Cellular Jail (also known as Kaala Paani, that translates to 'Black Waters'), is an ancient colonial prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India and is a national memorial monument and tourist attraction today.
This jail was used by the East India company (British) to imprison and exile Indian criminals who opposed or failed to follow their order.
Notable Indian independence activists and freedom fighters (such as Veer Savarkar, Barindra Kumar Ghose, SushilDasgupta) who are celebrated and respected in India today were imprisoned here, during their struggle for India's independence
The main jail complex was constructed between 1896 and 1906 AD, although British had been using the Andaman Islands as an imprisonment location since the Indian Rebellion (of 1847), as they decided that Indian prisoners needed to be exiled to a remote archipelago, and for this purpose, Port Blair was chosen as the location to establish this prison.
The cellular jail, once built, was used exclusively to imprison all the Indian political prisoners, and it came to be known as “a place of exclusion and isolation”.
The construction of the cellular jailbegan in 1896 and was completed in 1906.
The building has a total of seven wings or segments. At the centre of these wings,there is a tower which was used by the prison guards to keep watch on the inmates.
The original building was a brick building which was in puce colour (a colour that looks like a blend of dark red and purple). The bricks which were used in the building are said to have been transported from Burma.
Cellular Jail is open to visitors between 8 AM and 4 PM every day, on all days of the week.
An entry fee of INR 30 per head is applicable for every Indian national (adult) visitor to this place, and for foreigners (adult), the entrance fee applicable is INR 100 per head. For visitors who wish to bring and use a camera, an additional INR 200 is applicable.
The Port Blair International Airport (Veer Savarkar International Airport), is very close to the town centre in Port Blair, and many of the key tourist attractions here including cellular jail can easily be reached from the airport.
From here, visitors can hire a cab, bus, autorickshaw (tuk-tuk) or rent a 2-wheeler to reach the location of the cellular jail.
One of the most prominent parts of Indian history and its struggle from Independence, the Cellular Jail, also known as ‘Kala Pani’, was built by the Britishers to keep the Indian political leaders and freedom fighters in exile. Located in the city of Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the jail is now under government administration and is a major tourist destination retelling the horrific stories of the Indian independence movement.