Port Blair

Cellular Jail

Introdocution

Once dreaded prison of the British Raj, Cellular Jail; infamously called ‘Kaala Paani’ in Hindi, is now a legendary monument that encapsulates the time of oppression and freedom struggle. Built in 1906, this jail was used to banish the freedom fighters who were considered notorious and threatened the British rule.

The Cellular jail derives its name from the 13' by 7' cell designed for the solitary confinement of its inmates. The punishment in this prison was so intense and gruesome that famed freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was unaware of his brother’s presence in the jail for two years. It originally was a seven prolonged, puce-coloured building with central-tower acting as its fulcrum. Due to many reasons, including the Japanese invasion, only 3 of these buildings remain today.

The Cellular Jail now is an ode to the determination and grit of our forefathers. It was declared as a National Memorial by then Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai 11th February 1979. When you enter the Cellular Jail, you get sucked into a time when history was being made. A visit to this timeless shrine is a must for all history enthusiasts. Today, the cellular jail stands as a testimony to the battle of integrity fought by brave men who forged the path to our freedom.

Main Attractions

Today the entrance block of the National Memorial houses, Freedom Fighters Photo and Exhibition Gallery in the ground floor. The first floor of the building has an art gallery, Netaji gallery and a library on freedom movement. Gallery on the ‘First War of Independence’ and old photographs of the freedom struggle have also been set up in the premises of the National Memorial. An eternal flame of freedom – Swatantrya Jyot has been erected in the vicinity of the Cellular Jail in memory of all freedom fighters and martyrs.

Timings

The entry to the Cellular Jail and Jail Museum is open between 09:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 01:30 PM to 04:45 PM (Open all days except national holidays)

  •  
  • Entry Fee (INR) :30/-
  • Camera: 200/-
  • Video Camera: 1000/-
  • Film shooting per day with prior permission: 10000/-

Sound & Light Show At Cellular Jail

  • The Sound and Light show in the Cellular Jail narrates the saga of the Indian freedom struggle. Brought alive, through sound and light effect, the brutal and barbaric atrocities piled on the freedom fighters deported to these islands and incarcerated in small cells of this jail. This show is very popular among the tourists visiting these islands.

Sagarika

Sagarika – Cottage Industries Emporium / Shopping & Souvniers

The Sagarika Government Emporium is a perfect place to buy mementos of your journey to the Andaman Islands. It is famous for its range of handicraft products. They sell many interesting items such as coconut lamp shades, paintings on sea shells and tribal artifacts. This Emporium exhibits a spectrum of artifacts made of mother pearl, sea shells, coconut shells and local wood products. The emporium also exhibits the artifacts and tokens of Nicobari tribes such as miniatures of Nicobari canoes, palm mats for floors, tables, furniture etc. which are also for sale. You can take home authentic souvenirs like sea pearl to reminisce your stay at Andaman.

The Cellular jail derives its name from the 13' by 7' cell designed for the solitary confinement of its inmates. The punishment in this prison was so intense and gruesome that famed freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was unaware of his brother’s presence in the jail for two years. It originally was a seven prolonged, puce-coloured building with central-tower acting as its fulcrum. Due to many reasons, including the Japanese invasion, only 3 of these buildings remain today.

The Cellular Jail now is an ode to the determination and grit of our forefathers. It was declared as a National Memorial by then Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai 11th February 1979. When you enter the Cellular Jail, you get sucked into a time when history was being made. A visit to this timeless shrine is a must for all history enthusiasts. Today, the cellular jail stands as a testimony to the battle of integrity fought by brave men who forged the path to our freedom.

Timings

The Emporium is open

  • Monday - Saturday : 8.45 AM to 6.45 PM
  • It is closed on Sunday & Public Holidays

Chatham Island / Chatham saw mill

About Chatham Island

The story of Andaman’s modern history began here in Chatham Island. Lt. Archibald Blair landed here in 1789 to establish a British Naval Base. Aiming to create a strong British base, he started surveying the region. This way, Port Blair became the focal point of developmental activities in the Islands.

