Cellular Jail, located at Port Blair, stood mute witness to the tortures meted out to the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in this Jail. The Jail, completed in the year 1906 acquired the name, ‘cellular’ because it is entirely made up of individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. It originally was a seven pronged, puce-coloured building with central tower acting as its fulcrum and a massive structure comprising honeycomb like corridors. The building was subsequently damaged and presently three out of the seven prongs are intact. The Jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has been declared a National Memorial.
The penal settlement established in Andamans by the British after the First War of Independence in 1857 was the beginning of the agonising story of freedom fighters in the massive and awful jails at Viper Island followed by the Cellular Jail. The patriots who raised their voice against the British Raj were sent to this Jail, where many perished. Netaji Subash Chandra Bose hoisted the tri-colour flag to proclaim Independence on 30th December 1943 at a place near this Jail.
This three-storeyed prison, constructed by Britishers in 1906, is a pilgrimage destination for freedom fighters. This colossal edifice has mutely witnessed the most treacherous of inhumane atrocities borne by the convicts, who were mostly freedom fighters. Now dedicated to the nation as a National MemorialThe saga of the heroic freedom struggle is brought alive in a moving Son-et-Lumiere, shown daily inside the jail compound at 6.00 PM (Hindi) and 7.15 PM (English). Also there is a Museum, an Art gallery, and a Photo gallery, which are open on all days except Monday from 9.00 AM to 12 Noon and 2.00 PM to 5.00 PM.
Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the British regime, is a tiny island standing as guard to Port Blair harbour. The island presently houses the ruins of old buildings like Ballroom, Chief Commissioner’s House, Govt. House, Church, Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, all in dilapidated condition, reminiscent of the old British regime.
The island with historical background and preservable ruins is spread along an area of 0.6 sq. kms. With the ruins and also with the historical background, the Island has gained a lot of popularity among the tourists.Ross island is open for the tourists to visit during day time as the boat services are available from the Phoenix Bay jetty at 8.30 AM, 10.30 AM, and 12.30 PM. Navy has established a museum on the Island Known as ‘Smritika’ depicting the history of the Island. (Entry Fee: Rs 20/-)
The tiny, serene, beautiful island of Viper witnessed the untold sufferings the freedom fighters had to undergo. Dangerous convicts found guilty of violating the rules of the Penal Settlement, were put in fetters and were forced to work with their fetters on in this island. Freedom fighters like Nanigopal and Nandlal Pulindas, who had resorted to hunger strike at the Cellular Jail, were imprisoned at Viper Island. The jail at Viper, where prisoners deported from the mainland were confined, was built by the British under the supervision of Major Fort. Work on the prison was started in 1867. Owing to the working conditions, the jail earned the notorious name Viper Chain Gang Jail. The Harbour cruise, available daily from Phoenix Bay Jetty (at 3 PM), provides a panoramic view of different points around the harbour and includes a trip to Viper Island.
Car Nicobar: Area 126.9 sq. km., Distance 270 kms. by sea
A rustling fan, Car Nicobar is the headquarters of Nicobar District. It is a flat fertile island covered with cluster of coconut palms and enchanting beaches with a roaring sea all around. The Nicobari huts, built on stilts having entrance through floor with a wooden, ladder, are unique to this island. 16 hrs. Journey by sea from Port Blair.
Katchal 425 kms by sea
Katchal is a tiny island in the Nicobar group. It was this island, which heralded the new millennium with the first sunrise on 1st January 2000. This island has beautiful beaches at East bay, Jhula and West bay.
Great Nicobar 540 kms by sea
The southern end of the Nicobars, this island has Indira Point (formerly Pygmallion Point) the southern most tip of India. The beach near Galathia is the nesting ground for Gaint Leather Back Turtles. This island also has biosphere reserve area. 50-60 hrs. journey by sea from Port Blair.