Japanese Bunkers, situated in Port Blair, the capital of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, tells the tales of a foreign invasion, a world war, and a struggle for independence. These bunkers had been constructed by the Japanese army who invaded and occupied the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the time of World War II. The solid bunkers that lie in the serene surroundings of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are the adventurous anecdote that takes you to the intense war times of the bygone era.
Port Blair is one of the prominent tourist places in India and can be seen with a countless number of tourists all year round. Summer is best to enjoy and indulge in adventurous water sports while winters are great if the motive is to spend quality time with your loved ones. Talking specifically about the Japanese Bunkers one may visit this historical site any time of the year.
History of Japanese Bunkers Port Blair
Japanese bunkers were built between 1942 to 1945 when the Japanese army invaded the Andaman and Nicobar Islands strategically to defeat the Allied Powers which included Britain, France, Russia, and the US. Japan was a part of the Axis powers which included Germany and Italy. During this period, India was also witnessing a lot of freedom movements against British rule.
The major freedom struggle campaigns and movements were led by Mahatma Gandhi and Subhash Chandra Bose. Although the motive of the two supreme leaders was India’s sovereignty, however, their methods and ideology were different. Mahatma Gandhi was inclined towards fighting the battle without blood and weapons, while Bose believed in leading from the front.
Subhash Chandra Bose wanted to take advantage of the international scenario that led to World War 2 by helping Japan and the other Axis powers. According to Bose, helping the Axis powers would weaken the hold of Britain on the continent, which will ultimately lead to India’s freedom. Japanese army also became interested in the first place because they thought that it will help them keep a close eye on Britishers through Indians.
Subsequently, the Japanese army captured the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the Britishers and handed over the land to Bose where he hosted the tri-color flag and named the islands Shaheed and Swaraj. But soon resistance was felt in the collaboration between INA and the Japanese army, and the latter gained control over the entire island and its administration.
Locals claim that more than 300 bunkers were built till the time the Japanese army stayed there. It is also claimed that almost 2000 Indians died as a result of Japanese brutality. Today, most of the bunkers have been ruined as an effect of natural calamities in the region while the structures and the bunkers that are in moderate and good condition are preserved by the ASI. The Japanese bunkers were used to stock lethal weapons, and for surveillance. These bunkers are visited by tourists from India and across the world.
Major Attractions in and Around Japanese Bunkers
1. Forest Museum
Situated on Foreshore Road near Chatham Island, it is the best place to explore the sawmill. Here you will get to see How woods are chopped and made into shapes.
2. Corbyn Cove Beach
Get along with the lively Corbyn Cove Beach where you can enjoy Jet-ski, chilling on the mind-rejuvenating environment with several restaurants for delicious seafood. The beach also hosts a 3-day Beach Festival in the summers.
How to Reach Japanese Bunkers
Andaman and Nicobar Islands are a treasure trove of natural beauty along with many significant incidents and structures related to the era of India’s freedom struggle. These beautiful islands are a must-visit destination in India featuring numerous mesmerizing sites that are worth exploring once in a lifetime.
These islands are surrounded by the ocean from all sides hence railways and roadways connectivity from mainland India is not possible. You can arrive here via waterways or airways. Listed below are some best travel options that you may consider is planning a visit to these exotic islands.
The nearest airport is Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair. The airport receives direct and connecting flights from all the metropolitan cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Bengaluru in India. From the airport, one has to travel a distance of 3km by local road transport to reach the Japanese bunkers in Ross Island.
There is no direct road network to Ross Island. One can use a taxi or an autorickshaw to reach the shore and from the shore, you have to take the regular local ferry service to reach Ross Island.
In case you are travelling by waterways from mainland India then you may take the regular ships from Kolkata, Vishakhapatnam, and Chennai port to Port Blair. There are 8 ships that sail to Port Blair port at regular intervals and can be booked online.