Cellular Jail is situated at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The jail was constructed by the Britishers between 1896 to 1900. It was a colonial prison also known as Kaala Paani jail, as it was surrounded by sea on all sides and there was no way the prisoners could escape.

It was used to exile political prisoners during India’s struggle for Independence. Many notable freedom fighters like Veer Savarkar, Batukeshwar Dutt and many others were imprisoned here by the British government.

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The Japanese took over it in 1942 during the Second World War and turned many Britishers as inmates. The Britishers used cruel methods of torture on Indian political prisoners. It used to be one of the biggest jails in Asia, and now it is a famous national monument.

The museum exhibits the prison life and hardships of the great Indian freedom fighters imprisoned here. The light and sound show can also be seen which show the historical events related to the place.

Cellular jail is one of the darkest chapters to date in the history of India during the reign of the Britishers. Whenever visiting this place, it’s better to book Andaman tour package including airfare. This will help you in a hassle-free trip and discover Andaman at its best.

Here is a quick recap of the lesser known facts of the cellular jail.

  • The jail was constructed by the Britishers to torment and torture their prisoners, mostly Indian freedom fighters.
  • Each room of the prison measures 4.5 metres to 2.7 metres like a cell, thus earning the name ‘Cellular Jail’. The building consisted of 7 wings and 3 storeys. It also has a central tower that was used by the guards to keep a close watch on the prisoners.
  • Before the construction, the Andaman Island was used as a prison. But as the number of prisoners increased the British built a jail to retain their prisoners.
  • The main aim of the prison was to restrict the connection of the inmates with the outside world be it, family and friends. In order to avoid communication among the prisoners, the cells were constructed in such a way that the door of each cell faced the back of other cell and all of them were in a row.
  • Several freedom fighters in the jail went through extreme pain that cannot be imagined. Some of them included Veer Savarkar, Batukeshwar Dutt, Sohan Singh, Vaman Rao Joshi, Nand Gopal and many others.
  • Two wings of the jail were demolished by the Japanese during the Second World War. After the end of the World War, in 1945, the Britishers resumed their control.
  • The food of the prisoners contained bread filled with worms and the water served full of insects. There were no toilets and light in the jail. The prisoners just received unbearable pain and physical torture. They were made to run oil mills, Kolhu and if they failed to abide, merciless wardens put them through great atrocities.
  • Diwan Singh, the director of health of India during its league for independence met the governor in lieu of seeking justice for the prisoners and the inhuman treatment. What did he get in return? He was arrested and tortured by the Japanese for more than 80 days. The Japanese hung him upside down, pulled flesh from his body, nails from the fingers and made him sit on a burning charcoal stove. He breathed his last on January 14, 1944.

The records of the prisoners are missing till date, and nobody knows what happened to them. The prisoners who died in prison were thrown away into the sea. The museum and the memorial that stands today are a proof of the pride and valour of the prisoners who fought for the country’s independence and never gave up. So, whenever you visit Andaman, make sure to book Andaman tour package including airfare. This will save your time and provide you with the best tour to roam around the island and discover more of the historical facts.

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Sanjay Verma

The author Sanjay Verma

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