Pune’s Southern Command Museum: A physical reminder of past wars
The Southern Command Museum located inside the National War Memorial campus, Ghorpadi, is a tribute to the brave hearts of the nation who made the supreme sacrifice for the motherland.
A stream of curious visitors, especially senior citizens, youth and schoolchildren, are seen visiting the memorial and the museum. These momentous spaces are a major attraction for the people not only from Pune, but also from across the country.
The museum consists of weapons used by the Indian armed forces in different wars. The armaments are a source of awe and inspiration for the visitors. Besides, the narrations related to the army history, details of wars that India fought, beautifully and aesthetically etched on frames, meant to arouse the spirit of nationalism and love for the country. The museum also has details about the soldiers who fought the wars with bravery and courage, and their stories skilfully showcased for the people of the country. Their military experience and history have been depicted through photographs and artefacts, including captured weapons, flags, documents, statues, murals, busts and oil canvas paintings which are a cynosure of attraction for the young and the old.
The main entry to the museum is through a separate gate. The museum gives the history of the Southern Command since its formation and also a peek into the rich and glorious warrior history of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and the South (Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu) which form a part of the geographical expanse of the Southern Command’s area of responsibility (AOR).
Among the other highlights, the National War Memorial includes the display of a MiG 23 BN, an army battle tank (from the Kargil War); a replica of the warship INS Trishul which was used during both the Portuguese-Indian war and the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. Also, there are stone galleries inscribed with details of the battles fought, and the heroic deeds of the soldiers that fought these wars.
Patriotic videos provide the museum visitors an insight into the pivotal role played by the Indian Army in various fields. The objective behind screening of videos is to imbibe patriotic fervour in the minds of the visitors.
In the coming months, a light and sound show to depict the glorious history of Southern Command since its inception and martial history of the Indian Army covering various operations, wars and battles will also be showcased for the visitors.
Sanjay Sharma, a retired army colonel from Rajasthan who visited the National War Memorial and the museum, said, “The museum tells the details of valour and sacrifice made by our soldiers of Southern Command in both the pre and post-Independence era. It is a must visit for the people in order to relive our rich traditions of war history and the great sacrifices made by the men in uniform for the cause of the nation.”
Arjun Bhosale, a Class 11 student of The Bishop’s School, Camp, said, “I came here after my friends informed me about the war memorial and the museum. The museum inspires me to consider the army as a future career as I want to serve my nation and its people.”
The National War Memorial is the only war memorial in South Asia that has been erected through citizens’ contribution with names of post-independence martyrs belonging to the tri-services hailing from Maharashtra inscribed on the marble.
The memorial is an iconic place which remains one of the main attractions for Puneites who turn out in large numbers every Saturday to witness the wreath laying ceremony to honour and remember the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation.
Daily, 9 am to 5.30 pm (check)
Entry is free