A Taste of British Hostility inside the Cellular Jail

India has a 7517 km long coastline, flanked by the Indian Ocean in the south, the Bay of Bengal in its east and Arabian Sea in the west. The coastal plains are dotted with hundreds of beaches, many of which are flocked by honeymooning couples. Beach holidays have become quite a rage among newly-weds, owing to the tranquillity and scenic beauty of Indian waterfronts. The silence is only broken by whispering waves and the blue sky is suddenly reddened by the setting sun. Couples like relaxing in serenity, away from the howling traffic and polluted vicinities. Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep are parts of the Indian territory and have splendid beaches. Honeymoon packages can be booked to enjoy and relax in these territories.

Port Blair

Port Blair, the official capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is situated in the South Andaman district and has many activities that tourists can enjoy. Named after a British Lieutenant, it has numerous beaches along with museums and monuments, which can be thronged by travellers. It has a subtropical climate with high precipitation throughout the year. The most-preferred activity here is scuba diving along with other water sports at the Rajiv Gandhi complex. However, the area is not only famous for its beaches and snorkelling, but also for the massive Kali Pani or the Cellular Jail.

Kala Pani

Most tourists in Port Blair visit this British-era prison, which was used to captivate people associated with the Indian freedom struggle. Built as a symbol of the colonial power, it now reflects the paranoia of the rulers because of the political tension created by the countrymen, who stood united in rebellion. The prison was built between 1896 and 1906 and more than 1000 people were held captive inside it between 1906 and 1947. It is a reddish-brown structure and the stones used to construct it were sourced from Myanmar. The building originally had seven rectangular wings arranged like spokes of a wheel, with a watchtower in the centre. The happenings inside every room could be seen by guards from the watchtower. Each wing had three floors and cells were built along their length. A total of 693 cells were built in the building, each measuring 4.5 metres by 2.7 metres. There were no windows in the rooms and the balcony of one wing faced the wall of another, thus eliminating the possibility of communication among the inmates.

Members of the Mughal family were persecuted and kept here. Anyone who tried to escape was hanged immediately and 86 people were executed in a day in March 1868. Hunger strikes were common by prisoners to protest against the inhuman treatment in the jail. After independence, four of the seven wings were destroyed and three were left intact on request by former inmates. Port Blair can be reached by air from Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. Ferries from Chennai and Kolkata can be taken to this beautiful island destination as a part of an Andaman tour package. The temperature is almost the same throughout the year so people can visit the region whenever they feel like.

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