The Heritage Museum at Jodhpur.
Sainik Samachar – Report Lt Col R K Palta
Heritage Museum at Air Force Station, Jodhpur is one of the prestigious museums established by the Indian Air Force. Its objective is to preserve the rich professional and cultural heritage of the service and give exposure to the public at large, about this elite force. Through its chronologically well laid-out six sections- ‘Bygone Era’, ‘Present Era’, ‘Aviation Era’, ‘1971 Era’, ‘Gandhinagar Era’ and ‘Umaid Singh Era’, the museum takes the visitor through a time machine, as it traces the remarkable history of aviation at Jodhpur, from its inception in 1924 to the present day. The museum has an impressive display of a wide variety of live models as well as photographs and exhibits of aircraft, missiles, armaments and aircraft-related equipment.
On entering the museum gate, a Sukhoi, Marut, MIG-27 and SAM-II which is a Russian missile system, displayed on the lawns of the museum complex, greet the visitors and remind them that though now retired, once upon a time, they too roared into skies to strike terror into the heart of the enemy. A collage formed wth various parts of an aircraft is worth-watching at the museum.
The ‘Bygone Era’ traces the journey of aviation in Jodhpur from 1931 following the establishment of the Jodhpur Flying Club by Maharaja Umaid Singh. This section also depicts evolution of Air Force uniforms and contains photographs of visits of dignitaries to AF Station. Jodhpur. The ‘Present Era’ traces the history of important units and formations operating from Jodhpur. A large number of missiles and armaments are on display. The ‘Aviation Era’ traces the voyage from Tiger Moth to SU-30 MKI, laying special emphasis on Jodhpur’s role in aviation. It has a photographic montage of all the types of fighters, transport aircraft and helicopters helf in the inventory of Indian Air Force.
The ‘1971 Era’ showcases some of the finest moments of IAF during the 1971 war including the famous ‘Battle of Laungewala’. Especiall, eye catching is the photograph of the maze of tank tracks made by the panicking enemy tanks, prior to their decimation by the Hunter aircraft of the IAF. The ‘Gandhinager Era’ unfolds the events during the last one decade including the induction of the Sukhoi 30MKI. the photographs and exhibits displayed at ‘Umaid Singh Era’ section highlights the contribution of Maharaja Umaid Singh to the growth of aviation at Jodhpur.