Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia

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Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The name itself gives an image of clear blue sky, deep blue water, coral reefs, lush greenery. Yes! it is all these and much more beyond these! When speaking about Andamans, it cannot be covered in one article, hence this is the 1st part – Port Blair. Next would be Neil Island and Havelock in the consecutive articles.

Mumbai to Andamans is quite a task to be planned for, especially if you alone are planning for others for the entire trip. The direct and cheapest flights are available from Kolkata and Chennai. Since this was not a backpacking trip for me this time, opted for a good package option. Did a lot of RnD with MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Thomas Cook, etc. but it was crossing the budget more than expected.

Then I came across another website of ExperienceAndamans. It was a new option for me and was hearing the name for first time. Was a bit skeptical but all vanished away once we experienced Andamans through their service. Since it was family trip and senior citizens were present, hence the cab and resorts were chosen really well by them. The entire trip budget was around INR 1 lakh for 4 people including flights and the package (which included accommodation, cab for entire trip, snorkeling, breakfast). 

We reached Port Blair airport in the morning and the accommodation was only 5 mins away – Sea Lounge. Very neat and clean with all amenities and great service. You can also get a beautiful view of the hills and Ocean from the balcony.

The seating area at Sea Lounge

Photo of Andaman Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Somdutta Sarkar

Day 1

Went to the Corbyn’s Cove Beach at Port Blair. It’s an average but clean beach with casual eateries, souvenir shops, lounge chairs and palm trees. Jet skiing available there or simply you can spend a good time chilling out or walking on the beach.

Corbyn’s Cove Beach

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

After that we headed for the Cellular Jail. Whoever knows the story of our Freedom Fighters for the struggle of India’s freedom, would be astounded once stepped inside. Do take a guide if you want to know in detail the relevance of all places there and the history.

Cellular Jail entrance

Photo of Cellular Jail, Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Somdutta Sarkar

A historical silent spectator of the tortures inflicted upon the Freedom Fighters of our country has been named ‘cellular’ jail due to the individual small cells for individual prisoners. The entrance block has housed all the old photographs of Freedom movement. The galleries bring back the struggles that these Leaders have gone through.

Photo of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Somdutta Sarkar

Cellular Jail before the Light and Sound Show

Photo of Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India by Somdutta Sarkar

The match-box sized cells with utmost provision of not letting in the Sun rays, long eerie corridors emanating the silence of the pain, hanging room witnessing the screams and sudden silence of the Fighters – would leave you with goosebumps.

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The Light and Sound show in the evening tells the story of Freedom movement beautifully and takes you back the memory lane.

The small damp cells of the Cellular Jail The locks are made in such a way that no one from inside can open it in any way

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The movable bridge between the 2 corridors which prevented anyone from crossing from one corridor to other The model of the Cellular Jail

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The entrance to the cell of Veer Savarkar The Cell of Veer Savarkar who stayed in the Cellular Jail for 11 years!

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

Veer Savarkar

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The Manual Oil Grinder where it was used as a punishment for all not surrendering Just few of the hundreds of names of our Freedom Fighters

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The hanging cell where 3 people together were hanged

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

Ross Island, the British Headquarters pre-Independence – View from the terrace of the Cellular Jail

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

Silent long corridors of the cells – the number of shadows=the number of cells

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

The latch is set in such a way that no one has even the slightest possibility to open the door from inside

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

Just few of the hundreds of names of the Freedom Fighters who were brought to the Cellular Jail

Photo of Andamans-the coral treasures of India - Part 1 #PortBlair #TravelIndia by Somdutta Sarkar

Getting to know and see for self the maddening and torturous history inflicted upon our Freedom Fighters would leave you shocked.

Apart from the beach and Cellular Jail covered in a day, another day is needed to see the ‘Jarwar’ village – the tribal village of Andamans. From Port Blair there is this option. But that needs a complete day since they take you at early morning in a bus and you could see them from the bus itself. Getting down or talking to the villagers is strictly not allowed.

We had only one day in Port Blair, hence could not go for that visit.

Next day we headed for Neil Island – Coming up in the next article. Stay tuned :)

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