The Cellular jail derives its name from the 13' by 7' cell designed for the solitary confinement of its inmates. The punishment in this prison was so intense and gruesome that famed freedom fighter Veer Savarkar was unaware of his brother’s presence in the jail for two years. It originally was a seven prolonged, puce-coloured building with central-tower acting as its fulcrum. Due to many reasons, including the Japanese invasion, only 3 of these buildings remain today.

The Cellular Jail now is an ode to the determination and grit of our forefathers. It was declared as a National Memorial by then Prime Minister Shri Morarji Desai 11th February 1979. When you enter the Cellular Jail, you get sucked into a time when history was being made. A visit to this timeless shrine is a must for all history enthusiasts. Today, the cellular jail stands as a testimony to the battle of integrity fought by brave men who forged the path to our freedom.

Main Attractions

Chatham Government Saw Mill

The Chatham Government Saw Mill, established in 1883 is Asia’s largest and oldest saw mill. It is situated on Chatham Islands and is connected to Port Blair by a 100-meter-long bridge. Its upkeep and maintenance is taken care by the Forest Department. Tucked away at the far end of the plot, the saw mill is missed by most who do not know about it (or do not ask about it). Once spotted, it is not hard to see why it is the largest saw mill. Though not a treat to the ears, taking a look inside the mill and following the journey of wood- from being brought in on boats, sorted, cut and stored in warehouses to being transformed into final wooden planks and sent to various destinations is an interesting experience that one shouldn’t miss.

Within the saw mill compound is a museum showcasing the various timber wealth of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum offers an insight to forest activities through life-scale models and display decorative pieces made of padauk, marble, gurjan, satin wood etc. The bomb pit here, though not much to see, tells another not-so-industrious story of the darker days that the saw mill has seen. In 1942, during the World War II, the mill fell victim to British bombs. A pit was thus created which is now filled with water.

Chatham Forest Museum

Within the Chatham saw mill compound is a museum showcasing the various timber wealth of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum displays wide variety of artifacts made from oak, gurjan, timber, satinwood, and paduak that showcase the rich flora found on the island. The Forest Museum maintained by the Forest Department is a helpful guide to the curious soul. It also has a display on wood carvings made of padauk wood, wooden furniture and other woodwork showpieces like balancing dolls and salt water crocodiles.

Timings

The museum is open from

  • Monday - Saturday : 10.00 AM to 2.00 PM
  • It is closed on Sunday & Industrial Holidays

Samudrika Naval Marine Museum

About Samudrika Naval Marine Museum

Samudrika is a marine museum in Port Blair, run and maintained by the Indian Navy. The museum aims to generate awareness about the ocean environment and the marine life. The museum has five sections presenting history of Andaman Islands, Geographical information, people of Andaman, Archaeology and Marine life. It also houses a vast collection of shells, corals and a few species of colourful fish of the sea around the islands.

Main Attractions

Aquarium

One of the unique aspect of this museum is its aquarium. You can observe and marvel at many marine fish like Short Dragon fish, Double banded soap fish, White-spotted grouper, finned Vagabond etc. The vibrant marine life is nurtured here to give a small preview to visitors about the majestic sea creatures of Andaman.

Nicobari Tribal Hut

The Nicobarese tribal people are mysterious and isolated from outer world. The Government of India respects their exile and protects their interests. Visiting the Nicobar Islands may not be tangible, but you can always see a model of Nicobari Hut in Samudrika and assuage your curiosity.

Audio Visual Section

Watch informative and passionate documentaries about The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in this AV room. Learn about their marine life and sea wealth. The area has comfortable seating and is open to visitors.

Blue Whale Skeleton

Outside Samudrika, in its gigantic splendor, is a blue whale skeleton. This whale was washed ashore in Kamorta Island. The Skeleton of the huge mammal will leave the visitors in awe.

Timings

The museum is open from

  • Tuesday - Sunday : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • It is closed on Mondays and national holidays.
  • The entry ticket fees are:
  • Adult - Rs 50
  • Children (5-12 yrs.) – Rs 25

Anthropological Museum

About Anthropological Museum

The Anthropological museum in Port Blair started in the year 1975-76, is an ethnographic museum. It showcases the four Negrito Tribes of the Andaman viz. the Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges and two Mongoloid Tribes of the Nicobar viz. the Nicobarese and the Shompens.

