So here I am with my first part of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands’ sojourn. This post is all about the Andaman’s Cellular jail, believe me I was too fascinated to write about this.
“Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Hamara Dil Mein Hai, Dehkna Hai Zor Kitna Baajuen Qaatil Mein Hai” this cry has been lingering in my mind from the time I have heard the whole reciting of the story. True fact that this island got mesmerizing beaches to be held upon, but not everyone knows why Andaman was always been in Lime Light, that’s only because of Kala Pani, which certainly was a hub for our freedom fight (The unfortunate hub). I have been hearing about Kala Pani Jail from my dad but never did I pay any attention to it (Probably I was too young to understand the pain back then)!
To all the patriots, listening to such incidences itself is a pain. Kala Pani is more than an essential landmark to Andaman’s, it’s a place where prisoners were none other than our freedom fighters who were forced to perform hard labor like cutting trees, building of blocks, oil extraction out of coconut fibrous coat and many more painful jobs. In one line, it was a one way ticket to hell. After the 1857 revolt British came back to Andaman and since they couldn’t accommodate prisoners on Ross Island (the seat of governance), started with the construction of Kala Pani Jail
The architect of Jail:
Kala Pani was accomplished with a giant plan of 693 cells in the jail, having 7 wings with a central tower (You can see the architect plan in the image below). The bricks were brought from Burma, and each wing is three stories high. The whole plan was so strategically designed that none of the wings face each other so that no prisoner will be able to communicate with his fellow prisoner from the other wing. Each cell has only one door and was meant for only one prisoner, 15×8 foot in dimensions with a small ventilation space. The jail construction was commenced in the year 1896 and was completed by 1906. Also has separate gallows, work shed and mess.
Our Freedom Fighters:
There were many who were pinioned here but two were very familiar to the nation- Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Port Blair Airport named after him) & Mahavir Singh. These prisoners have lived a tough life! No… They literally lived through hell. Mahavir singh, friend of Sardar Bhagat Singh brought into custody during Second Lahore Conspiracy Case. He was a part of a hunger strike that took place in the year 1933 to protest the ill-treatment of prisoners, for which he was been forcefully fed milk via food pipe inserted through the nose and which entered his lungs and he died on 17th May 1933. Many other prisoners died of hunger strike, later his body was tied to a stone and dumped into the sea without anyone’s notice. No incidence had any effect on jailers. I wonder how cruelty grows faster than anything else.
The beauty of those walls is the pride that our freedom fighters have lived here and died for the nation.
Light Show: This extremely indulging light show will tell you the whole history of Cellular Jail. You guys can visit jail from 3 PM onwards and witness this light show at either 6:00 PM or 7:30 PM.
This was all about ‘Kala Pani’ jail and in my next blog post, I would be telling about my travel and places I visited. Stay tuned and do recommend your friends to read through my blog post.