Jaladuta: a piece of its history revealed! (unseen photos)
By Yugala Kishor Gour dasa
On the 10th of March it will be exactly 60 years ago, 10th of March 1959, that the MS Jaladuta was launched at its shipbuilding yard in Lubeck Germany. It is this vessel that brought Srila Prabhupada from Calcutta, via Boston, to New York on a journey that started on the 13th August 1965, in what became an astonishing journey and also the beginning of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. This launch was organised by the Lubecker-Flenderwerke AG yard in Northern Germany at the completion of the ship. This event is standard in the shipbuilding industry and is likened to a christening name giving ceremony. The vessel receives its name and blessings from all present guests for its future journeys. An interesting fact is that Scindia named the majority of their vessels starting with Jala, Jalakrishna, Jalagopal, Jalakanta etc. The procedure is that the yard invites a prominent figure to speak the name of the vessel while simultaneously breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow. In this case the shipbuilders invited members of the board of Scindia, and instead of a bottle of alcohol, a blessed coconut was used to inaugurate the name giving ceremony.
After years of searching in Scotland and Europe, Scotland was the red herring as a SS Jaladuta was built there in 1927 by Lithgows Ltd in Port Glasgow also for Scindia. However I finally received these beautiful original black & white pictures documenting the event. The pictures display Shri Patel of Scindia and a representative of the Flenderwerke yard preparing the ceremonial fire. Shri Patel painting the Swastika on the bow of the vessel. The name giving ceremony and breaking the coconut by Shri Patel. The MS Jaladuta slides off the yard towards the Elbe-Trave Canal for its first test run. Shri Patel and the yard representative after the ceremony wearing garlands.
Unfortunately the Jaladuta was scrapped in 1983.
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