Viper Island in Andaman Nicobar

The tiny, tranquil, striking island of Viper derives its name from the vessel 'Viper' which brought Lt. Archibald Blair to the islands in 1768 with a view to establishing a Penal Settlement. The penal settlement is a mute witness to the atrocities

inflicted by the British on the freedom fighters. The working conditions of the jail earned the notorious epithet of Viper Chain Gang Jail.

The island derives its name from the vessel 'Viper' in which Lt. Archibald Blair came to the islands in 1768 with the purpose of establishing a Penal Settlement. Sher Ali, the Pathan, guilty of assassinating Lord Mayo, was damned to death and hanged at Viper Island.

The Harbour cruise, available daily from Phoenix Bay Jetty, offers a stunning view of different points around the harbour and includes a trip to Viper Island.

Other museums in the Union territory of Andaman & Nicobar include Anthropological Museum and Fisheries Museum, Samudrika (Naval Marine Museum), Zoological Survey of India Museum and Forest Museum.

Located at the Phoenix Bay the Anthropological Museum exhibits the life of the Paleolithic Islanders. Open all the days except on Mondays and holidays, the museum houses the models of the aborigines and their tools.

It originally was a seven pronged, puce coloured building with a Central Tower acting as its fulcrum and a massive structure comprising honey-comb like corridors. The building ws subsequently damaged and presently three out of seven prongs are intact. The Jail now a place of pilgrimage for all freedom loving people, has been declared a National Memorial.

The penal settlement established here by the British after the First War of Independence in 1857 was the beginning of the agonizing story of the massive and awful Jail at Viper Island followed b y the Cellular Jail. The patriots who raised their voice against the British Raj were sent to this jail, where many perished.

Netaji Subash Chandra Bose hoisted the first Tri-Colour on 30th December, 1043 at a place near this Jail. During the 50th year of India's Independence, the living freedom fighters and widows of the freedom fighters, who were incarcerated in the Cellubar Jail were honoured by the President of India on 30th December, 1997. A commemorative coin and a postal stamp on Cellular Jail were also released on this occasion.

The rarest of rare flora and fauna have flourished in peace on these islands, more so because 36  out of these are inhabited. Adventure sports like trekking, island camping, snorkeling and scuba diving are the not to be missed attractions. And of tourist who want to get away from the hustle bustle of the city life, a visit to these islands remains imprinted in the memory forever.

More great attractions can be found in the Explore Wildlife in India page.

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