The Andaman and Nicobar islands is one of the most interesting parts of India. Located far away from the mainland India, this archipelago of islands is quietly nestled in the Bay of Bengal and has one of the world’s richest ecosystems. A large part of these islands are uninhabited or inhabited by indigenous people so are kept untouched from the rest of the world, so as not to disturb their order. Its capital city is Port Blair which has a lot of interesting and historical places to visit, apart from all the majestic and breathtaking islands and beaches. In the ancient days, during the time of the British, these islands were basically used as a jail to keep deadly criminals including the freedom fighters. Among the many important and interesting places to visit out here, the Chatham Saw Mill is a very old and interesting site to visit.
The Chatham Saw Mill is considered to be one of the oldest and the biggest saw mill in the whole of Asia. It is located on the northern tip of the Andaman Islands and is connected by a bridge to the capital city of Port Blair. It was built in the year 1883 and since then has been serving as a store house as well as an important saw mill that caters to the timber demand of the whole of the islands. It is currently owned and managed by the forest department. It provides timber to the government and private parties at a very nominal prices and cuts different types of woods. It can process timber of any shape and size and provides different kinds of wood required for making all kinds of furniture and local handicrafts. This mill was completely destroyed during the Second World War. However after the war, it was again reconstructed and once again became strategic to the timber needs of the islands. Initially it was set up using second hand machinery and was run by unskilled labour. As the islands started to become more and more populated due to the influx of people from different parts of India, the demand for timber grew manifold to build houses and for other purposes. This mill was there to provide for all such needs.
The Chatham Saw Mill has played a very important role in the overall development of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. It is an integral part of its history and developmental process and has been the main source of timer for its population to build houses, furniture’s and other timber needs. Today it also serves as one of the historical places of interest for tourists who come to visit these islands and enjoy its beauty as well us understand its history. Apart from these historical places, there are many other interesting and beautiful places to visit in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Far away from the hustle and bustle of modern civilization, these islands lie quietly in the ocean and spread the aura of its beauty and charm all over.