Valsura came into being in 1943 at the peak of World War II as the Torpedo Training School of the Royal Indian Navy. The dictates of war compelled the British to have a Torpedo training School to aid their War efforts. After independence HMIS Valsura evolved into the Electrical Training Establishment of the Indian Navy – INS Valsura.
The erstwhile Torpedo School, now the site of “Spark Trail” (Valsura Museum) was inaugurated by Her Highness Maharani Gulab Kunverba Sahiba of Nawanagar on 15 Dec 1942. Subsequent to introduction of Electrical Branch on 09 Aug 1947 and conversion to an Electrical Training Establishment the school was shifted to Digvijay Block (now LTS). After shifting to Digvijay Block the erstwhile torpedo school building was used as a charcoal store as during that period charcoal used to be utilized for cooking in galley. Later on, when cooking gas replaced charcoal, the building was used as a store for construction material like cement, stones etc.
With time, Valsura grew and by the Golden Jubilee the establishment was spread over 500 acres of land and had marked its stamp as the premier Training Establishment of the Indian Navy catering to training in electrical, weapon and other advanced technologies. INS Valsura celebrated its glorious 50 years on the 15th of December 1992 and the building from where the “Sparkle in the Salt Pan” had evolved, was converted to a Technology Museum to commemorate the momentous occasion.
Admiral L Ramdas, the then Chief of the Naval Staff, inaugurated the Technology Museum. The Museum primarily comprised of certain obsolete equipment on display and also housed certain pictorial depictions of the past.
Prior to the Diamond Jubilee, the Museum was renovated to capture the glory of the bygone era. Under the stewardship of the then Commanding Officer Cmde NN Kumar, VSM and with requisite inputs from National Institute of design, Ahmedabad. The renovation commenced on 12 Sep 02. The works included construction of the compound wall, main and side way walk path, pedestals for artifacts, re-flooring of internal floor of museum and removal and re-fitment of artifacts on pedestals.
Recently, during the Diamond Jubilee of the Electrical Branch (DJEB), in Sep 07, the Museum assumed a new identity (and also an insignia) and was re-christened as the “Spark Trail”. Spark Trail, with its new look in pristine white, was re-dedicated during the DJEB, spearheaded by the Commanding Officer Cmde BR Taneja, NM. A notable addition to the Museum during the occasion, apart from complete renovation, was the creation of the “Geodesic Dome” bearing names of all the officers who have passed out from the portals of Valsura since inception .The “Dome” was inaugurated by the oldest living Electrical Officer of the Indian Navy Cmde BC Chatterjee (Retd).
Today, the museum stands tall as the symbol of pride for all Valsurians.
The museum building consists of the following different galleries:
(a) Memorabilia (Time Line) Gallery .
This Gallery depicts evolution of Valsura from 1942 till to date displays a photographic collection from the foundation stone laying ceremony on 15 Aug 1942 onwards. The time line is divided into slots of 10 years and comprehensively covers the Establishment’s historical advancement.
(b) Commanding Officers’ Gallery
The Gallery displays photographs of all the Commanding Officers who have been at the helm of affairs since 1942. The gallery also includes the Commanding Officers’ board from the British era and Commandants’ board.
(c) Jubilee gallery.
Valsura has been through three jubilees viz., Silver, Golden and Diamond. The photographs pertaining to all the jubilees have been displayed in this section.
(d) Technology Gallery.
The technological advancement in the Navy has been brought out in this Gallery. Vintage electronic components, switch boards, display units, sonar control panel have been put on display.
(e) Historical Gallery
The gallery comprises various section viz., Chief of the Naval Staff, Chief of Materiel, Gujarat Maritime history and includes Murals and a model of HMIS Trincomalee preserved in a glass case.
(f) Geodesic Dome .
The Dome bears the name of the all Electrical officers who have passed through the portal of Valsura. The names are inscribed course wise on brass leaves which are linked into a half hanging structure.