I am back from a pilgrimage. Its a pilgrimage of different kind which is to be felt by heart, without seeing any image or idol of a God or Goddess. I am talking about Cellular jail. Cellular jail of Port Blair in the Andamans is closely associated with the freedom struggle of India. After the first mutiny of in 1857, the British rulers found new usage for these Islands and thereby started the agonizing story of the massive and awesome cellular jail. The patriots who raised their voice against the British rule, were sent to this jail. Thousands of languished for years in solitary confinement in its cells and many perished thus giving Andamans the notorious sobriquet of “Kalapani” or the black water.
To day the cellular jail s the National Memorial, a tribute to those who dared to raise their voices against the British. That’s why the visit to the Cellular jail is a pilgrimage for every Indian.The freedom what we are enjoying today is the result of the sacrifices of those who suffered for years in the solitary confinement in its small cells.
To read more about Andaman Islands, open the page ‘My India’.
1. One of the cells (above), 2. Cellular Jail complex, 3. Cellular Jail at night
VIPER ISLAND :
Viper Island, named after the shipwreck event of a British trading ship named “Viper” in 19th century, is located near Port Blair. The ruins of an olden discarded jail, built by British in 1867, with yellow colored bricks and the gallows are seen in this Island. The Island was considered as the place of penal settlement for the freedom fighters of India. This Island was part of the great Indian independence history and had witnessed the inhuman sufferings and sacrifices of Indian nationals involved in freedom struggle.
Viper Island is accessible by harbor cruise originating from Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair. This place is visited by number of tourists enroute to Portblair from North Bay Island to find the ruins of the jail and a Gallows there. The Guide escorted us addressed the visitors to remind the sacrifices of the freedom fighters. Listen what he said to young generation of today.