Last week, I happened to listen to a radio program about 100 years of tanks being used in battleground in the world. This is interesting. Because, we keep seeing these tanks at many different places such as gardens, road intersections, in the cities, proudly displayed by Indian Army, as their signs of valor and victory. On this occasion, I wanted take you to a trip to museum of cavalry tanks. This is relatively unknown museum in the outskirts of Ahmednagar near Pune, which I happened to visit long time back. My memories of that visit ran down and hence sat down to pen them. I also learnt that International Museums Day was celebrated on May 18. The newspapers in Pune were full of stories of various museums in the city, and there are indeed many of them.
Anyways, coming back to this topic of Tank Museum. As a child, I also had seen many tanks crossing by on the roads, also many of them being transported on a goods train. They, for sure, are huge war machines. The radio program talked about how Indian Army had won battles with Pakistan, where Pakistan had to leave the battleground leaving large number of tanks for India. And the scene was as if it was burial ground for tanks there. We also usually see world war movies involving tanks during battle, and indeed they have played very critical role that time. I wonder if that will be the case now, and how effective battle tanks can be.
The museum has roughly 50 odd tanks, most of them shaded to protect from rains and sun. They, of course, are well maintained, as per usual Army standards. Many of the are ones used during world wars. The Patton tanks which were famous during 1971 war with Pakistan, is also displayed here. We know the history how young Indian Army soldier Abdul Hamid destroyed many of these American made tanks for which he got Param Veer Chakra award. The Indian star tank Vijayanta and Arjun tanks also can be see here. The area also has Army training center as well. We also got to get inside and top of one of the tanks to get glimpse of the life in and on the tank. I remember it was Independence Day that day when I visited, with patriotic feelings in the air. Indian Army’s expertise and experience in battles with tanks is one of the foremost in the world. In India, 1947 Indian Army introduced tanks which are part of something called Armored Core Corps.
Unfortunately, the museum did not have any brochures or souvenir gifts for visitors to carry out of the museum. Nonetheless, it is very different and unique museum, and if you love warfare and those things, you must go there! As mentioned few times on this blog, I have been going for hikes and treks to different forts in Sahyadri range, other places in India such as Rajasthan, where we invariably find huge canons. My trekking mate and friend Sachin Joshi has done a study and documentation of those. I wish government can think of creating a museum for them, as they lie unattended on those forts.
Keep watching this blog for knowing some more unique and interesting museums I have visited in the past!