Thursday, March 17, 2011

We visited ‘Indian Naval Academy’ at Ezhimala

Out of station weekend trips are a welcome change to the mundane routine of the city life. Getting out of the city with friends even for two or three days can be very invigorating and provides the much needed change, which is always for the better. So we decided to visit the ‘Indian Naval Academy’ at Ezhimala , Rags and Meera, KM and Sudhi, Pondi and Ragini and the two of us left for Kannur by a night train on 11 Mar 2011.If you are planning to visit that part of Kerala, one needs to book tickets well in advance, as there is a tremendous weekend rush to Kerala and back. We had decided to carry home cooked food and I had indicated in advance who would bring what. In spite of a clear directive, the women in the gang decided to act on their own and brought food, enough to cater for a regiment. There was so much food left over, we had to request the TT to help us dispose. With an obliging and helpful TT, Mr MK Nair (Ex Air Force) we soon settled down to a comfortable night journey. All of us are getting old and require a lower berth. On line booking invariably lands you with one upper and one lower berth. Then comes the next difficult part – who will go up. Initially Jai was not convinced that I should be occupying the lower berth, especially when all the other ladies were comfortably nested in their respective LB. To make matters worse, all the husbands who had gone up were unanimous in urging Jai to sleep down. In the face of extreme opposition and constant enemy fire from different quarters, I had to plead with Jai to permit me to sleep in the LB. ‘Battle of the Berth’ was finally won. A difficult task indeed. I wonder what Mamta didi would have done, if she were to get an UB. All senior citizens should get LB as default option. – may be in the next Railway Budget.

Ezhimala is a beautiful village located in Kannur District of Kerala. It is about 55 km from Kannur. A flourishing seaport and center of trade in ancient Kerala, Ezhimala was one of the major battlefields of the Chola-Chera war of the 11th century. Ezhimala can be reached easily from Payyanur or Kannur. Wiki says “The beauty of the area is such that each side of the mountain drops down as breathtaking greenish valleys and then glides into the sea on one side and river streams on the other. The serene beauty gives profound joy to anybody standing on the top and looking to the west and sighting the white foamy waves gliding on the land as if washing the feet of the divine hill or looking to the east and setting sight on the most stunning heavenly greenish landscapes spread below the hill and climbing up to the Sahya mountains... Such virgin beauty is rarely to be found elsewhere”. Ezhimala means Seven is believed that during the Rama Ravana war, Hanuman was carrying a huge hill with the death defeating medicine (Mrita Sanjeevani) to Lanka, to revive Lakshmana. On the way, a piece of that hill fell, and is known as the Ezhimala hills....containing several herbal plants”.

"When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused".- Rainer Maria Rilke

National Defence Academy (NDA) located in Khadakwasla near Pune was established in 1954 as a tri service institution to train officer cadets from the Army, Navy and Air Force. To augment the training capacity of the navy, Indian Naval Academy was commissioned by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh in January 2008. Nestled between the imposing Mount Dilli, serene Kavvayi backwaters and majestic Arabian Sea, INA provides an idyllic setting for training with its picturesque and tranquil environment. It covers an area of 2452 acres along the North Malabar coastline. The Academy is presently training approximately 650 trainees and would progressively increase to about 1100 trainees by 2013. This would include officer-trainees from the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and friendly foreign countries. The role of INA is to impart B Tech and Orientation Training.

Figure 1 - Location of INA pointed by an arrow
We joined Prem and Beena who had already arrived from Kochi. All of us settled down in our respective cabins located opposite the Ezhimala Beach – the accommodation cluster is aptly named “Samundar Kinaree” (By the sea). The remarkable beauty of the Ezhimala sea front is in its clear water constantly washing the pristine beaches, in the back drop of coconut grove and sloping hills ever so gently reaching into the sea. The steady wavy motion and drone of the waves, combined with shade and rustle of the coconut leaves is simply mystifying. Lying down in a hammock is the ultimate relaxation experience, until you are shaken up from the slumber by someone shouting “Dolphin there – where – there can you see and so on.

