here. There are touch screens to educate you. Down the hall is a movie room which screens the history of Naval Aviation every hour. It’s a short documentary and takes 10-15 mins of your time. Their operations, achievements, duty along with wall of honour, their heroes are all there for you to know.
This Naval Aviation Musuem at Goa has had humble beginnings. It was formally inaugurated on 12th October 1998 by Admiral R. H.Tahiliani who was the first Naval Pilot to land his fighter aircraft, Hawker Sea Hawk on the deck of the Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant on 18th May 1961. Many such anecdotes and history lines are showcased at this wonderful Musuem for you to discover. The focus of this article is on tourism without getting technical. It’s just to kindle an interest in you to visit this exclusive special unique defence musuem, there are only three in India… One here at Goa and the other at New Delhi. Recently another is added at Bangalore – HAL Musuem. These are few Defence Musuems in India open to public.
Visiting this place gives one a great patriotic feeling and being proud to be a Indian. This place is great for kids and Aviation and Naval buffs. Take time off during the day and educate yourself at Goa when on a holiday!
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography

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