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Showing posts from January, 2015

In pictures: The infamous Cellular Jail

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This should have been posted a couple of weeks back - because it follows in the same vein of the previous one - viz my Andaman trip.

In the last post I had written about the beautiful Ross island. In this post, I shall deal with the infamous Cellular Jail.

Owing to their remote nature and considerable distance from the mainland of the Indian subcontinent, the Andaman islands had long been a preferred deportation point for political prisoners, for the British Raj. In fact, ever since the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the British had been using the archipelago as a political prison. The Cellular Jail that we know today however, was constructed in 1906 - after ten long years of labour and a then staggering expenditure of more than ₹500,000.

Today, the jail is maintained as a national monument, and its two surviving wings still echo with grim stories of British brutalities and colonial suppression. The cells and the balconies carry an undercurrent of dread, and the gallows, despite being out of …

Echoes of a dazzling past - Ross Island, Port Blair

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The Andaman archipelago off the east coast of the Indian subcontinent is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in India. Shimmering in the vastness of the Bay of Bengal like emeralds, the white beaches, the towering palm trees and the multitude of colourful fishes that inhabit the crystal clear waters, manage to attract tourists from all over the world throughout the year.

While the scenic beauty of the islands is indeed undisputed, what is often sidelined is the interesting, albeit short history that the Andaman islands posses. I say "interesting" because it isn't really a very "happy" history - for during the British colonial regime in India, the Andamans rose to prominence for a number of reasons - primarily, the infamous Cellular Jail and later, the site of Japanese aggression during the Second World War.

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A fine point to begin one's journey into the not-so-distant past of the Andaman islands is one island that is just 2 miles off to the east of …