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Monuments in Andaman & Nicobar

Cellular Jail

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, co mpleted 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 Memorial. 

The 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

Ross Island, the erstwhile capital of Port Blair during the B ritish 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.

Ever since Dr. James Pattison Walker arrived in Port Blair  aboard the East India Company's steam frigate ‘Senuramis' on 10th March 1858, this island remained under British occupation till 1942. From 1942 to 1945, the island was under the occupation of Japanese. However, the allies reoccupied the island in 1945 and later abandoned it.

During British occupation, this island was the seat of power of the Britishers. It was developed into self-equipped township with all facilities required for a civilized colony. Dr. Walker, Chairman of the Andaman Committee, established the infamous and the dreaded Penal Settlement with 200 convicts. The Britishers even persuaded the aborigines to come and live in some huts at Ross Island and even established an Andaman Home for them in 1863. Later on the services of these Andamanese were used to catch the escaping convicts from Ross Island.

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.

Viper Island

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 island derives its name from the vessel ‘Viper' in which Lt. Archibald Blair came to the islands in 1768 with the purpose of establishing a Penal Settlement. The vessel, it is believed, met with an accident and its wreckage was abandoned near the island.

Gallows built on top of a hillock, visible to all prisoners in the island, signified death. Sher Ali, the Pathan, guilty of murdering Lord Mayo, was condemned to death and hanged at Viper Island.

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.


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