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Andaman And Nicobar Islands: Treasures For Historical Travellers
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Andaman tours have always been seen as wild beach holidays. Sure, with the crazy waves, serene beaches and spectacular marine and wildlife, it’s a tropical heaven. The history of these beautiful islands has always been something secondary, though. When you travel to Andaman, you stumble upon magnificent historical landmarks that reveal the history of these islands from a different era.
The footprint of this island on the Indian canvas is relatively small. Yet, it is neither absent nor insignificant. It has a strong voice and depth that still touches the heart of every Indian, even today. Here are some landmarks and the stories they convey.
• British regime and the trail behind
When it comes to Indian history, this is a relatively latest episode. But, when it comes to Andaman, is the one segment that redefined this group of islands and left resolute impact – cellular jail. In 1790, a penal colony was established in Andaman for offenders against British India. Though, it wasn’t primarily used as one till middle of 19th century; when Indians fought against British government in Indian Mutiny of 1857.
Since then, this jail has been the hotbed of political criminals. The freedom fighters were sent to Andaman Islands for life sentence. Today, this cellular jail is a historical attraction and poignant memory of the freedom fighters, who enslaved their lives for the dream of Independent India. The extreme hours of labour, unhealthy living environment and atrocious brutalities of the era are elegantly shown in and light and sound show. Yet, it is much more than a tale of sacrifice. Because, every labour, sacrifice and capital punishment brought India closer to the joyous victory and freedom, most take for granted today.
• Yesteryear people, kingdoms and more
The earliest known archaeological evidence suggests that the first inhabitants of these islands were Middle Palaeolithic – the Old Stone Age human beings. Ptolemy has the first reference to Andaman in the written documentation, whereas the next documentation is seen in 7th century when Xuang Zang travelled to Andaman. Andaman has Anthropological Museum - which contains items indigenous to these islands. It’s a must visit for history lovers on Andaman tour.
There are an old mill, local tribal artefacts and few other museums, which would be such perfect places to visit for people who have passion for history. Yet, the local marine life is just so exquisite in a dive and on the plate as well. The ships above the water are great for sailing and yachting and ships below the water are perfect dive sites for scuba diving. So, indulge in your passion and Andaman Islands would tell you equally stimulating stories.
Ninad Chaudhari works as a Web UI Designer / Developer with Cox & Kings. Ninad is an ardent photographer and loves travelling to Andaman to pursue his passion. He recently travelled in various parts of India and his albums are replete with pictures of his tour to Andaman.
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