The Indian Navy’s origin can be traced back to the British rule to the East India Company’s Marines, this was the wing of the British Army that was trained to conduct warfare in the oceans. It was founded in early 1612.

This armed maritime warfare branch was renamed as the His Majesty’s Indian Navy in 1830. Later, when the country gained its independence, the branch was named the Indian Navy in 1950.
The motto of Indian Navy is ‘Sham No Varunaḥ’, which translates to “may the Lord of the water be auspicious unto us”. The present flag of Indian Navy assimilates the design of St. George’s Cross, a part of the Union Jack.

Here are a few interesting and lesser known facts about the Indian Navy:

The Navy Day is not the foundation day of the Indian Navy

India celebrates the Indian Navy Day every year on 4th December, to commemorate the Operation Trident of the Indian Navy conducted successfully on the 4th Dec 1971, against a Pakistani naval base in Karachi in 1971. Four Pakistani vessels including PNS Khaibar were sank by Indian Navy. This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most celebrated and memorable wars of the navy.

Indian Navy is the seventh strongest maritime force

The Indian Navy is currently the seventh strongest maritime force on the earth. Indian Navy has 15 submarines and ships, 300 aircraft, and 67,252 active and 55,000 reserve personnel in service, according to June 2019 records.

Anti-ship cruise missile BrahMos is the world’s fastest

The anti-ship cruise missile BrahMos of the Indian Navy is the world’s fastest operational system in its class. Recently, DRDO has increased the missile system’s range from 298 km to about 450 km.

Various names of the Indian Navy Marine Commandos (MARCOS)

The Indian Navy has a Special Operations Unit known as MARCOS, trained to conduct operations at sea, in air and on land. It is also nicknamed as Magarmachhs (crocodiles) for their stealthy and ferocious attacks. They are known to disguise in beards due to which they are also called the “Dadiwali Fauj” (bearded soldiers). Sea lions is another name given to them. This force has obtained international recognition for professionalism.


Naval Aerobatic Team of the Indian Navy

‘Sagar Pawan’ founded in 2003 is the naval aerobatic team of the Indian Navy. It is also one of the only two naval aerobatic teams present in the world, the other being the US Navy’s Blue Angels.


North Pole & South Pole expeditions of Indian Navy

The Indian Navy has successfully accomplished expeditions to the Mount Everest, the South Pole and the North Pole in 2004, 2006 and 2008 respectively.


The Indian Naval Academy

The Indian Naval Academy conducts the initial and basic training for all the officers inducted into the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. Located in Ezhimala, Kannur district of Kerala, it is situated between the Ezhimala hill and the Kavvayi backwaters, INA has a 7 kilometre beach front on the Arabian Sea. It is the largest naval academy in Asia.


The father of Indian Navy

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is considered to be the father of the Indian Naval Forces. To protect the sea trade Shivaji built a strong naval force across the coast of Konkan and Goa. The navy under Shivaji was so strong that the Marathas could hold the British, Portuguese and Dutch forces from penetrating their trade and sea forts. Shivaji engaged in many combat battles with Siddis of Janjira on coastline fronts. All of these achievements and skills of his earned him the title of the father of Indian Navy.

Indian Navy the main user of satellite GSAT-7

India’s first exclusive defence satellite GSAT-7 is mainly used by Indian Navy to extend its marine water capabilities.


Indian Navy’s assistance in World War 2

The Indian Navy not only provided indispensable assistance to the Royal British Forces during the World War 2, but it also played an instrumental role in maintaining a smooth flow of supplies to the United Kingdom.


Various Operations by Indian Navy

Operation Vijay where the Indian Navy was tested for battle led to the capture of territories of Goa, Diu and Daman from the Portuguese in 1961. Operation Cactus shows how Indian Navy played a significant role in maintaining security and stability in Indian Ocean Region and how Indian Navy helped in strengthening Indo-Maldivian relations by helping the Maldivian government against armed rebellion attempted by a group of Maldivians led by businessman Abdullah Luthufi. He was assisted by armed mercenaries of a Tamil secessionist organisation from Sri Lanka, known as the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), with a motive to overthrow the government in the island republic of Maldives.

Indian Navy also launched ‘Operation Vanilla’ for disaster relief assistance in Madagascar, to help the affected population post devastation caused by Cyclone Diane.

This year in September, Indian Navy’s INS Nireekshak joined the search operation with the Mauritian National Coast Guard in search and rescue of the Mauritius Port Authority (MPA) Tug Sir Gaetan.