About Cellular Jail
The Cellular Jail in Andaman, is a famous colonial prison located in Port Blair and is often identified with words like ‘terror’ and ‘fear’. Once built and used by the British to exile political prisoners, it is now an important tourist destination since it serves as a reminder of one of the darkest chapters in the history of the Indian freedom struggle.
Commonly known as “Kala Paani”, this historic jail makes for a grim look into the past and a soul-stirring experience. The Kala Paani jail rooms bring to life many tales of bravery and sacrifice of those who were imprisoned here.
The unique and intimidating structure of this massive prison is as spine-chilling as the stories it holds. And, if you are a history buff or a culture aficionado, you cannot leave Andamans without visiting the Cellular Jail!
Read More: Port Blair
Cellular Jail: Places of Note
- Visit the Cellular Jail Museum to understand the history of the place and the story of the inmates.
- Visit the Photo Gallery and exhibitions that display different sides of India’s fight for freedom.
- Visit the Library and browse through the books to know more about the freedom movement.
- Visit Veer Savarkar’s cell, a fearless freedom fighter, who was sentenced to 50 years of imprisonment at the Cellular Jail.
- Enjoy the Cellular Jail Light and Sound Show narrated by Om Puri, in the evening. It will take you on an immersive journey of the entire history of the jail.
- Admire the distinct architecture of the jail which was made to resemble a “wheel of a bicycle” with different wings connecting to a watchtower in the center.
Where Is Cellular Jail Located & How to Reach it?
The Cellular Jail is about 2 km from the city center, and is situated in the North-East corner of Port Blair city. It is close to the Aberdeen Jetty (you can go to Ross island from here), Marina Park, Water Sports Complex, and the Bazaar.
Auto-rickshaws (Tuk Tuks) are easily available for hire to/from here. Private chauffeured vehicles or rented two-wheelers are other convenient options of travel, especially if you wish to visit many attractions within the city.
G2A Tips: Cellular Jail Timings
The Cellular Jail timings are 9 am to 5 pm on all days except Mondays and on national holidays. The cellular jail museum closes for an hour at lunch, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.
We recommend that you visit the jail in the afternoon as you have a better chance of getting a guide during this time. It also leaves enough time for you to absorb the history of the place at an easy pace. You can also make time to explore the park right across, as you wait for the light and sound show to start in the evening. Also, the view from the cellular jail watchtower is lovely at this time.
Read More: Cellular Jail Light & Sound Show
Information for Visitors
- Cost of Admission: Rs 30, Photo Camera: Rs 25, Video Camera: Rs 100
- Timings: 9 AM to 12.30 PM and 1.30 PM to 5 PM
- Last tickets issued by 3.15 PM. No entry after this.
- Closed on Monday and Government holidays
- Address: GB Pant Road, Port Blair, South Andaman
- Light & Sound Show Timings: 6:00 pm (Hindi), 7:15 pm (English)
Cellular Jail: History
The Cellular Jail was created over a span of 10 years, from 1896 to 1906 and is said to be the most formidable colonial prison that ever existed in India.
The sole idea behind its construction was to use it as a place of exclusion and isolation where prisoners would be subjected to harsh treatments in single cell prison rooms.
Since it was located in one of the most secluded and inaccessible parts of the country, escaping from this jail was nearly impossible. Hence the name “Kala Paani”, which roughly translates to “death waters”.
Inmates of this jail included many notable political figures like Veer Savarkar, Ullashkar Dutt and Yogeshwar Shukla, among others.
Some interesting facts related to Cellular Jail
- Kaala Paani, a critically acclaimed Malayalam movie was based on this jail and some scenes were even shot here.
- The design of the jail was based on separate confinement, which ensured that the prisoners had no form of contact with others except the officers.
- Originally, the jail had 7 wings, which got damaged by the earthquake in 1941 and now there are only 3 wings left to see.
Cost of Admission
FAQs About Cellular Jail
Are you allowed to take photos and videos inside the Cellular Jail?
Yes. Taking photos and videos for personal use is allowed. For commercial use, permissions need to be taken.
Is the Light and Sound show available in different languages?
Yes, the Light and Sound show is available in English and Hindi.
Are there any restaurants near the Cellular Jail?
Yes, you will find many options from small eateries to fine-dine restaurants nearby including places like Lighthouse Restaurant, Mandalay, and Corbyn’s Delight.
How was the Cellular Jail built?
The jail was built with puce-coloured bricks shipped from Burma. About 20,000 cubic feet of local stone and 30,00,000 bricks made by prisoners were further used for building it. The Cellular Jail was based on the ‘Panopticon Theory of Architecture’ where there’s a central axis and 7 radiating compartments.
What led to its close down?
The cruel torture inflicted in Cellular Jail led to mass hunger strikes by the inmates between 1932 to 1937. The last hunger strike went on for 45 days. The situation got so dense that even stalwarts like Gandhi, Nehru, and Subhas Chandra Bose had to intervene and put pressure on the British. After this, the penal settlement was closed down and the inmates were extracted to the mainland in 1938.
- Buy Cellular Jail Entry Tickets
- Book Guided Tours of Cellular Jail
- Book Light & Sound Show Tickets
- Book Sightseeing Tour of Port Blair