Cellular Jail, Port Blair

Visitor Information

  • Famous For: Historical site, national memorial, light and sound show
  • Entrance Fee: Entry fee: Rs. 30/- Entry fee for Light and Sound show: Rs. 50/- Use of camera: Rs. 200/- Use of video camera: Rs. 1000/- Film shooting per day with prior permission: Rs. 10000/-
  • Visiting Time: The timings for visiting the cellular jail and the jail museum are divided in two time periods. One is from 0900 – 1230 hours and the next one is from 1330 – 1645 hours. The monument is open to general public on all days.

The light and sound show takes place twice every day, at 1800 hours and 1915       hours. The shows are in Hindi on all days except Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On these days, the second show is played in English.

  • Visit Duration: The whole trip does not take more than 3-4 hours. But it is highly recommended that one should visit the light and sound show which starts at 6 pm. That could take some extra time in your trip.
Cellular Jail
Photo by Ankur P,  CC BY-SA 2.0

This astounding national memorial is a crucial part of Indian history of freedom struggle. This place was one of the most fear-striking colonial prisons to be ever constructed. This was the dreaded place where the British would send the Indian rebels who raised their voices against the colonial rule. Since it was located in one of the most remote and inaccessible parts of India, escape was near to impossible. Also, the jail was constructed in a unique way to have maximum security. The infamous prison was also called ‘Kala Pani’ which roughly translates to “death waters”. The prisoners here were often subjected to torturous tasks and later hanged when they were at their strength’s end. The place gets its name from the 693 cells which held the prisoners, day and night.

Traveler Tips

  • The museum at the Cellular jail closes at 1700 hours. The visitors are advised to plan their trip accordingly to thoroughly enjoy their time.
  • The light and sound show takes place after the sun has set in the jail campus. For the viewers benefit, the show is played in both English and Hindi languages.
  • The numbers of ticket for the light show are limited in quantity. It is better to just get them booked earlier by your travel agent so that there are no last-minute hassles.
  • The weather here gets pretty hot and humid during the day. It’s better to travel light in cotton clothes.
  • There are sufficient food junctions to cater to your needs, so you need not carry eatables along with you for the trip.

Things to Do

  • Pay homage to the national heroes who spent their lives here fighting for your independence.
  • Visit the photo gallery which showcases the various points of the freedom movement of India.
  • Travel into the past in the museum which displays various artefacts linked to the inmates of Cellular Jail.
  • Enjoy the light show which highlights the various aspects of the Indian struggle for freedom.

Availability of Guides

Guides are very easily available when you reach the ticket counter while entering the Cellular jail.

Best Time of Visit

The ideal time to visit this place would be between the months of January and April. The weather remains quite constant throughout the year so it can actually be visited anytime.

How to Reach

Cellular Jail is located at Port Blair. There is good road connectivity to the location. You can reach Cellular Jail using bus, auto-rickshaws or taxies. It’s very simple to reach the place.

Interesting Facts and Trivia about Cellular Jail

  • The colonial prison reached completion in 1906. Its main purpose was to serve as a remote and inescapable jail for anyone against the colonial rule.
  • Some its famous political prisoners include Yogendra Shukla, Maulana Ahmadullah, Diwan Singh Kalepani, Vaman Rao Joshi and Nand Gopal.
  • Over a period of time, due to earthquakes and tsunamis only three wings have survived to tell the tale.
  • The Panopticon architecture was used to construct the jail. According to it, there were seven wings surrounding the central tower which served as an intersection.
  • According to this Panopticon concept, the prisoners could never know when they were placed under watch. This created quite a stir among the prisoners.
  • There was a huge bell at the tower to alert the guards during a jailbreak situation.
  • The light show is simply a dazzling treat to watch. It is certainly not worth missing.
Cellular Jail Port Blair
Photo by Ankur P,  CC BY-SA 2.0

Nearby Attractions

Places to Eat

  • Mandalay restaurant
  • Adi Bengali restaurant
  • BrewMerry’s
  • Waves, Mily watch
  • Coorbyn’s delight

Cellular Jail is one of the most beautiful locations set in the vibrant Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It has some of the most splendid locations with scintillating panoramic views. It is a very calm place and deserves to be visited when travelling to the Andamans. The entire place is drenched in the nostalgia of our fallen national heroes. It reminds us of all the sacrifices that our freedom fighters had to take, for us to see this day.

It is definitely suggested to go to this place and to let the waves of its history wash over you.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

Leave a Comment