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Cellular Jail

How to Reach Cellular Jail

The Cellular Jail in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, stands as a powerful symbol of India’s colonial past. This architectural marvel, once a dreaded prison for freedom fighters, now serves as a national monument and a major tourist attraction. To embark on this historical exploration, you’ll first need to navigate your way to Port Blair and then to the Cellular Jail itself. This guide will equip you with all the necessary information to ensure a smooth journey.

Reaching Port Blair: The Gateway to the Andamans

Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is the starting point for your Cellular Jail visit. There are two primary ways to reach Port Blair:

By Air travel: 

Veer Savarkar Airport, Port Blair’s sole airport, offers domestic flights from major Indian cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bangalore.  Travel time can range from 2 to 4 hours depending on your origin city. This is the fastest and most convenient option, though flight prices can fluctuate depending on the season and booking time.

By Ship travel: 

For a more adventurous experience, consider traveling by sea. Government ferries operate from mainland India, particularly Chennai and Kolkata, to Port Blair. This journey can take several days (approximately 3-4 days from Chennai and Kolkata) but offers a unique opportunity to experience the vastness of the Bay of Bengal.

Choosing Your Travel Mode to the Cellular Jail

Once you’ve arrived in Port Blair, it’s time to tackle the final leg of your journey – reaching the Cellular Jail. Here’s a breakdown of the various travel options available:

Prepaid Taxis:  

A comfortable and hassle-free option, prepaid taxis are readily available at the airport or ferry terminal. You can book them in advance or upon arrival. The Cellular Jail is approximately 7.8 kilometers from the city center, and the ride should take about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic conditions. Fares are pre-determined and displayed at taxi booths, ensuring transparency.

Auto-rickshaws (Tuk-tuks): 

These three-wheeled vehicles are a popular and affordable way to get around Port Blair. You can easily hail one on the streets or ask your hotel to arrange a ride. While metered rickshaws are being introduced gradually, negotiate the fare clearly before starting your journey. The ride to the Cellular Jail should cost around ₹100-₹150, subject to negotiation and distance traveled.

Scooters and motorbikes: 

For the adventurous traveler, renting a two-wheeler offers flexibility and allows you to explore Port Blair at your own pace.  Several rental agencies operate in Port Blair, offering geared and non-geared scooters at varying rates.  Ensure you possess a valid two-wheeler license and inquire about insurance options before renting.  Remember to ride cautiously and follow traffic rules.

Public Buses: 

Public buses are the most economical option, but their frequency can be less reliable compared to other modes of transport.  It’s advisable to inquire with locals or hotel staff about bus routes and schedules to the Cellular Jail.

Distance and Travel Time:

The Cellular Jail is conveniently located in Port Blair, making it easily accessible from most parts of the city. Here’s a quick reference for travel distances and approximate times:

  • From Port Blair city center: 7.8 kilometers (15-20 minutes by taxi/auto-rickshaw)
  • From Veer Savarkar Airport: Approximately 8 kilometers (20-25 minutes by taxi)
  • From Haddo Wharf (arrival point for ferries): Around 9 kilometers (25-30 minutes by taxi)

Travel Tips for a Smooth Journey:

  • Plan your itinerary: Decide on your arrival point (airport or ferry terminal) in Port Blair and book your onward journey to the Cellular Jail in advance, especially during peak season.
  • Consider pre-paid taxis for convenience: Especially if you’re unfamiliar with the city or arriving late at night, pre-paid taxis offer peace of mind.
  • Negotiate fares for auto-rickshaws: Politely negotiate the fare with auto-rickshaw drivers before starting your journey.
  • Carry small change: Having small denominations of rupees will be helpful for auto-rickshaw fares and any street vendors you might encounter.
  • Download offline maps (optional): If you’re planning to rent a two-wheeler, download offline maps of Port Blair to aid navigation.
  • Respect local traffic rules: Always wear a helmet when riding a two-wheeler and adhere to traffic signals.
  • Light and comfortable clothing: Port Blair has a tropical climate. Pack light, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes for sightseeing.
  • Carry essentials: Sunscreen, sunglasses

Exploring the Cellular Jail:

Opening hours: 

The Cellular Jail is open for visitors from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on all days except Mondays.

Entry Fee:  

A nominal entry fee is applicable for both Indian and foreign tourists.

Light and Sound Show: 

Immerse yourself in the history of the Cellular Jail with the captivating light and sound show held in the evenings (Hindi and English). The show brings the stories of the freedom fighters to life through light and sound effects.

Guided Tours: 

Consider opting for a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the Cellular Jail’s architecture and historical significance. Guides are available in multiple languages.

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