Andaman and Nicobar islands is an archipelago of more than 500 islands located in the Bay of Bengal. A place untouched and unspoilt, this group of islands are beautiful in such a way that it’s difficult to find words to describe it. Among the many beautiful islands of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago is the Ross Island. It is spread across an area of 0.6 square kms and is famous for its ruined historical monuments that remind us of the bygone colonial era. Originally it was the administrative headquarters of the British when they ruled India. In those days it was heavily populated and frequented by many tourists and visitors. For this reason it was called the ‘Paris of the East’. When illuminated at night it used to look like a boat. It has been named after the marine surveyor Sir Daniel Ross. The island suffered a major damage in the 1941 earthquake and 2004 Tsunami, and today most of it lies in ruins, reminding us of the good old days and colonial legacy.
Some of the important tourist attractions of Ross Island are – the Subordinate Club built for non commissioned and junior commissioned British officers, the swimming pool for the troops, the grand and luxurious Government house where the chief commissioner used to stay, the Protestant Church which is built with stone, the cemetery, the distilling plant, the bakery, the hospital and the troops barracks. Thus all these places remind us of how the British lived and ruled India giving us a picture of the socio – economic and cultural life. On April 18, 1979 the Indian Navy took charge of the administration of the Ross Island and has maintained it well till date. Today Ross Island tourism is on an upward scale attracting hundreds of tourists every year. Its soothing atmosphere, serene beaches, exotic flora and fauna all add to the charming atmosphere of Ross Island, making it a tourist’s paradise. This small island is perfect to spend a quiet holiday at an affordable price. Usually tourists visit this island as part of their Andaman and Nicobar tour.
This island is located at a distance of just 10 kms from Port Blair and can be reached through ship. First you need to come to Phoenix Bay jetty and take a boat from here. Decent accommodations are provided by the Directorate of Tourism at affordable prices. Inorder to prevent this historical island from the damage caused by uncontrolled tourism, the Indian Navy maintains this island as a memorial. The best time to take a Ross Island tour would be between Octobers to May. It is ideal for sightseeing and various other water sports. One can avoid the monsoon season as there is thunder storms and heavy rain which restricts the activities of the tourists.