Port Blair is a beautiful city and offers so much more than just gorgeous pristine beaches. One only has to only take a walk down the capital city of the Andaman & Nicobar islands to see and understand the history. Port Blair boasts of wonderful museums which should be a must visit on your next visit there. Here we list out five must-see museums in Port Blair during your visit to that part of the country.
A National Monument of India, the Cellular Jail in Port Blair is a must on every visitor’s list of places to visit in Andaman. It was here that Indian prisoners, mostly freedom fighters, were kept in solitary confinement and made to face barbaric tortures. The entrance block of the National Memorial contains photo galleries, an art gallery, a Netaji Gallery and a library on the Indian Freedom Movement. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose visited the islands on a three-day trip as Head of the Provisional Government of India on December 29, 1943, when he also visited the Cellular Jail. The Swatantrya Jyot flame burns in memory of the freedom fighters and martyrs. The Jail Museum (entry and camera charges apply) remains open on all days except national holidays, from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.45pm. Catch the tales associated with the Jail in the Son-et-Lumiere (entry charges apply; online booking available - http://www.and.nic.in/etourist/).
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands are known for their unique flora and fauna, both over land and under water. Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum) in the Delanipur area of Port Blair contains collections of shells, corals and colourful fishes found in the area. The skeleton of a blue whale is a huge draw. It is open from 9am to 12 noon and from 2pm to 5pm on all days except Mondays and holidays. There is a small gift shop.
This ethnographic museum throws light on the four Negrito tribes of the Andaman (Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great Andamanese and the Onges) and two Mongoloid tribes of the Nicobar (Nicobarese and Shompens). The Anthropological Museum is open from 9am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm on all days except Mondays and government holidays.
Located adjacent to Port Blair’s Rajiv Gandhi Water Sport Complex, the Fisheries’ Museum offers an insight into the marine life endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Most of these species are found in the Indo-Pacific and the Bay of Bengal. The Fisheries Museum is open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4.45pm on all days except Mondays, second Saturdays and public holidays.
Located at Garacharma II, ATR, (before Susan's Roses) in Port Blair, this private museum (tel: 9933293061/9933278058) showcases the history of Andaman and Nicobar Islands through dioramas, photographs, films, etc. There are also archival material covering the Japanese occupation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during World War II (March 23, 1942 to October 7, 1945). Open seven days a week, from 9am to 7pm. Ticketed entry (includes guide and photography charges, a cup of tea/coffee, and a DVD).