The Andaman Tribes

GREAT ANDAMANESE

The vanishing Great Andamanese tribe is settled at Strait Island, which is about 46km away from Port Blair. Present population of 43 are the remnants of ten clans of the once flourishing aboriginals who inhabited the South & Middle Andaman and were first to be befriended. Mass mortality occurred among them soon on contact with civilized man through many diseases. Today they are considered perhaps the weakest ethic group.

ONGE

The Onge live in Little Andaman, an island 130 km. south of Port Blair. The Onge differ from the Great Andamanese in language and in some aspects of their culture. Each member of the clan lives in his/her respective communal hut. This tribe still exists as hunters. Monogamy is their traditional social norm. Onges are friendly with neighbours and visitors. There are about 98 Onges alive today.

JARAWA

The Jarawas live in the reserve forest belt of western coast of south and middle Andaman. The members of this tribe are now becoming friendly. However, they continue with their primitive way of life. The Jarawa live in communal huts, which lack a sleeping platform. They utilize naturally available material such a palm leaves, barks, canes, seashells, corals etc. for their ornaments as well as for their dress. Their population is around 240.

THE SENTINELESE

The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinel Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders. It is vital that their wish to remain uncontacted is respected – if not, the entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity. Following a campaign by survival and local organisations, the Indian Government abandoned plans to contact the Sentinelese. Survival is campaigning to ensure that their current position – to not make further attempts to contact the tribe – is maintained.

The Nicobar Tribes

NICOBARESE

The Nicobarese have Mongoloid features and they are a large population of over 27,000. They are horticulturist and pig-herders inhabiting large permanent villages mostly close to sea shore. They are not divisible into tribes, but there are territorial distinctions. The differences to be observed is language, customs, manners and physiognomy of the several groups may, with some confidence, be referred to habitat and the physical difficulties of communication.

SHOMPENS

The shompens inhabit interior forest area of Great Nicobar. They are shy by nature and avoid contact with outsiders. Shompens live invariably along or around the perennial fresh water rivers, streams or rivulets in the forest. Shompen villages generally comprise of 2 to 20 huts at a place. Their huts are constructed on piles, the height of which varies from 1.5m to 3m. They use palm leaves to thatch their huts. The floor space of the piers is used for living while the space below is utilized for their domestic animals. Monogamy as well as polygamy is a social norm. In each village the oldest male is the head of tribe. Shompen population is estimated to be 398.

Timings

The museum is open from

  • Tuesday - Sunday : 09:00 AM to 01.00 PM and 01.30 PM to 04.30 PM.
  • It is closed on Mondays and Govt. Holidays

Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex

About Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex

This water sports complex, one of the first of its kind in India, offers aqua-sports facilities including safe water sports and Adventure water sports within one complex. Different boating experiences such as jet ski, banana boats and speed boats are available here. This complex also offers open air eateries. The spectacle of marina park that surrounds the complex is enchanting. This place makes for a perfect outing for youngsters and children and it is nothing less than a natural water park.

Fisheries Museum

About Fisheries Museum

House to a mammoth 350 species of marine life, exclusively from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Fisheries museum is wonderful place to visit. Many of these fish species are unique to Andaman and not found anywhere else in the world. You can bring your children here to make them understand the novel nature of Andaman. Anyone can learn about the impressive flock of marine creatures, their fossils, corals, shells. The museum provides you the perfect opportunity to learn about the Andaman sea life and realize how unique Andaman is from its counterparts. The Museum is located adjacent to the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sport Complex. A day trip can be planned to include them such that you get the best Port Blair has to offer.

Main Attractions

Aquarium

The Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex houses a memorial of the ‘Battle of Aberdeen' fought between the Britishers and the Andamanese aboriginals in 1859. A battle fought unevenly between the bows and arrows of the natives and the guns of British proved fatal for the Andamanese tribes. The tribal people, angered by the clearing of forest and disruption of nature, attacked the prison colony. But unfortunately, their primitive weapons failed them. Every year on May 17th, people assemble here and pay tribute to the valour showed by the indigenous tribes. 

Timings
  • It is open from
  • Monday - Saturday : 09:00 a.m. to 01.00 p.m. and 02.00 p.m. to 04.00 p.m.
  • It is closed on Mondays/Public Holidays/Second Saturdays.