After spending time in Neil, we board our ferry back to Port Blair. As always, I stand on the deck, never tiring to watch the sea. When we reach, we are greeted by our contacts at Port Blair, and are taken immediately to the hotel. A sumptuous lunch and a warm shower does the rest. We sleep like babies for the rest of the day. 😀
Next day we get up in the morning with plan to visit some museums in Port Blair. We start by Chatham saw mill. This is a small island next to Port Blair and is connected by a bridge to Port Blair. It is a functioning saw mill till date.
Many would like to know why we are going to a saw mill. The simple answer is that this place is not only significant in terms of the way of life in the Island, but also in terms of the history of the island.
Andaman Padauk tree is found in the island. It is known for its high quality of wood. We saw the Padauk wood shade, where the logs are stored for processing later. It is said that the wood used in Buckingham Palace was sent from the Chatham Saw Mill in the island.
The forest museum is home to an odd mixture of everything Chatham, that is everything Andaman Island. One can take a peek into the local flora and fauna, to old pictures, models of the oldest ships used for transporting wood to the island, and several other replicas.
Here, we saw a huge buffalo skull, that was brought from Kamorta Island. It was literally, HUGE.
The island was occupied by the Japanese during second world war and still has the bunkers.The Island was also bombed during the second world war. The bunkers are well preserved till date and is frequented by the tourists.