Port Blair Things to Do

  • Ross Island
    Ross Island
    by lotharscheer
  • Ross Island
    Ross Island
    by lotharscheer
  • Ross Island
    Ross Island
    by lotharscheer

Most Recent Things to Do in Port Blair

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    The gallows

    by globetrott Updated Oct 5, 2014

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    Lots of prisoners were hanged in the Cellular Jail of Port Blair and you will be able to see the rooms with the gallows, you will see a "place for last rites" and also a place, where prisoners had been whiped and other cruelties.
    That "throne" in my 4th picture was the seat of a judge in the trials that were held there maybe after somebody tried to escape.
    The gallows are a really spooky place in the Cellular Jail, what a shame to learn about this !

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    The Jail Administration-building

    by globetrott Updated Oct 3, 2014

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    The Administration-building of the Cellular Jail in Port Blair shows some interesting architecture. The Jail-complex was built between 1895 and 1905 and it has a total of 698 cells, all of the same size with a single small window on the very top of the room, much too far away for the prisoners to see anything except some clouds maybe.
    The Cellular Jail was recently restored and looks really great now and it is a pleasure to walk through. For handicapped people it is just possible to walk on the ground floor, as there is no lift in the whole building !

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    Dont miss the old prison

    by globetrott Updated Oct 3, 2014

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    Dont miss to visit the old prison, its a museum nowadays and really worth seeing, although it once used to be a sad place for many people beeing inprisoned there.
    The Andaman Islands were used as a prison from 1857 onwards and in the beginnings they had mainly dormitories for their prisoners. In 1868 from These dormitories 238 prisoners could escape, but by the end of the month they all could be caught again and 87 of them were hanged.
    Such escapes might have been the reason to build a much safer prison:The Prison was built similar to the spokes of a bicycle wheel: The Jail had 7 wings around a central tower, where the guards were able to watch everything. There were only cells for solitary prisoners and each cell was 4,5 meters long and 2,7 meters wide and a ventilator in the middle of the room in a hight of 3 meters.

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    The spire of the Presbyterian Church

    by globetrott Written Oct 2, 2014

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    The spire of the Presbyterian Church on Ross Island is a lot more "taken over again" by nature than the church itself. The spire has lots of trees growing inside of it and partly through the walls, take a look at my photos, I really wonder how many more years these walls will be able to withstand the power of the trees and bushes, destroying its walls.

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    The Presbyterian Church on Ross Island

    by globetrott Written Oct 2, 2014

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    These are the ruins of the former Presbyterian Church on Ross Island. The church was built of stone and it had window-frames made of Teak from Burma, glass panes made of beautifully etched glass from Italy.
    You will be able to walk through these church-ruins and here and there you will see some remains of the wooden frames of the windows, that have suvived now for more than 100 years.
    In 1941 there was the earthquake and the island was abandoned.

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    Take a look into a prison-cell

    by globetrott Written Oct 2, 2014

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    Take a look inside a prison-cell: The window is high above the floor, it has a solid fence and even a sunshade, so it will give only some light without showing a sky or clouds. There is a door or rather a solid fence instead of a door and as you can see in my 4th Picture, the lock was completely unreachable for the prisoners from inside the cells.
    In None of These cells I saw a matress or any other furniture, so I am sure they had to sleep on the floor and the only way to see some light was the view through the door and the corridor-window into the innercourt of the Jail like in my last Picture.

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    Exhibitions inside the Cellular Jail

    by globetrott Written Oct 2, 2014

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    Inside the Museum of the Cellular Jail you will find a lot of permanent exhibitions about the freedom-fighters and other People who had been in prison there and had to do hard Labor in order to pass their time in prison.
    On the total you will Need a Minimum of 1 hour to explore the most important parts of this Museum with various wide halls, endless corridors and lots of interesting details.

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    Take a walk on top of the prison

    by globetrott Updated Oct 1, 2014

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    You will be able to step up to the flat roofs of the various wings of the Cellular Jail and like the former prison-guards you will be able to watch the situation from above. In former times it was easy that way to make sure nobody would be able to escape and now these platforms are a perfect place for a panorama-view of Port Blair and Ross Island in some distance.

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    Ross Island - where the nature strikes back

    by globetrott Updated Sep 29, 2014

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    Ross Island is a small island just a few hundred meters off the city of Port Blair and after an earth-quake the island was abandonned and nature now is "taking back the island again" step by step: The roots and branches of the trees started to Crash the solid walls of the abandonned buildings and in some places These buildings look really spooky.
    All fo the Island is an open-air-Museum and you can walk inside all of the buildings, gardens etc.without restrictions.

