INS Imphal, the Indian Navy’s newest stealth-guided missile destroyer, is poised for a momentous commissioning ceremony at the naval dockyard in Mumbai. This landmark event will be distinguished by the esteemed presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, emphasizing both the strategic significance and high-profile nature of the occasion.
The crest of the INS Imphal serves as a vivid tapestry weaving together elements of history, mythology, and cultural heritage. The crest of the ship showcases the renowned Kangla Fort of Imphal as a backdrop, featuring the mythical guardian creature Kangla-Sha alongside it, all set against a foreground of blue and white waves.
Kangla Fort, entrenched as the traditional seat of Manipur’s power, emerges as a resilient testament to the enduring spirit of the Manipuri people. The mythical guardian, Kangla-Sha, with its lion’s body and dragon’s head, embodies the symbolism of protection and guardianship, mirroring the statues that watch over the Kangla Fort’s innermost wall.
Declared Manipur’s state emblem, Kangla-Sha takes on additional significance in the maritime context within INS Imphal’s crest. It becomes a powerful symbol of the Indian Navy’s commitment to safeguard the nation’s interests on the high seas, a duty shouldered with the spirit and resilience reflected by Kangla Fort.
The ship’s motto, “Sadaiv Tatpar” in Sanskrit, elegantly displayed on a ribbon beneath the crest, echoes the timeless call to be “Always Ready.” This commitment resonates with the crew, instilling a sense of preparedness and vigilance, traits essential for navigating the unpredictable challenges of the maritime domain.
Moving to the ship’s logo, the symbolic imagery takes centre stage. INS Imphal rises with the Sun, a potent symbol of infinite energy and power, aligning with the ship’s role as a formidable destroyer. Flanked by majestic horses, the logo draws upon Manipur’s historical reverence for these creatures, embodying characteristics such as speed, strength, stamina, agility, and valour.
The horses hold a deeper connection to Manipur’s cultural fabric, reflecting the historical importance of the mythical war horse, Samadon Ayangba, and the indigenous game of Sangol Kangjel. The latter, involving horseback riding and mallet use, serves as a precursor to modern Polo. The inclusion of these equine symbols enriches the ship’s identity, intertwining maritime strength with the cultural tapestry of Manipur.
The inscription “Invincible Imphal” encapsulates the ethos of the ship and its crew, emphasizing their indomitable spirit and unwavering determination. This declaration underscores the ship’s invincibility in the face of challenges, a testament to its commitment to overcoming adversities and prevailing as a stalwart guardian of maritime interests.
Both the crest and logo of INS Imphal intricately weave together a narrative that goes beyond naval symbolism. They serve as a visual testament to the intertwining of historical legacy, cultural heritage, and the resolute commitment of the Indian Navy, embodied by the crew of INS Imphal, to safeguard the nation’s maritime interests with unwavering courage and preparedness.
In its maritime journey, INS Imphal transcends its role as a naval vessel to become a living chronicle of Manipur’s storied past and cultural richness. The significance embedded in its crest and logo delves deep into the annals of history, where the Kangla Fort stands resilient, weathering centuries of upheavals. The Kangla-Sha, depicted alongside, adds a layer of symbolic protection and guardianship.
The logo, with its portrayal of INS Imphal rising alongside the sun and flanked by majestic horses, draws inspiration from Manipur’s cultural tapestry. These horses, laden with historical importance, embody the characteristics of speed, strength, and valour, reflecting the ship’s martial character and prowess.
As INS Imphal sails the seas, it carries with it not only the weight of naval duty but also a profound connection to Manipur’s heritage. It showcases the adaptability and strength required to navigate the ever-changing waters of global security.
In essence, INS Imphal’s crest and logo become visual narratives, telling a story of resilience, cultural pride, and a steadfast commitment to safeguarding the nation’s maritime interests. The ship transcends its physical form, becoming a floating testament to the enduring spirit of the Manipuri people and the unwavering dedication of the Indian Navy.