Figure 2 - View from our cabin

Figure 3 - Rags relaxing after a game of golf

Figure 4 - Prem with Ragini and Jai

Figure 5 - Another view of the beach

After a few beers, tender coconut water, G and T, we proceeded to have a sitting in lunch by the sea. Once in a lifetime experience made possible by the exotic location, sumptuous meal and great company. I decided to place on record the menu card for posterity.

Figure 6 - Lunch by the sea

Figure 7 - Truly outstanding preparation by the naval cooks and stewards

After relaxing for a while we set out into the backwaters for a bit of high speed boating. It was extremely exhilarating to reach 34MPH on the boat.

Figure 8 - Great feeling on the high speed boat. Notice the sea, beach, coconut trees and the inter mingling mangrove.

Figure 9 - Slower barge ride

Figure 10 - Mount Dilli in the background

All of us then went for a ride on the water scooter.

Figure 11 - A different experience

Figure 12 - Jai on a joy ride

Figure 13 - Cadets ready to set sail

Figure 14 - One of the many islands painting the sea line

Figure 15 - Jai catching the sun

In the evening we were invited to dinner by the commandant of INA Vice Admiral Anurag Thapliyal (Taps) and his dear wife Rachna to ‘Ezhimala House’. They are a wonderful couple, very warm and friendly. Together they made our stay extremely comfortable and interesting. Gracious hosts indeed. Their house is located on top of a hillock, overlooking the sea. Words fail me, when it comes to describing the grandeur of the house. Taps has taken great pains to add a nautical touch to the house.

Figure 16 - Ezhimala House

Figure 17 - Taps - Extreme Left discussing India – SA cricket match

Figure 18 – Rachna – Left nearest - with the ladies and KM

Figure 19 - View of a typical house

The next morning the Commandant took us around the entire academy. Academic, sports and other facilities which are available to the cadets is truly incredible, making it one of the finest in the world.

Figure 19 - Far view of the Academy

Figure 20 - Taps, Rags, Self, KM, Prem, Jai, Bina, Sudhi, Ragini, Meera and Pondi at the entrance of the naval college - ‘Nalanda’

Figure 21 - Olympic standard cadet’s pool

Figure 22 - Parade Ground
Taps and Rachna were there to see us off and I was presented an INA cap, which I have been proudly wearing ever since then. We returned to Bangalore,refreshed and cleansed.


  1. Sir... can we contact a person while he is on training...??? at Ezhimala..?? cell are not allowed... how can v contact them..??

  2. Or if WE can send a letter... can you please tell me the address......??? please sir..

  3. Dear Stuti,
    Yes you can - at
    (a) Postal Address .
    Cadet _________________
    Indian Naval Academy
    Naval Academy PO
    Kannur, Kerala 670310

  4. Hello,

    Would you know about accommodation outside the academy? So that it is convenient to visit in the day, and yet not be located too far to reach at night, and preferable not expensive.

    Your article was a wonderful read, thank you!

  5. sir, i am a class 12 student and an aspirant to join indian navy... i am a resident of kannur district where ezhimala naval academy is situated . Are the public allowed to visit the naval academy so that I too get a chance to visit there.

    1. Yes.You can visit the academy on selected days when it is open to the public. Good you want to join the navy.

  6. Thanks Sir for a very Valuable information on Indian Navy. During the passing out parade, only parents are invited or relatives/friends can accompany them? Is there any limitation on number of invitees?

  7. If you write to the authorities they will certainly welcome you for the POP

  8. sir,
    is phone alloweded in inside the acedamy for student

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Hi sir my name is prasad i am an student of architecture from andhrapradesh.i want to study about naval acadamy for my thesis project development so i need permission to visit it is help full to my thesis project and how can i cantact to get permition plaese tell me

    1. Please write to the naval authorities. They will help you.

    2. finally did you get permission for your case study?

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