Kochi: INS Sudarshini, India's second sail training ship, on Saturday embarked on a six month historic ASEAN voyage from here, after being flagged off by Naval Chief, Admiral D K Joshi.
The voyage commemorates 20 years of dialogue partnership and 10 years of summit level partnership with ASEAN countries.     

An ASEAN car rally is also scheduled later this year to commemorate this milestone in relations.
Describing the voyage as a 'proud' moment, Admiral Joshi, who recently took over as Naval chief, said because of such voyages, there will be bonhomie and camaraderie between navies.
This voyage also retraces the path of our ancestors which impacted the destinies of nations in the region, he said.     

Admiral Joshi expressed pride at the fact that cultural, economic and diplomatic linkages across the Indian Ocean are once again being reinforced through such maritime endeavours.
Describing Sudarshini as India's "Ambassador at Large" furthering the common vision of peace and prosperity, he said, "such expeditions will bring our communities together".
He further said, as the ship goes to different ports of South East Asian countries, the navy intends to embark their trainees.
During the course of the 12,000 mile expedition of INS Sudarshini, the ship will call on 13 ports in 9 countries in South East Asia.
The cultural, religious and trade relations between India and South East Asia date back to 13th century BC. Indian seafarers have been using monsoon winds for maritime trade with the region even before the discovery of the route by Hippalus in 45-47 AD.
The vessel, flagged off from the Naval Base here, has embarked on on the voyage to trace this ancient trade route and highlight India's maritime linkages with South East Asia.

INS Sudarshini, a three masted barque, is part of the First Training squadron of the Southern Naval Command and is commanded by Commander N Shyamsunder.
She has a crew of 31 in addition to 30 cadets who will learn the ropes of life at sea during the voyage.


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