Museums and Art Galleries of Andaman: A Cultural Odyssey

Museums and Art Galleries of Andaman: A Cultural Odyssey

andaman art galleries

The Andaman Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, are not only known for their picturesque landscapes, pristine beaches, and exotic wildlife but also for their rich cultural heritage. The museums and art galleries of Andaman offer a deep dive into the history, art, and culture of this enchanting region. Through this cultural odyssey, visitors can explore the multifaceted aspects of Andamanese life and history.

Discovering the Art and Culture of Andaman

The art and culture of Andaman are as diverse as its ecosystems. The indigenous tribes of the Andamans, with their unique traditions and lifestyles, contribute significantly to the cultural tapestry of the islands. The museums in Andaman play a crucial role in preserving and showcasing the traditions, artifacts, and artworks of these indigenous communities, along with the historical and natural history of the region.

Best Museums in Andaman and Nicobar

1. Cellular Jail National Memorial:

andaman cellular jail

The Cellular Jail National Memorial, though primarily a historical site, is also a living museum that recalls the horrific past that Indian freedom fighters endured under British colonial rule. The 'Kala Pani' prison complex provides a glimpse into the hardships faced by the political prisoners who were sent away to this area. The gallows, the jail cells, and the Swatantrya Jyot's endless flame serve as symbols of the prisoners' sacrifice. Visitors who wish to understand India's freedom struggle must take in the heartbreaking history of this colonial prison through the evening light and sound show.

2. Anthropological Museum:

andaman heart of blair

Located in the heart of Port Blair, the Anthropological Museum is one of the most visited and significant museums in Andaman. Managed by the Anthropological Survey of India, this museum provides a deep insight into the lives of the indigenous tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum exhibits an extensive collection of tools, clothing, photographs, and original artifacts that showcase the lifestyles, crafts, and cultures of the Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinalese (only through photographs), and Nicobarese tribes. The detailed dioramas and documentary screenings add to the educational experience, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the native people of these islands.

3. Samudrika Naval Marine Museum:

andaman samudrika

Operated by the Indian Navy, the Samudrika Naval Marine Museum aims to promote marine conservation and spread awareness about the oceanic environment. The museum is divided into five sections covering the history of Andaman Islands, geographical information, people of Andaman, marine life, and archaeology. The museum has an impressive collection of corals, shells, and a large variety of fish species, preserved and displayed. The skeletal remains of a young blue whale and informative displays about the islands' ecosystem make this museum fascinating for both adults and children.

4. Forest Museum:

andaman forest museum

Situated in Chatham Saw Mill, one of Asia’s oldest and largest wood processors, the Forest Museum is known for showing the timber wealth of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum offers a glimpse into the forest activities through scale models and displays of various wood crafts. Visitors can admire the intricately crafted wooden sculptures, furniture, and artifacts, demonstrating the skill and artistry of local craftsmen. The museum also provides educational insights into the different types of forest vegetation and the logging industry of the islands.

5. Zsi Museum:

andaman zsi museum

A lesser-known gem, the Zoological Survey of India Museum showcases the variety of animals on the islands with its assortment of sponges, corals, butterflies, and centipedes. Children and wildlife enthusiasts both can learn more about the native land and marine species of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from this tiny but fascinating museum.

Visiting Tips

When planning visits to these museums, it's good to check the opening hours and any entry fees. Most museums in Andaman are closed on Mondays and public holidays, so plan accordingly. Also, consider hiring a guide for a more informative experience, as they can provide detailed backgrounds and stories that bring the exhibits to life.

Famous Art of Andaman

andaman art and culture

The art and culture of Andaman are deeply influenced by the sea and the natural environment. The famous art of Andaman includes shell and coconut handicrafts, wood carvings, and tribal weavings. These art forms reflect the traditional lifestyles and environmental consciousness of the local communities. Visitors can admire these artistic creations not only in museums but also in local markets and art galleries.

Exploring Art Galleries

Though not as numerous as museums, several art galleries in Andaman showcase local art and crafts. These spaces provide artists from the islands a platform to display their work, from traditional crafts to contemporary art. Visiting these galleries, tourists can not only appreciate the local art but also purchase unique souvenirs, supporting the local economy and artisans.

Cultural Events and Workshops

Beyond visiting museums and art galleries, engaging in local cultural events and workshops can be a fulfilling experience. Many museums in Andaman host cultural events, workshops, and exhibitions that allow visitors to dive deeper into the local culture. Participating in these activities can provide hands-on experience with traditional Andamanese art forms, such as shell craft or wood carving.


A visit to the museums and art galleries of Andaman is like stepping into a time machine, offering insights into the ancient tribes, colonial history, and natural wonders of the islands. It is a cultural odyssey that complements the natural beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, making your visit a more enriching experience. Whether you're interested in history, nature, or art, the museums in Andaman provide a window into the soul of the islands. Remember to respect the local culture and traditions as you explore, and you'll find that the art and culture of Andaman will leave a lasting impression on your heart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the best museums in Andaman include the Cellular Jail National Memorial, Anthropological Museum, Samudrika Naval Marine Museum, Forest Museum, and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) Museum.

The Anthropological Museum in Andaman provides insights into the lives, culture, and artifacts of the indigenous tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, including traditional clothing, tools, and models of tribal huts.

Yes, the Cellular Jail is considered a historical museum. Visitors can explore the jail cells, and galleries showcasing photographs and artifacts, and learn about the freedom fighters incarcerated there during the colonial period.

The Samudrika Naval Marine Museum showcases the marine biodiversity of the Andaman Sea, including corals, shells, and marine life, as well as exhibits on the geography, archaeology, and tribal communities of the islands.

Yes, the museums in Andaman are suitable for children and educational tours, as they offer a wide range of informative and engaging exhibits about the region's history, culture, natural environment, and marine life.