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    Ross Island

    by lotharscheer Updated Jan 14, 2013

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    Go there from Rajiv Gandhi Water Sport Jetty by boat 90 Rupies return last boat back at 4.30 pm. The former headquarter of the British was destroyed by a earthquake 1941, today with completely overgrown buildings some only still standing by the obergrowth

    Ross Island Ross Island Ross Island Ross Island
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    DAY 5-Ross & Viper Islands

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Jan 28, 2011

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    The next morning finds us in a private speedboat to Ross Island, half an hour away. This was earlier the ‘Paris of the East’, so well-maintained and so well-laid out was the place. However, after an earthquake, the place was abandoned in favour of Port Blair. It now lies in ruins with nature reclaiming its lost land, save for a few buildings which house naval facilities. You take the Ross Trail up. To your left is the Chief Commissioner’s bungalow, to your right is the Ross Pond and straight ahead to the top is the Presbyterian Church. From there you turn right and come down to the Cemetery. Thereafter, you continue towards the edge of the island until you come to a Japanese bunker. On the way you will see a few more buildings in utter ruins and an equally ruined bore well.

    The Japanese bunker is a marvel in planning and strength. There must have been a huge gun to attack enemy ships below. A labyrinth structure is in place to ward off any enemy attack. A sudden heavy shower put paid to any further exploration of this once splendorous place.

    The next spot was the North Bay Island but the squall had made the sea choppy. We, therefore, merely skirted this island and carried on to Viper Island, a distance of 30 minutes by the speedboat. This is the place where the gallows still stand, the gallows that ended the life of Sher Ali who had killed Lord Mayo in 1872. The gallows stand on a lonely hilltop inside a red brick-walled building. The huge beam from where the rope hung is still in good shape despite the vagaries of nature, true to its padauk character. This is yet another spot which all Indian citizens should pay homage to for the ultimate sacrifice paid by those fearless freedom fighters. We finally got off at Chatham Island, paid off the speedboat and returned to Port Blair by vehicle in time for a late lunch.

    The evening was a relaxed one with a stroll along the lighted Marine Bay. This place resembles the Queen’s Necklace of Mumbai in miniature. At certain spots, it is delightful to stand and get thoroughly soaked by the shower of water as the might ocean breaks against the stoic shore.

    The Reclamation of Nature Japanese Bunker The Presbyterian Church Abandon All Hope All Who Enter Here Gallows - Padauk wood
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    DAY 4-Wandoor & Jolly Buoy

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Jan 28, 2011

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    The next day, go to Wandoor Jetty and from there to Jolly Buoy Island. The road from Port Blair to Wandoor is undulating, full of greenery and a pleasant drive. At times, the terrain gets hilly as you encounter windy roads like those in a hill station. The greenery is a visual treat for the weary eyes of a city dweller. On either side of the road you will see the trapped waters of the tsunami of 2004. Owing to these salty ocean waters, no cultivation is now possible here. The drive from Port Blair to the Wandoor jetty is about 40 minutes.

    At Wandoor jetty you are transferred to a smaller boat to take you to a larger one. We were taken to the ‘Wind Rider’, which has a capacity of approximately 100 passengers. A lot of time was wasted being ferried from the Wandoor jetty to the smaller boat and from there to a larger ship. If the length of the jetty could be increased, one could hop in directly to the larger ship, thereby being able to spend more times at Jolly Buoy. At Jolly Buoy also, you will be transferred from the ship to a smaller boat which will take you to the beach (TIP: Line up as soon as you see the Jolly Buoy Island to exit from the rear of the ship). A smaller boat takes barely 20 (twenty) passengers at a time. The ship ride is about 40 minutes.

    Once you are at Jolly Buoy, you can snorkel or watch the beautiful corals from a glass-bottomed boat. As you will have less than 2 hours, you are hurried along and cannot full enjoy the beauty of this island but the visit is truly worth it. One would have liked to explore the dense vegetation and the beach a bit more but the ship hoots and you are bundled back. (TIP: Carry you lunch and water along as there are no cafeteria on Jolly Buoy. Also, no plastic is allowed. Your bags are checked at the Wandoor jetty for plastic bags).

    Once you are back at Wandoor jetty, you could visit the Wandoor beach which is next door. The recommendation is, don’t. After the pristine Radhanagar beach and the equally pure Jolly Buoy beach, this one is a non-starter. Rather, carry on to Chariya Tapu to view the iridescent sunset. The distance is 13 kms and should not take you more than a half hour. On the way, you will cross Birch Gunj Military Station as well as Burma Nalla. A few Japanese bunkers can still be seen at Burma Nalla. At Chariya Tapu, there is a small Biological Zoo as well as Mundapahar beach. There are talks of building a ropeway here. From Mundapahar beach back to Port Blair should take about 45 minutes.

    Corals at Jolly Buoy Along the Way Treasures of the Sea Treasures of the Sea Driftwood Statement
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    DAY 3-Cellular Jail

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Jan 28, 2011

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    The next day, visit the Cellular Jail. If you are an Indian citizen, it is a homage to be paid to all those valiant freedom fighters who cared nothing about their personal safety or their lives as they battled the might of the British Empire with their bare hands and pure idealism. The construction of the jail itself and the inhuman torture inflicted on the inmates are so devilishly planned that you are left wondering if these are the same race of people who devised the game of cricket.

