Ross Island – What it offers you!
There are so many things to see here, not only the incredible and unique landscape, and the gorgeous beaches, but also historical vestiges that prove this place was flourishing one day, having so many stories to tell. Let us discover this island more, and learn about its glory and why did it end up being just a beautiful island and nothing more.
Ross Island used to be the headquarters of the group of islands, until a set of events moved the headquarters to Port Blair, a location that is 2 km to the west. On the 10th of March 1858, Dr. James Pattison Walker arrived in Port Blair with a steam frigate, taking Ross Island under British occupation. Since that moment, the island became the center of British power. The British stayed here more than 80 years, time in which they have built on the island everything they needed for a lifestyle that was similar with what they had back home. They had a bakery, church, stores, water treatment plant, tennis court, hospital, cemetery, and many more. Unfortunately, very few of them still stand today, being the few witnesses that can tell the story of the island. Back in November 1857, the Indian Government decided to make a prison on the island, where they would send their most dangerous criminals, especially the ones that had the courage to take on the British. The purpose was to isolate these individuals from the rest of the prisoners and to give an example that harsh punishments will be applied if anyone tried to challenge the British authority.
The British had the island until 1942, when it was taken by the Japanese and held under their occupation until 1945. But, in 1941, the island went through a violent earthquake. It was just nine months since the Japanese claimed the island. The event scared a lot of people, who fled the island, moving to safer grounds. It wasn’t long until the island became abandoned. In 1945, the allies claimed the island back, although they abandoned it as well after a short while. This is why Ross Island looks like a wild forest from the distance, only getting closer revealing the fact that it had quite a restless history. Also, the name of the island was given after Sir Daniel Ross, a known marine survivor of the days.
Why visit Ross Island
Ross Island is very popular for the ruins that can be seen here, dating back from the British occupation. The vegetation and wildlife claimed the island back once it was abandoned by its occupants, but you can still see part of the buildings that made it once a highly strategic location, desired by the British and Japanese. Some buildings are still in great shape, looking very alive, allowing you to get a clear picture of how things were a few decades ago. But besides visiting the ruins, you can also enjoy the rich wildlife in the area, both on the land and in water, as it will offer you unforgettable moments.
It is known that deer run free in the island, not being too shy to come up close to visitors. You may also see peacocks, turtles, and many more. It is a great spot or scuba diving and snorkeling, also having beautiful beaches where you can relax and catch your breath.
How to get to Ross Island
The best way to get to Ross Island is by ferry. In Port Blair, you will have to grab the ferry from the Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex. It is just a 15 minutes ride on the water up to the island. You will pay approximately Rs 100 for a round trip with the ferry, is you wish to go on your own. There are also visiting packages, which cost Rs 360 per person, but you will not just visit Ross Island, as it will cover as well the Viper and North Bay islands.
But, if you like to travel alone, and wish to see the best parts of the island, you can always choose to hire a guide, for Rs 200 directly on the island. And, if you are a bit more adventurous, you can ask some of the local fishermen to take you on a day trip around the mangrove forest, for example the Bridget Creek, or the Mt. Harriet National Park. But, do negotiate and do not pay more than Rs 2000 for a one day trip with the boat
Tropical Andaman’s is a registered ticketing agent for the ferry to ross island.We can help you with advance bookings for you Ross island trip to avoid last minute hassles ,fill out our form for more details.
Tips for travellers going to Ross island
1. Because it is a remote and isolated island, it is recommended to carry all the essential things you need in a backpack, as you won’t find any stores to buy supplies in the area.
2.If you get hungry, there is a canteen on the island that served the navy, where you can get lunch and various snacks, at accessible prices;
3.Never visit the island without your ID, because you will be registered since it is an island operated by the navy.
4.It is forbidden to have alcohol on Ross Island, so don’t bring any along.
5.Do pack some sun screen with you, because even if there are plenty of trees, it can get quite sunny and hot
6.It is a perfect place to serve picnic, so if you want to enjoy one at the shade of the tall trees, do make sure to bring with you what you need.
7.It is recommended to have a map of the island once you arrive there, because the visiting time is limited and there are so many things to see there.
8.Also, having a map will help you find your way back in case you get lost, so do have one with you
9.Do not visit the island without a watch on your hand, because you can be mesmerized by the beauty of the island and easily miss your ferry back.