Our 5N/6D tour had a mix of both. Here are twenty-six 'FFA' buddies and spouses looking excited even though they had been up since 2 AM to catch the 5 AM flight from Chennai. Just in case you missed what is "FFA", read the story here.
We stayed at Hotel Sea Shell, recommended by Ghumakkad's naval course mate Mathew George who had visited Andamans last year. Thanks much Georgy.
For those who haven’t been to Port Blair, here is a guide map showing places of interest. Map courtesy Barefoot Holidays.
Our program for six days is summarised in the boxes below.
We had time in the morning before our organised tour commenced after lunch. So we ventured out on foot on that wet morning. After ten minutes of walk down a steep slope, we hired an auto-rickshaw.
The driver Swapan, a Bengali settler knew the town backwards. He took us to two temples besides showing us the best eateries in Port Blair. Pictures:
From our hotel as well as cellular jail, we had a clear view of the harbour. North point lighthouse stands as a sentinel.
In the afternoon, we started off with the Cellular Jail—a place which gives you goose bumps. The Cellular Jail, also known as Kālā Pānī काला पानी, was a colonial prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (A&N). The prison was used by the British especially to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. The jail took ten years to build and was opened in 1906. According to the A&N tourism department, it got its name ‘Cellular’ because it is entirely made up of individual cells for the solitary confinement. Where every cell has its own tale. Tale of torture, struggle and freedom!
Veer Savarkar's cell on 2nd floor attracts maximum visitors.
Tourists jump at the opportunity of being 'imprisoned' for a picture.
The jail originally was a seven prolonged, puce-coloured building with central-tower acting as its fulcrum and a massive structure comprising honeycomb like corridors. The building was subsequently damaged and presently three out of the seven prongs are intact. See the picture below.
The Jail, now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, was declared a National Memorial in 1979. The jail museum draws your memories back to those years of freedom struggle.
Swatantrya Jyot -- Eternal Flame of Freedom has been installed in the vicinity of the Jail in memory of all freedom fighters and martyrs. Picture.
We also made a quick trip to Port Blair's only beach-- Corbyn's Cove beach. Significance of the beach are the Japanese bunkers of WW-II days.
At Corbyn's Cove beach we observed unique sand patterns. Similar patterns we had observed on east coast of Andhra Pradesh. Story on Sand Bubbler Crabs came rushing to the mind (click here to browse the picture story). Picture below.
Son-et-Lumiere (Sound and Light show)
That's all for now.
Next story on Havelock Island will follow. Preview picture for you.
Thanks for browsing.
Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 26th Sept 2016