Cellular Jail, Port Blair

25th December 2014

Previous posts:
Trip to Andaman islands
Corbyn’s cove beach in Port Blair

After our visit to Corbyn’s cove beach, we came back to Cellular Jail to collect the tickets was “Sound & Light show”. The show starts at 6PM and still we had time. We headed to ‘Jogger’s park’ that provided a bird’s eye view of Port Blair airport. When we came back to Cellular Jail, people had already seated for “sound and light” show. One hour program showcased the history of Andaman and cellular Jail in particular. It was a decent show.

"Light and sound" show venue in Cellular Jail
Being in eastern part of India, sunset was around 5PM and by 5:30PM it would be pitch dark. I feel that Eastern part of India needs a different time zone.

Cellular Jail complex
We were back in cellular jail on the following day. When British constructed the prison, it had seven wings with a central tower much like the spokes of a cycle wheel. Each wing consisted of three stories. There were 693 cells. Currently only three wings are seen, the rest being demolished. Today the prison complex is served as a National monument.

Entering Cellular Jail

At the entrance are two galleries of several Indian Freedom fighters. Then we enter into a wide area where the prison wings can be seen. Look at the corridor on one of the wings.

Cellular Jail corridor
Here is the cell of Veer Savarkar. He stayed in this cell from 1910 to 1921. His brother also stayed in the same jail but for two years they were not even aware of it.

Veer Savarkar's cell
Unlike other jails in mainland, the prisoners in cellular jail were treated very badly. The statue below depicts the tough life of the inmates. They were asked to grind oil from coconut. Punishments were severe for people who could not meet the deadline.

Oil grinding machine
“The oil grinding KOLHU was the most difficult and hardest work which caused the death of some, insanity of few and general strikes of the Political prisoners in the Cellular Jail. The Political Prisoners were yoked to the handle of the mill and they moved round it continuously. If they were unwilling of or enable to move round fast, they were forcibly tied to the handle and dragged round and round the ground.”

Hard life of prisoners
Execution of the people by meaning of hanging was common in Cellular Jail. This was the place where last rituals were performed before execution.

The hanging room which is a very disturbing place.

We spent about an hour in Cellular Jail. It was both happy and sad at the end of the visit. I was happy to visit the National Monument but sad at the stories of the freedom fighters who gave everything to the Motherland.  

Almost all people coming to Andaman do visit this place. This is a place not to be missed by anyone.

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