    Each block of the seven radiating blocks, consisting of three floors, face the back of the next block so that an inmate never saw his compatriot except at work. Each cell is only 13 feet by 7 feet with a heavy iron door, the handle of which is such that when locked, the prisoner can never attempt to unlock it. This was solitary confinement at its most brutal. Each block needed only three sentries for guarding the three floors as the sentry could stand at the hub and watch the entire wing radiating out. With three more sentries maintaining a watch from the roof as well as working the large bell whenever there was an execution, a total of 24 sentries were enough to guard all the inmates. There are a total of 663 cells. Therefore the name, Cellular Jail.

    After you buy your ticket, you can view the photographs of the martyrs and a brief history of their activity. This could take you 30-40 minutes. As you enter the premises of the jail, you are told that there are four witnesses to the sufferings of the inmates, viz., the tree on your left, the watch tower straight ahead of you on top, the eternal sun and the silent moon. The flogging block stands straight ahead of you, the gallows and the place for the last rites are to your right and the work shed is in the middle. The museum to your right as you enter the block, may be kept for your viewing on your return. The museum contains the types of punishment clothes the inmates were forced to wear as well as the different types of iron fetters that were put on them as punishment as they worked. (TIP: Take an authorised guide from near the booking counter. He will tell you a lot more than what the pamphlets and books on tourism contain. He will not charge you more than Rs. 150/-). The light and sound show in the evening is a must of course. (TIP: Go a bit early and occupy the very last row of seats. Not only is the light effects better from that vantage place but also the roof of the VIP enclosure just behind you will protect you).

    Your next stop could be the Zonal Anthropological Museum, which contains the history of the inhabitants of the island. It houses a shop from where you could pick out VCDs on the island and on the Cellular Jail as well as some books, pamphlets and curios.

    Welcome Liberation Spokes of a cycle The Flogging Post The Cell The 'kolhu' - oli grinding machine
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    DAY 2-Radhanagar Beach

    by anilpradhanshillong Updated Jan 28, 2011

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    Early next morning, we tried to catch the sunrise from the hotel beach but the clouds played spoilsport. Anyway, after a sumptuous breakfast, dressed in shorts and slippers and carrying swimming trunks, we proceeded to Elephant Island. We took a speedboat to this island from the nearby jetty. Along the way you pass a lighthouse as well as a large tree the roots of which form a unique pattern against the cliff.

    We thought we were early but the beach already had its fair share of early risers. It’s a quiet enough place with its distinctive white sand. We saw some fantastic corals from a glass-bottomed boat. Some of the large driftwoods are so appealing that you wonder what Nature intended them to mean. Further along the beach, you get to discover some unique pieces of seashells. (TIP: Take your lunch and plenty of water. There’s no food stall here on Elephant Beach).

    From there itself, visited Radhanagar Beach (Beach No. 7), rated as one of the best beaches in Asia by ‘Time Magazine’. This beach is truly unspoilt as yet. This is a long stretch of land with no shacks and only white sand. Towards the left, you walk waist-deep in the water to reach the adjoining beach. To the right, the beach goes on and on. This is paradise on earth. The setting sun provides a perfect backdrop for some fantastic photos. (TIP: The sun sets early in this part of the world. At 4 pm its bright and warm; by 4.30, its dusk and by 5 pm, it gets pitch dark. This is December last week and January-first week experience). A discreet cafeteria (ground floor kitchen; first floor restaurant) serves tea and snacks.

    Sunrise over Havelock Island Radhanagar Beach Radhanagar Beach A sample coral Driftwood
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    DAY 1-MV Makruzz

    by anilpradhanshillong Written Jan 27, 2011

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    The two hours’ flight from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, to the Veer Savarkar Airport in Port Blair is hardly the time to doze off or fall asleep. The view from the aircraft window is a magnificent one with the clouds below you and the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal further down. The scene below resembles a cotton field in full bloom against a blue background. It is difficult resisting the urge to snap a few quick photos of the heavenly canvas outside.
    On landing, we made our way through the usual tumult and cacophony, collected our baggage and caught the nearest vehicle to take us to the jetty from where ships leave for Havelock Island. The distance between the airport and the jetty is hardly thirty minutes.

    ‘M.V. Macruzz’ is one of the ships that takes you across. It travels at a speed of 22 knots and covers the 29.5 nautical miles between Port Blair and Havelock Island in about 90 minutes. This ship was commissioned on 07/10/2009 and carries a total number of 280 passengers - 8 seats in the Royal Class (fare is Rs. 1,100/-), 64 seats in the Deluxe Class (fare is Rs. 850/-) and 208 in the Premium Class (fare is Rs. 750/-). The fares are as of December, 2010. (TIP - The best seats for a clear view is row 17, ‘M’ &’N’. While booking, request for these seats). Once on Havelock Island, we went straight to ‘The Wild Orchid’ and fell onto our beds totally exhausted by the long trip.

    MV Makruzz Inside the ship The Upper Deck Seating Arrangement - Lower Deck
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