Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Twisted Tulle Travels!
The alarm went off at 2:30 am and I had to literally drag myself out of the bed. In about an hour, I was headed for the airport. Early morning flights aren't my thing. Or at-least that was the idea until I was proved wrong with this view.
"To be able to witness the transition of the sky from dawn to morning is a royal treat to the eye."

After 5 hours on the flight, all I wanted to do was stretch my legs and inhale some fresh air. It was nice to finally land on Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar. And with that our vacation had just begun.
The first thing you notice when you reach Port Blair is the lush green surrounding and the beautiful blue sky. The Sea shows up later. Nature suddenly becomes your lover and life begins to move at a slower pace. The humdrum affairs of the city is soon forgotten.
Port Blair seemed like any other small town, even felt like Darjeeling at some point but the view of Bay of Bengal on one side and the population of friendly locals is what sets this city apart.

We stayed at Hotel Sentinel. Quiet and serene, the staff was very hospitable. Not only were our rooms upgraded to luxury, everything was arranged for us and we hardly had to do much. Well, we soon lost touch with the internet but it was okay as we took the time to appreciate the beauty of the island and connect with mother nature.
Post rest and refreshments, we took a cab to the Cellular Jail, a colonial prison built around 1906 which witnessed the tortures inflicted upon our freedom fighters by the British. With around 693 cells, 7 wings and none of the cells facing each other, this building is a masterpiece on it's own.
Model of the Cellular Jail with 7 wings out of which only 3 stands today.
The place where prisoners were hung, three at a time. After which their bodies were dumped into the  sea.

A quick tour around this building and you will learn how mercilessly our freedom fighters were treated here and the punishments they had to endure. Their daily chores included spinning yarn out of Coconut and extracting oil from the same and otheres. Exiled to an island which was then known as "Kala-pani", where the word Kala is derived from the Sanskrit word, Kal which means death. It was believed that nobody every returned once they were transferred to this island. Life definitely wasn't easy for them. 

A little more knowledge about the prison and we realized that our freedom came at a heavy price.
Veer Sarvakar was one of the most noted freedom fighters to be imprisoned here. His cell holds utensils that were used by him and a picture of him hangs on the wall. 
The airport of Port Blair is named after him and he is known even today for his bravery.
Corbyn's Cove Beach, Port Blair
We were taken to Corbyn's Cove Beach next. Filled with tourists and locals, this beach is one of the busiest beaches in Port Blair. Not the finest beach but a very pretty one nonetheless. Engulfed with tall coconut trees and the wet sand, the sound of the waves and the view of the horizon around sunset is enough to calm your mind and help you relax.

After a 10 minute Speed Boat ride, which was fast and furious bumpy, we headed back to the Cellular Jail for the Light and Sound show. It was only 6:30ish but it was pitch black already.
The light and sound show unfolds the true story of the Cellular Jail. Everything is covered,from how the prison came into being to the methods of the Jailer and British Officers and also the cries of prisoners. It is overwhelming, the whole truth- the idea of imprisonment, the suffering and the ultimate predicted deaths.

Just like that our first day at Port Blair had come to an end. Tired from our journey, we retired to our rooms after a hearty dinner at the hotel itself.
The next day had surprises in store for us and it was also my birthday. :)

x Post on 'Havelock- A Safe Haven' coming next. Stay tuned!

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  1. Lovely destination. I didn't think that a jail tour could be picturesque. The place has a certain charm, and you captured that in your photos :)

    1. The jail tour was a highlight of our first day on Port Blair. Thanks for dropping by. Will definitely check out your blog. :)