Vacations and outings have been an enthralling part of human lives since time immemorial. The most wonderful tourist destinations of India have been maintained to meet this very human need. Out of all the enchanting tourist spots, Andaman and Nicobar islands hold a warm and special place in the hearts of globetrotters. Revered for shimmering beaches, aquamarine seascape, verdant forest cover, and exotic marine lives, the archipelago contains a plethora of scenic spots. For this reason, there has been a massive hike in the demand for exclusive Andaman packages over the last decade.
A PICTURESQUE DETAIL OF ROSS ISLAND
Ross Island, now renamed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, is one of the most unique destinations in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The place bears the remains of a strong colonial past. Once home to the British officials, the island now lies in near ruins with very few colonial architectures peeping from places. Overall, the place is a secluded gem that inspires awe and romanticism even in the strongest of hearts.
HISTORY OF ROSS ISLAND
Ross island is one such prominent destination whose history cannot be ignored at any cost. The island was initially called ‘Chong Ekee Bood’ in the local language until Sir Daniel Ross landed on this island and started a settlement. The island is christened after this particular British maritime surveyor and for over 80 years, the British ruled over this island. The settlement was dotted with ballrooms, tennis courts, cricket pitch, swimming pool and well-maintained lawns. Everything about the island was so vibrant that it was known as ‘Paris of the East’. But everything turned topsy-turvy after the earthquake in 1941 and the Japanese Conquest during WWII. In 2018, the island was renamed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep in reverence of the great leader.
SOME OF THE FAMOUS PLACES TO SEE ON ROSS ISLAND
• THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Once a center of religious sanctity, the Presbyterian church, like the rest of the structures, is in complete ruins. The church was of Protestant affiliation as explained by a sign present next to it. The sign further explains that the building was made of stone and Burma wood. The church has to be explored only through its circumference as the interiors are out of reach.
• THE CEMETERY: This is the destination that truly owns up to the meaning of ‘History’. The cemetery contains graves of all the past residents on the island. Each epitaph tells the story of the inhabitants who lost their lives. One can trace small graves of infants and children as well as graves of officers and old people. This place is truly steeped in past tales informing people about the social scenario of the time. Most of the deaths occurred due to water-borne diseases and malaria. The place also informs the tourist about the sufferings of Indians at the hands of the British officers. To find an experimental cure of malaria, the British officials examined the vaccines on the Indian political prisoners. The inmates were forcefully given unprocessed quinine which caused their untimely death.
• CHIEF COMMISSIONER’S BUNGALOW: The British Chief commissioner’s Bungalow is another luxurious ruin on Ross island. The bungalow contains a large hall, a ballroom, 7-8 large bedrooms, Italian flooring and a handsome garden full of trees. The house also had its own aviary and a private tennis court in the erstwhile days.
• OFFICER’S QUARTERS: The quarters which once sheltered the British officials are now covered in tree roots. Tourists can spot the homes of the senior officers as well as the officer’s barracks. This place evidently reveals the housing facilities of the British officers.
• THE POND: The pond is located close to the cemetery. The water accumulated over this has turned green. However, there are a lot of ruins along this pond which makes it immensely clear that this peaceful setting was highly favoured by the British inhabitants. As of now, the entire space is deserted but you will be treated with an intensely calming ambience on your visit.
• THE BAKERY AND THE PRINTING PRESS: The bakery is renovated and close to that are the remains of the old printing press. These buildings reveal the socio-economic statuses of the past inhabitants of the island.
• THE SANCTUARY: This is located in the middle of the island. As soon as you reach Ross, you will notice a herd of deer. It is a small piece of biodiversity. You may also notice a few peacocks flocking around the ruins of the island. All the animal lives are protected by the administration of Andaman islands. The animals are attended to by the government caretakers who maintain their population. So, if you are an animal life enthusiast, Ross island is nothing short of a paradise for you.
Other important places of tourist attraction include the old Lighthouse, Ferar beach and Smritika museum. In short, if you are looking for a tranquil tour to the Andamans where you can be exposed to a true colonial history, then make sure you visit Ross on your Andaman tour.
HOW TO REACH ROSS ISLAND?
Ross island is located only 3 kms away from Port Blair. So the only mode of conveyance is water transport. You can catch a private or a public boat from Aberdeen jetty at a very reasonable fare and explore the place to its fullest.
FEW TIPS TO BEAR IN MIND WHILE VISITING ROSS ISLAND
The island is almost like a heritage site due to its ancient nature. So, make sure not to damage any property.
• Do not litter.
• Do not harm the animals in your attempt to be over friendly.
• Respect the boundaries drawn at the heritage sites. Do not attempt to enter premises that are out of bound.
• It is always advisable to take a tour guide with you. Make sure you pre-book your guide to enjoy an unhindered experience.
• There is absolutely no form of transportation on the island. The only way to surf through the islet is by walking, which can take up to 2 hours. So, carry all essentials like an umbrella, food and water.
Andaman Love (www.andamanlove.com) offers personalized package trip to Andaman and Ross island is an indispensable destination. The island is an extraordinary blend of culture, heritage and natural beauty. This place is a haven for photographers, wildlife enthusiasts and people with a strong fetish for history. Therefore, plan a trip to Ross island today and take back enchanting memories.