Visakhapatnam

Kursura and memories of Ghazi attack

Standing tall: A file photo of INS Kursura on the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.

Standing tall: A file photo of INS Kursura on the Beach Road in Visakhapatnam.   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Submarine has been converted into a museum and is stationed on Vizag beach

For those who have seen or plan to watch Sankalp Reddy’s recent war film Ghazi Attack, based on the sinking of Pakistani Submarine PNS Ghazi off the Visakhapatnam coast on December 3, 1971, a visit to the Kursura Submarine museum should be on the cards.

Kursura is the same class of submarine, as depicted in the film, and it would give a first hand understanding of how the submariners managed to survive the adverse conditions for over 18 days. INS Kursura was decommissioned on September 27, 2001. It was gifted to Andhra Pradesh by the Navy and the Ministry of Defence. It was thrown open to the public as a museum on the R.K. Beach here on August 24, 2002.

The submarine depicted in the film is S21, which is the pennant number of INS Karanj. INS Karanj was among the first four Type 641 or Foxtrot class Russian submarines procured by India and inducted into the newly formed submarine arm of the Indian Navy.

The four boats include INS Kalveri (S23), inducted on December 8, 1967, INS Khanderi (S22), inducted on December 6, 1968, INS Karanj (S21), inducted on September 4, 1969, and INS Kursura (S20), commissioned on December 18, 1969.

All four submarines were then based at the Submarine Base INS Virbahu in Visakhapatnam, and their first commanding officers were Commander K.S. Subramanian (Kalveri), M.N. Vasudeva (Khanderi), M.N.R. Samant (Karanj) and A. Auditto (Kursura).

While the Fin of Kalveri was gifted to GVMC and it adorns the Beach Road near The Park Hotel, Kursura has been converted into a museum.

Arduous journey

According to a senior submariner, both Karanj (S21) and Kursura (S20), are similar boats. The sinking of Pakistani submarine PNS Ghazi is depicted in the film cinematographically.

According to top naval sources, no naval diver has ventured into the sunken sub, as the forces believe that the men who died, although enemies, were men of valourand and their souls should be allowed to rest in peace.

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Printable version | May 19, 2020 7:14:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/kursura-and-memories-of-ghazi-attack/article17328899.ece

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