Dagshai Jail Museum Solan, Himachal

The Dagshai Jail Museum, Solan

Dagshai jail museum is a former British prison which is now a museum frequented by tourists. Dhagshai is one of the oldest cantonment towns in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh. Earlier the place was used as a storage yard. After it was cleaned up with the help of the army, a well designed structure emerged. Later, this place was converted into a museum. It is the only museum in India which is the only jail museum in India apart from the Cellular Jail in the Andamans.

A trip through the jail blocks is as chilling now as it was in the British era. Construction of the jail began in 1849 and included 54 maximum cellular cells. These cells have two doors that are three feet apart. There is one cell for those who were to be meted out exceptionally harsh punishment. There is no source of ventilation and light in the cells of the Dagshai Jail. There is only one VIP cell in the jail — with luxuries such as a fireplace and washroom. Not even a single prison was able escape from the jail.

The jail came into the limelight after the Irish mutiny. To provide moral support to the Irish people, Mahatma Gandhi even stayed in this jail for one year. The Gorkha rebels of the Nasiri Regiment, who had rebelled during the 1857 revolt, were also brought here.

On November 2, 1920, the leader James Daly of the mutiny- a 21-year-old private - was shot by a firing squad in the prison courtyard. He was buried at the Dagshai Cemetery until 1970 when his remains were repatriated to Ireland and given a funeral with full military honors. The Dagshai Cellular Jail is a historical place that time has forgotten. Later the museum was established here with the help of Brigade Commander of the area and Himachal Tourism Department. The museum exhibited about the 160-year-old history of the museum.

Address: National Highway 22, Dagshai, Himachal Pradesh 17321