(Last Updated on : 21/04/2014)
Port Blair, situated in the South Andaman district of the Andaman Islands, is a municipal council, headquarters and the largest city of the district. It also serves as the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
which is a union territory of India
. Being located at the east coast of South Andaman Island, it forms the main point of entry to the island. It is also the local administrative sub-division or tehsil of South Andaman district. Port Blair also serves as the headquarters of the first integrated theatre command of the armed forces, called the Andaman and Nicobar Command. The place houses a number of museums. In addition to being a major navel base of the Indian Navy
called INS Jarawa it also forms the air and sea bases of the Indian Air Force
and the Indian Coast Guard. Port Blair also hosts the historic Cellular Jail
and several other small islands which were once inhabited by the British colonists. Main languages spoken in Port Blair include Bengali
, Nicobarese, English
History of Port Blair
History of Port Blair dates back to the year 1789 when a penal colony was established by the Bengal Government on Chatham Island situated in the southeast bay of Great Andaman
as a tribute to Lieutenant Archibald Blair of the British East India Company
.In the honour of the officer it was named as Port Blair. The colony however moved to the north-eastern region of Great Andaman after two years and was named as Port Cornwallis to honour Admiral William Cornwallis.
Its further operation by the government was ceased owing to diseases and death in the colony. Later the Indian Rebellion of 1857
rendered a number of prisoners to the British for which a necessity for establishing a settlement and prison in the island emerged. In the renovated Port Blair, the constructions began in 1857. The convicts imprisoned here mostly comprised political prisoners who were subjected to cruel punishments. Between 1896 and 1906 the massive Cellular Jail, also called Kala Pani
, was constructed here as a consequence of the growing Indian freedom movement
. During World War II, Port Blair became the headquarters of the Azad Hind Fauj
under the commandership of Subhas Chandra Bose
Geography of Port Blair
Port Blair enjoys a tropical monsoon climate. The average temperature variation in the city is minimum and it receives heavy precipitation all round the year. Except in the months of January, February and March, Port Blair receives considerable rainfall. The temperature in summers is between 28 to 30 degree Celsius and during winters it varies from 22 to 23 degree Celsius.
Demography of Port Blair
According to the 2011 India census the population of Port Blair is 100,608 with 52.92 percent (53,247) males and 47.07 percent (47,361) females. The average literacy of the city is 89.76 percent which is higher than the national average, 72 percent. Female literacy rate is 86.34 percent while the male literacy is 92.79 percent. The population which is under the age of 6 years constitute 9.3 percent.
Tourism in Port Blair
Tourism department of the union territory has named the city as 'the veritable garden of Eden'. Port Blair offers a number of wondrous experiences to the tourists. Cellular Jail is one of the major tourist spot which stand as the witness of the tortures and cruelties bestowed on the Indian political prisoners, unfolding many clandestine tales of history. Corbyn's Cove
is a scenic beach near Port Blair. Anthropological Museum and Samudrika Naval Museum house a number of intriguing artefacts. Chatam Saw Mill is the oldest saw mill of Asia, sheltered in the city. Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) conducts researches on varied aspects of island agriculture and is adorned with spectacular landscape. Japanese Bunkers, near Corbyn's Cove and Mini Zoo also allure tourists of Port Blair. Adventure sports like sea walking, snorkelling
, jet skiing and scuba diving can also be cherished here. Beautiful indigenous articles found in the local markets form beautiful souvenirs for the tourists while the food lovers can also savour the diverse delicacies of the city.