Andaman and Nicobar Island is an Indian archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. Boasting a rich colonial past, about three hundred islands are scattered in this area. Although some of them are uninhabited, Ross Island among them is among the most popular among tourists. The island got its name from Daniel Ross. He was a marine surveyor. But, owing to the historical legacy of the island, the name was changed to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island. The island is a constituent of the South Andaman administrative district. Located about three kilometres away from the capital city, Ross Island will make for your ideal weekend getaway.

How to Reach:-

Port Blair, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands capital, is well-connected with the different cities by air. Kolkata, Chennai, and Vishakhapatnam have direct connecting flights to Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair. Other cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune have connecting flights to Port Blair. All major Indian airlines operate in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 

After reaching Port Blair, you must take a ferry or catamaran to Ross Island. Although the island is located close to Port Blair, the boat trip is neither long nor expensive.

About Ross Island:-

  • It was the British who had occupied Ross Island in 1782. They had built a sanatorium here. Then after 1857, the island was used as the administrative quarters for the British for approximately eighty-five years. 
  • The Indian prisoners staying at Cellular Jail were made to build the houses of several British high commanding officers. After the 1941 earthquake, this island was abandoned by the British.
  • The ruins of these ancient buildings made by the Indian political leaders still exist on the island. These ruins under the shade of the palm and peepal trees take us back to the by-gone eras of colonial rule.

Highlights of Ross Island Andaman:-

The Man-Caves: Ross Island Andaman was the bub for British administration in Andaman for the longest time. Hence, the British had built these man caves for escape if there was an attack. Interestingly, the Indian prisoners had built these caves. The caves have secret paths that connect them to the offices of important officials on the island. You will experience an eerie vibe when you visit the place.

Sanctuary: If you are an animal lover, you cannot miss going to this sanctuary. It is home to several deer and peacocks. The Andaman administration looks after and manages the sanctuary. They live in a reserved area marked by several tropical trees like coconuts and palms. 

The Penal Colony: In 1858, the British set up a penal colony on Ross Island. Indian political prisoners were brought here and subjected to forced labour, unauthorized medical tests, and torture. An approximate two hundred prisoners were kept here who were exploited by the British. The penal colony is a line of these ruins. If you are interested in the freedom struggle, then you shall love this place. Open after sunset; they also have a light and sound show. This light and sound show depicts the freedom struggle to end the colonial rule.

  • Japanese Bunkers: The Japanese had captured Ross Island Andaman in 1942, during the Second World War. They had destroyed a major portion of British administrative buildings. They used Ross Island as their base camp. The Japanese soldiers built several bunkers, cannon holders, and tunnels here. All of them still exist today. You can take a guided tour around these bunkers and learn about their history of the bunkers.
  • Samudrika Naval Marine Museum: Also known as Fisheries Museum, you can see several rare species of aquatic life, shells, and coral here. Just outside the museum, you can see the framework of a gigantic blue whale. This whale had reached the shores of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The museum hosts five exhibition rooms. These rooms depict Ross Island’s geography, aquatic life, anthropology, and history. The Indian Navy is in charge of the museum’s administration. Everything is available in the museum, from the diverse ecosystem to the island’s history.

Scuba Diving and Sea Walking: You can go for water adventures in Chidiya Tapu, an island located nearby. They provide you with scuba diving and sea walking options. With state-of-the-art facilities and trained instructors, you will have the best time.

Ruins: Being the British administrative headquarters for a long time, the island has ancient ruins of the colonial offices. The British were able to look into the construction of the Cellular Jail from here. The Chief Commissioner of the British armed forces residence was also here. The ruins include a printing press, tennis court, church, secretariat office, hospital, and more.

So, if you are still planning your perfect weekend getaway, it should be to Ross Island! 

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