Museums, we all know that museums play a vital role in understanding about our pasts. Objects and artefacts of artistic, scientific, historical or cultural importance are preserved in these museums. Our country also has many museums, where our past resides. We could see and feel the culture and skills of our ancestor if we make a visit to these museums. These museums not only help the public but even those who conduct researches on various subjects of historical, scientific or cultural importance. They could collect information from here. Andaman and Nicobar islands also have some museums of great importance. Some of these museums are, National Memorial Museum, Anthropological Museum, Forest Museum, Zoological survey of India Museum, Fisheries Museum and Samudrika Museum (Naval Marine Museum)
Some of the details about these famous museums can be seen here which could help the traveler who is planning a trip to Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
National Memorial Museum
National memorial museum was a prison named as the Cellular jail. The jail was constructed by using the bricks brought from Burma. This jail had a centre tower which acted as an intersection of the seven blocks. The centre tower was also used for patrolling purposes. As we go through the history we could find that the Andaman Island was used as a prison since the Sepoy mutiny of 1857. The construction of this jail was started in the year 1896 and the work was completed in the year 1906.It was named as cellular jail because it consists of small cells for lone detention. Later during the Second World War this area was invaded by the Japan and the same prison was used to detain the British. A part of the jail was demolished just after the independence, so now it has got only the central tower and three wings or blocks which were designated as a museum during 1969. The location of this jail which is now a museum is at Port Blair. This building is a three stored structure, and has seven blocks where our great leaders of freedom struggle might have spent a part of their life. This building has witnessed the atrocities of the jailers and the cruel attitude of the so officials who were British. Now this place is preserved as a museum so that the coming generation could feel the pain and sufferings of our ancestors who bought us freedom through great struggles. This museum usually functions from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm. A small amount of Rs 5 is charged on the visitors as entry fee. Additional charges are levied for the use of cameras, which is around INR 10 for still cameras and INR 50 for video cameras.
The anthropological museum is located close to the Directorate of Tourism, which is at Port Blair. This museum was established during the year 1975-76. The main detail which we could obtain from this museum is that it provides us the complete details about the four Negrito tribes of the Andaman and the two Mongloid Tribes of nicobar. The four Negrito tribal groups are Jarawas, Sentinelese, Great ANdamanese and the Onges and the Mongoid groups include the Nicobarese and the Shompens. The entry fee for adult is around INR 10 and for children it is around INR 3. This museum will be opened from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM with an interval of half an hour that is from 1:00 PM to 1:30 PM. This museum will not be functioning on Thursdays and government holidays.
This museum provides us information about the forest activities with the help of scale models. Decorative pieces made of famous woods like Satin, Gurjan, Peauma, Padauk etc are also displayed in this forest museum. The forest museum is located inside the Chatham Saw Mill. This museum is under the control of the Forest Department. Restaurants and other small cafeterias are available here from where you could have good refreshment. It will be opened on every day except Sundays and other public holidays. It usually works from 9:00 in the morning till 3:00 in the evening.
Zoological survey of India museum
Zoological survey of India is an Indian organization which conducts research and studies. This organization was established on July 1st ,1916. This museum comes under the conservation and survey division which is under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. Zoological survey of India museum is placed on the same building of the zoological survey of India office. This museum will help us understand the various kinds of flora and fauna which are found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. We know that this archipelago is famous for its marine life but in this museum we could see details about various other species like mammals, birds, reptiles along with the marine life. This museum also displays beetles, and butterflies. These are the factors which make this museum different from other museums like Samudrika and fisheries museum. Even stuffed specimen of some birds, like eagle and parakeets, and mammals like civets and bats are also displayed here.
This museum not only attracts the tourists but students and other researchers are also influenced by this museum as it gives enough information which is required for them. You are not allowed to carry cameras along with you. No charges are levied from those visit this place as entry fee. The working time of this museum is from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. This museum will be closed on Mondays and other public holidays.
The fisheries museum is located at shadipur, in Port Blair. Marina park, Andaman Water Sports Complex and the Children’s Traffic Park encircle this fisheries museum. This museum was converted into an aquarium in the year 1997, and this function was inaugurated by the honorable Lt. Governor Shri Iswari Prasad Gupta. Different species of marine life which is found in Andaman and nicobar and some species from the Bay of Bengal and the info-pacific are displayed here. We could see that almost 350 species of marine life are being protected in this museum. This museum is not only visited by the tourists but also by the local population of Port Blair. This museum imparts us with enough knowledge about the endemic species of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. So many students and researchers also get benefits from this museum. Many small shops can be seen on the way to this museum, which sells items made of small shells.
The Samudrika Museum is located on the opposite of Andaman Teal House, which is in Delanipur in Port Blair. One could get good information about the oceanic environment if you make a visit to this museum. Corals, colorful fishes and shells are displayed in this museum. Indian navy is the authority which controls the working of this museum. It has got five different sections which tell about history of Andaman Islands, people of Andaman, Geographical Information, Marine life and Archaeology. Except on Mondays and other public holidays the museum will be opened for the people. It will be functioning from 9:00 AM to 5:00 pm with a lunch break from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. Rs 10 to be paid as entry fee.