Cellular Jail, the erstwhile colonial prison, is today a National Memorial and serves as a reminder of the sacrifices that freedom fighters gave to achieve independence.
The Cellular Jail
Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, was a colonial prison used by the British Government to house political prisoners. Located on the remote archipelago of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, the British government thought it to be the perfect location to punish freedom fighters. The freedom fighters were not only isolated from the mainland but the overseas journey also resulted in loss of caste. Some of the famous freedom fighters who were imprisoned here include: Veer Savarkar, Batukeshwar Dutt, Bhai Parmanand and Maulvi Liaquat Ali.
The jail was constructed between 1896 and 1906. It is called 'cellular' because it consists of individual cells for the solitary confinement of the prisoners. The puce-coloured bricks used to construct the jail, were brought from Burma. The jail had seven wings with a tower at the centre to keep an eye on the inmates. Following the Japanese invasion of Andaman Islands, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose visited the islands and hoisted the tri-colour flag near the jail, on December 30, 1943, to proclaim Indian independence. After the end of World War II, the British regained the control of Andaman Islands.
After independence, Cellular Jail was converted into a National Memorial. In 1963, Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital was established in the premises of the jail. Presently, it is a 500 bed hospital. Out of the seven wings of the jail, three wings are still intact. The story of Indian freedom struggle is depicted through a light and sound show, shown daily inside the jail premises at 6.00 PM (Hindi) and 7.15 PM (English). The jail complex also has a Museum, an Art gallery, and a Photo gallery.
Entry Ticket: Rs. 10/- (Except children below 10 years)
Timings: 8.45 AM to 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM to 5.00 PM. (Closed on Mondays and Public Holidays)
Photo camera: Rs. 25/-, Video camera: Rs. 100/-
Light & Sound Show: Rs. 50/-