Cellular Jail Overview
The Cellular Jail, also known as ‘Kala Pani’ is an old colonial prison situated in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar islands. Constructed by the Britishers during their colonial rule in India, the jail was used particularly to exile Indian political prisoners. The construction of the jail began in the year 1896 and was completed in 1906, after which it was used to house many notable freedom fighters such as Batukeshwar Dutt, Yogendra Shukla and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The jail complex is now owned by the Government of India and it is recognised as the national memorial monument that showcases the life of prisoners during the British era.
Soon after the Sepoy Mutiny in the year 1857, the Britishers began to use the islands of Andaman and Nicobar as jails to imprison the revolters. The secluded islands were chosen due to their distant location from the Indian mainland. During the independence movement of India, thousands of Indians were imprisoned in the Cellular Jail; many of them died due to inhumane conditions, a lot more were hanged, and many passed away due to old age.
Today, the Cellular Jail is a solemn reminder of all the struggles the Indian freedom fighters undertook while fighting for independence, and is an integral part of India’s history. The Jail today stands as a prominent tourist attraction in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands where visitors can learn about its history and also enjoy a light show held in memory of all the prisoners who were imprisoned here.