The Cellular Jail, also known as Kālā Pāni \’black water\’, was a colonial prison situated in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands,India . The prison was used by the British especially to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. Many notable freedom fighters were imprisoned here during the struggle for India\’s independence . Today, the complex serves as a national memorial monument. The Cellular Jail is one of the murkiest .apters in the history of the colonial rule in India. Although the prison complex itself was constructed between 1896 and 1906, the British had been using the Andaman islands as a prison since the days in the immediate aftermath of the first war of independence . Shortly after the rebellion was crushed, the British sent thousands to the gallows, hung them up from trees, or tied them to cannons and blew them up. Those who survived were exiled for life to the Andamans to sever their connections with their families and their country. were they isolated from the mainland, they could also be used in chain gangs to construct prisons, buildings and harbour facilities. Many died in this enterprise. They served to colonise the island for the British.
By the late 19th century the independence movement had picked up momentum. As a result, the number of prisoners being sent to the Andamans started growing and the need for a high-security prison was felt. The construction of the prison started in 1896 and was completed in 1906. The original building was a puce -colored brick building. The bricks used to build the building were brought from Burma.
The building had seven wings, at the centre of which a tower served as the intersection and was used by guards to keep watch on the inmates. The wings radiated from the tower in straight lines, much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. A large bell was kept in the tower to raise the alarm in any eventuality.
Each of the seven wings had three stories upon completion. There were no dormitories and a total of 698 cells. Each cell was 4.5 metres x 2.7 metres or 15×8 feet in size with a ventilator located at a height of three metres.The name, \”cellular jail\”, derived from the solitary cells which prevented any prisoner from communicating with any other. They were all in solitary confinement.