Crowds have flocked to the Isle of Dogs to celebrate the visit of Indian battleship INS Tarkash in the West India Docks.

The huge boat was in British waters for joint exercises with the Royal Navy off the coast of Plymouth before heading to Canary Wharf where it was clambered on by hundreds of eager visitors including the Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, defence secretary Michael Fallon and Indian high commissioner to the UK, Yashvardkan Kumar Sinha

The trip marked the UK-India Year of Culture and also served to celebrate 200 years of the oldest afloat warship in the world HMS Trincomalee, which was launched in 1817 and built in colonial Bombay.

India Today reported that Captain Rituraj Sahu of the INS Tarkash said: “The visit seeks to underscore India’s solidarity with friendly and like-minded countries towards ensuring good order in the maritime domain and to strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and the UK.

“Naval cooperation is a tangible symbol of the commitment of both nations in ensuing a positive climate at sea for enhancing stability, security and promoting economic prosperity.”

The ship arrived in British waters at Plymouth harbour on Tuesday, May 2. It set sail from Canary Wharf for Lisbon on Wednesday, May 10.

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