KOCHI: Retracing the historic trade route of yore undertaken by dhows, tall ships of Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Oman have set sail together from Muscat to Kochi to celebrate 60 years of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Titled ‘Mausam’ (seasonal winds in Arabic), the two ships would reach Kochi on December 3, said officials.
Sail trading ships from both the countries have been visiting each other’s ports well before the British era, buoying a flourishing trade of spices and garments from India and dates and gold from Oman, nurturing the two civilisations, besides developing cultural and trade linkage over many centuries.
Since then, over five lakh Indians have made their home in Oman strengthening cultural linkages between the two nations.
Indian Sail Training Ship ‘Tarangini’ had earlier reached Muscat on November 22 and a host of activities were conducted by the Indian High Commission at Muscat. Rear Admiral S K Grewal, Flag officer Sea Training (FOST), attended the events at Muscat. The ship also embarked ‘Distinguished’ personnel for short duration when it set sail on November 24. A Flag Officer from Indian Navy will be deputed for the event at Muscat.
In consonance with the spirit of the event, cadets and young officers from Royal Navy of Oman will embark Indian Sail Training Ship and a few officers and cadets from Indian Navy will embark STS Shabab Oman during the sail together from Muscat to Kochi.
On arrival of both Sail Training Ships at Kochi, a grand welcome and a befitting closing ceremony to this endeavour are planned from December 4-7. Various events such as Distinguished Visitors Programme (DVP), reception hosted by both ships, cultural/ heritage tour for RNO personnel, sports fixtures and visit to Indian Naval facilities at Kochi by RNO personnel are planned.
The event, celebrating 60 years of establishing diplomatic relations, as well as one of the first major event under ‘Project Mausam’, will further strengthen diplomatic and maritime linkages between the two countries and pave the way for more such endeavours, officials said.