Did you know you could get into prison without committing a felony and walk out of it just as easily Well, you can in Kolkata&rsquos Alipore Jail, which has now been converted into a museum. Not only does it house 116-year-old records, but it was also where revolutionaries like Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Bidhan Chandra Roy and Rishi Aurobindo spent nights as inmates during the British rule. To commemorate them and the sacrifices of countless freedom fighters who devoted their life to the nation, the centrally-located historical landmark was opened to the public in September.
Alipore Jail Museum lit up at night
A Walk Through History
The vast complex, with freshly painted deep red walls and manicured gardens, once was a centre where many great historical leaders served their time. Every cell that was once inhabited by national heroes like Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji, and Chittaranjan Das has been conserved with great attention to detail. Incarceration details have been inscribed outside the cells on a marble slab, while inside, a figurine of the personalities has been installed.
Everything has been made to transport you back to that time&ndashfor instance, a young Indira Gandhi&rsquos statue has been installed in the courtyard, where she would often meet her father for an allotted 20 minutes. The gallows area, where many freedom fighters breathed their last, has been etched with names of the lives lost.
A Touch Of Modern
The cafe inside the complex
Even though the structure has remained the same, albeit coated with fresher paint, the authorities have embraced modern technology to inform the tourists about the jail&rsquos historical significance in a more engaging way. A light and sound show costs Rs 100 and retells India&rsquos journey to Independence. Rooms and spaces where you could probably only hear echoes of pain have now been reimagined to house souvenir shops and cafes. On the walls that run along, India&rsquos story of struggle finds a continuous mention through writings&ndashsome from the past by the revolutionaries and many from the present&ndashand images.
The entry tickets are priced at Rs 30 per head and can be purchased over the counter.