Heritage Jail Museum is a 240-year-old colonial-era jail that has been transformed into a museum. It is also known as Jail Museum and Sangareddy District Jail. It is situated in the Telangana state of India’s Sangareddy district. For a cost of Rs. 500, the jail lets visitors experience a day in the life of a prisoner. The museum exhibits artwork and other items that are connected to crime and jail life in India.
The recently founded Telangana State district of Sangareddy is the district headquarter of the same. It was created from the previous Medak neighbourhood, formerly known as Methuku Durgamor Methuku Seema, which in Telugu means ‘cooked rice.’ According to PWD Records, this jail was built in 1796 AD, during the administration of Salar Jung I. In the history of the region, this District Jail is the oldest. The jail structure takes up one acre and twelve guntas of the prison’s total land area, which is three acres and ten guntas. The Darogha served as the jail’s warden in the years 1947–1948.
Currently, the Heritage jail building has two wings, one for men and one for women. The male wing has nine barracks while the female wing has one barrack. The female wing also has the kitchen, staff dining area, gas room, ration store, and room for washing dishes and silverware.
The Sangareddy jail has been governed by the heads of numerous divisions over its 200-year history, including the departments of revenue, justice, and medicine. This prison was managed by the medical department until 1981. When the District Jail in Sangareddy was transferred to the Prisons Department in 1981, a jail superintendent from the cadre of Deputy Superintendent of jails assumed control of the facility.
Under the guidance of Sri V.K. Singh, this former District Jail has been transformed into a museum and is now maintained as a Heritage building. It contains relics from former prisons and evidence of how they changed over the course of history. Visitors to Sangareddy can now learn about a number of fascinating details about the history of jails during the Nizam era as well as experience the life of an inmate first-hand. Sounds easy? Well, it’s not, for you will be stripped off all your possessions and yes that includes your much beloved smartphone and all the connectivity that it offers. Instead, you will be given a jail uniform, basic cutlery, toiletries. The 24-hour regimen entails getting up at 6 am, participating in a march, and experiencing “jail ka khana.” Last but not least, dinner is served at 6 p.m., and lights out is at 9, exactly like in the movies!
As per the Jail Superintendent Santosh Kumar Rai, “30% of the prisoners leave out of abrupt sheer fear and for those who do this, we levy an extra charge of INR 500. But those who complete full 24 hours, walk out with a new sense of freedom”.
Whether you’re thinking of your next adventure, want to be antisocial, or even want to learn about prison life and what freedom really means, this is it and for INR 500, it’s quite affordable!