Bus approached to South Andaman and to the city from where it all started…Port Blair… I lodged into the same place and fortunately got the cheaper room… With Diglipur, pleasant weather turned to the past and I was again dealing with the humidity of Port Blair…Soon after unrolling my backpack and lime water, I headed to cellular jail which I missed during my earlier stay at Port Blair.
Cellular Jail National Memorial
Cellular Jail Port Blair
The Cellular jail, the Indian Bastille, stands as a mute witness to the untold sufferings, valiant defiance and undaunted spirit of the firebrand revolutionaries against the brutalities of the British Barbarism. The name "Cellular" is derived from its unique feature of having 693 cells, each one measuring 13.6*7.6 feet. The construction of the jail was taken up in October 1893 and completed in 1906 at an estimated cost of Rs 5,17,352-/
Massive Strangler fig Ross Island
As a mark of respect to the freedom fighters, the cellular jail was dedicated to the nation by the then prime minister Shri Morar ji Desai on 11th Feb 1979 and now it stands as a national memorial of great historical importance.
Ross Island from the top of Cellular Jail
Cellular Jail is quite an engaging site and tells a lot about freedom fighter movement in the independence of India. Though majorly devastated and abandoned, Cellular Jail is quite a splendid architecture. Galleries inside the complex are quite informative and showcase some rare manuscripts from the pre-independent India. Located on the 3rd floor of a wing, Cell of Vir Savarkar is one prime attraction of the historical complex. Tourists are also allowed to reach the roof of the wings which offer spectacular view of shoreline and Ross Island. If visited thoroughly, Cellular Jail can easily consume your 2-3 hours…Quite enriching and worth visiting… In fact Cellular Jail (Kala Pani) is the only reason why most of Indians are aware of these distant Islands and consider these as a part of India.. I wanted to attend the light and sound show for which I heard really good reviews from locals but retreated back to my hotel room in search of good food.
Ross Island Port Blair
While tramping around the Islands of Andaman, I lost some weight and was feeling weaker. A nutritious vegetarian dinner was now needed more than any time before. ..Fortunately got one which lie opposite to the Gurudwara…Paneer Sabji and Roti satisfied my appetite to some extent.. .Besides usual hunt for the dinner, my last evening in Andaman Islands went in meaningless meandering around the Jetty stand and promenade… Another day, onshore breeze was relentlessly trying to cool the warm and damp atmosphere of the Island…After shutting down their shops, city-dwellers making their way back and waiting desperately for another monsoon.. Very far somewhere in north Andaman, wood gatherers must be returning back home after another hard day in the tropical forest… In between those intermittent flashes, I saw Diglipur and still see it… Diglipur is missed and I knew it…
Roots tangled in ruin
Returned back to dark room where ceiling fan was cutting the wind ruthlessly yet making no difference to the comfort and I slumbered again…Next morning I checked out before marking my way to Ross Island which was indeed the last sightseeing of the Islands. Not far from the coast of Port Blair town, Ross Island is quite a popular sightseeing among domestic travelers. Ross Island can be reached on 15 minutes ferries those regularly run between Jetty (Behind aquarium) and Ross Island.
Overgrown tree on the ruins
Reminiscent of Ross Island
Erstwhile capital of Andaman Islands, Ross Island is now a deserted tourist site with dilapidated structures from the colonial past of these Islands. Ross Island was badly devastated by the Earth quake of 1945 and now ruins of those historical buildings covered with overgrown jungle are the prime attractions of the Island. Museum near the Jetty stand offers quite an insight about the past of Ross Island and presents a glimpse of how it looked in its good times. Quirkily tangled with the roots of huge banyan trees, remnants of these buildings look quite fascinating and eerie at the same time. Absurdity of the Island certainly instills the curiosity of its visitors and makes them struggle more for information. Among the ruins of old buildings, Presbyterian Church is the most prominent one and identifiable to some extent.
The Presbyterian Church was a protestant church built of stone and the windows had frames made of Burma Teak. The Glass panes behind the Altar were made of beautifully etched stained glass from Italy. The quality of the wood was so good that it survived the vagaries of weather for over a hundred years. A small structure south of the church was built to accommodate the parsonage.
Beachside of Ross Island
Before taking the boat back to Port Blair, I strolled along the palm fringed promenade which runs on the periphery of the Island. Surprisingly Ross is one of few palm fringed islands of the archipelago. Soon after deboarding from Ross, I walked inland and folded my belongings to continue my journey to main land India. Andaman Islands can easily consume a month if visited thoroughly and I was bit disappointed of missing the south Andaman and other off-beat destinations. Despite of absolute liking, Saying Good bye is the deep rooted nature of travelers and I was leaving Andaman with that frowning curiosity of untraveled a lot. With a bright hope of coming back, I was on my way back to uncertainty… from the boats to the roads of unfamiliar destinations…garnished with a new color of memories…. GREEN….