Chennai: Indian Navy is gearing up to commemorate the 1000th anniversary of the coronation of ancient Tamil King Rajendra Chola, who is credited with expanding his empire across the seas to South-East Asia and to the North up to the Ganges with his navy.
"Indian Navy has decided to commemorate the 1000th year of King Rajendra Chola's coronation with a series of activities. We are joining hands with the National Maritime Foundation and the Tamil Nadu government for the celebration," Commodore Amar K Mahadevan, Naval Officer In-charge (Tamil Nadu and Puducherry) said.
As part of the celebrations, INS Sudarshini, a sailing and training ship of the Indian Navy, is being brought to Chennai tomorrow and its journey to Nagapattinam, believed to be one of the naval base of Rajendra Chola's navy, would be part of the celebration.
"It is to be noted that INS Sudarshini is now on its voyage around the world or circumnavigation and is on its way back to Kochi. It is only fitting that a circumnavigating ship is being involved in the celebrations of a king, whose navy has gone beyond boundaries even in those ancient times," he said.
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah would flag off the ship from the Chennai Port Trust premises to Nagapattinam tomorrow, which will symbolize the achievements of the Chola Navy, whose ships have sailed and conquered lands in South-East Asia, which is present day Java, Sumatra and Malay Peninsula.
Boats belonging to Tamil Nadu Sailing Association and Royal Madras Yacht Club would escort INS Sudarshini out of Chennai harbour, while the local elite and dignitaries would welcome her on her calling the Nagapattinam port.
"We are planning to take 30 Navy and NCC cadets on board the ship weather permitting", he said.
The Navy is planning a series of events, including seminars and expo, whose schedule would be announced later.