Historical Significance of Cellular Jail in Andaman Islands

  • By Adventure Andaman
  • June 2, 2023
  • 2372 views
  • Article tells the history and significance of the Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands and why you should include it in your Andaman tour itinerary.

Nestled amidst the azure waters of the Andaman Sea lies a somber reminder of a dark chapter in Indian history: the Cellular Jail. Built by the British colonial rulers in the late 19th century, this formidable structure served as a notorious prison where countless freedom fighters were incarcerated.

The Cellular Jail, also known as Kala Pani, stands today as a symbol of the resilience and sacrifices made during India's struggle for independence.

 

In this article, we will delve into the captivating history and significance of the Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands and why you should include it in your Andaman tour itinerary.

 

Construction and Architecture

The construction of Cellular Jail commenced in 1896 and was completed in 1906. The unique design of the prison, resembling a seven-winged structure, was aimed at maximizing surveillance and isolating inmates from one another.

 

The architecture, attributed to British engineer Lieutenant Colonel J.F. Begg, featured individual cells arranged in a radial pattern, allowing for minimal communication between prisoners. This design became synonymous with the oppressive environment of the jail.

 

Purpose and Infamous Inmates

The Cellular Jail served a dual purpose for the British colonial administration. Firstly, it was a place of punishment for freedom fighters who posed a threat to their rule. Secondly, it was intended as a deterrent to instill fear in the hearts of those who dared to resist British authority.

Batukeshwar Dutt & Bhagat Singh threw two non-lethal bombs & Hindustan Socialist Republican Association leaflets in the Central Assembly on 8/4/1929.

The jail primarily held political prisoners, including prominent leaders like Veer Savarkar, Batukeshwar Dutt, and Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi. These prisoners were subjected to inhumane treatment, with torture and forced labor being common practices.

How Indian prisoners were treated in Cellular Jail. 

Life in Cellular Jail

Life within the walls of the Cellular Jail was marked by immense suffering and hardship. The prisoners endured gruelling physical labor under harsh conditions, coupled with psychological torture. The isolation and confinement were designed to break their spirits, but instead, it fostered unity and resilience among the inmates. Despite the oppressive atmosphere, they found ways to communicate through secret codes and messages, sharing stories of bravery, sacrifice, and the dream of a free India.

 

The Struggle for Independence

The Cellular Jail became a crucible for the freedom struggle, with prisoners turning their captivity into a platform for resistance. They used the power of the written word to keep the flame of nationalism alive, penning poems, songs, and revolutionary literature. Despite the distance from the mainland, the inmates remained connected to the broader movement for independence. Their indomitable spirit and unwavering determination inspired generations to continue the fight against colonial rule.

 

Preservation and Remembrance

In 1969, the Cellular Jail was declared a National Memorial, acknowledging its historical significance. Efforts were made to restore and preserve this iconic structure, transforming it into a museum and a symbol of remembrance. The galleries within the jail showcase artefacts, photographs, and written accounts that provide visitors with insights into the lives of the brave freedom fighters who endured unimaginable hardships within its walls.

Picture of Veer Savarkar at Cellular Jail. 

Conclusion

The Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands stands as a testament to the struggles and sacrifices made during India's fight for independence. It serves as a stark reminder of the price paid by those who yearned for freedom. 

 

This historical site attracts visitors from around the world, allowing them to pay homage to the brave souls who suffered in the pursuit of a sovereign nation. If you are on a family trip to Andaman, you should for sure visit this place. There are lot of tour operators in Andaman that can help you with customized Andaman family tour packages.

 

The Cellular Jail will forever occupy a significant place in India's history, reminding us of the indomitable spirit of its inmates and the triumph of the human will in the face of adversity.

 

Also read

1. Album of Cellur Jail

2. Album Beaches of Andaman and Nicobar

3. Album of Scuba Diving in Andaman and Nicobar

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