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Ross Island: Exploring the History and Beauty

Ross Island is a small island located in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. It is known for its rich history and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for tourists and history buffs alike.

The island was named after James Clark Ross, a British explorer who discovered it in 1841. However, the island has a long history that predates Ross’ discovery. The island was once home to the Great Andamanese tribes, who were the original inhabitants of the island.

In the early 20th century, the British established a penal colony on Island, using it as a prison for Indian freedom fighters. The prison was in operation until the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II.

After the war, the Indian government took control of the island and it was used as a base for the Indian Navy. Today, the island is a popular tourist destination and is managed by the Indian Navy’s Tourism and Hospitality division.

Visitors to Island can explore the island’s rich history by visiting the ruins of the British colonial buildings, including the chief commissioner’s house, the church, and the hospital. The island also has a small museum that displays artifacts from the island’s past.

In addition to its historical significance, Ross Island is also known for its natural beauty. The island is covered in dense rainforests and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including exotic birds and primates. Visitors can take a guided tour of the island to learn more about the island’s wildlife and natural features.

Overall Ross Island is a perfect place for those who are interested in history and nature. The island offers a unique combination of both and it’s a must-visit for those visiting Andaman and Nicobar islands.

History of Ross Island

Island has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. The island was named after James Clark Ross, a British explorer who discovered it in 1841. However, the island has a long history that predates Ross’ discovery. The island was once home to the Great Andamanese tribes, who were the original inhabitants of the island.

In the early 20th century, the British established a penal colony on the Island, using it as a prison for Indian freedom fighters. The prison was in operation until the Japanese occupation of the island during World War II. The island was used as a base for the Japanese army and was heavily fortified during their occupation.

After the war, the Indian government took control of the island and it was used as a base for the Indian Navy. The island was also used as a hub for the Indian Coast Guard, which is responsible for maritime safety and security in the region.

In 2018, the Government of India renamed Ross Island Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, in honor of the Indian freedom fighter and leader of the Indian National Army during World War II.

Today, Ross Island is a popular tourist destination and is managed by the Indian Navy’s Tourism and Hospitality division. Visitors can explore the island’s rich history by visiting the ruins of the British colonial buildings, including the chief commissioner’s house, the church, and the hospital, as well as the small museum that displays artifacts from the island’s past.

Things to do at Ross Island

There are several things to do when visiting Ross Island:

  1. Explore the ruins of the British colonial buildings: Island was once the administrative headquarters of the British during their rule in India. Visitors can explore the ruins of the chief commissioner’s house, the church, and the hospital and get a glimpse of the island’s past.
  2. Visit the island’s museum: The small museum on Island displays artifacts from the island’s past, including photographs, maps, and other items of historical significance.
  3. Take a guided tour of the island: Guided tours are available that take visitors through the island’s dense rainforests and highlight the island’s unique flora and fauna.
  4. Enjoy the island’s natural beauty: Island is known for its natural beauty, with dense rainforests, exotic birds, and primates. Visitors can take a walk around the island and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  5. Water sports and activities: Visitors can enjoy various water sports activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and sea walking. The island is also a popular spot for fishing and boating.
  6. Photography: Ross Island is a photographer’s paradise, with its beautiful natural scenery, historical ruins, and crystal clear water of the Bay of Bengal.
  7. Visit the light and sound show: A light and sound show is organized every evening which depicts the history of Island and its significance in the Indian freedom struggle.

Overall Ross Island is a perfect place to explore the history and natural beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, and visitors can choose from a variety of activities to suit their interests.

How to Reach Ross Island

Ross Island is located in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the Bay of Bengal and can be reached by a few different modes of transportation:

  1. By Ferry: Visitors can take a ferry from the Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair, which is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The ferry ride takes about 15 minutes and is the most popular way to reach Ross Island.
  2. By boat: Visitors can also hire a private boat to take them to Island. This is a good option for those who want more flexibility and privacy.
  3. By Helicopter: Helicopter services are also available from Port Blair to Ross Island, however, it is not a regular service and availability depends on the weather condition and permission from Indian Navy.
  4. By seaplane: Seaplane services are also available from Port Blair to Ross Island, However, it is not a regular service and availability depends on the weather condition and permission from Indian Navy.

It is important to note that Ross Island is currently open for visitors only on a day-visit basis and there is no overnight stay facility on the island. Visitors are also required to obtain a permit from the Indian Navy’s Tourism and Hospitality division before visiting Island.

In addition, Ross Island is closed on Monday and it is recommended to plan your trip in advance and check the schedule of the ferry/boat services and permit availability to avoid disappointment.

Things to know about Ross Island

Here are some things to know about Ross Island before visiting:

  1. Permit requirement: Visitors are required to obtain a permit from the Indian Navy’s Tourism and Hospitality division before visiting Island. These permits can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre in Port Blair.
  2. Schedule: Ross Island is open for visitors only on a day-visit basis and is closed on Mondays. Visitors should plan their trip in advance and check the schedule of the ferry/boat services and permit availability to avoid disappointment.
  3. Timings: The ferry to Ross Island leaves Port Blair at 9:00 am and returns at 2:00 pm. Visitors should plan their day accordingly to make the most of their visit.
  4. Restricted Area Permit: Island falls under Restricted Area Permit (RAP) category, which means that foreign nationals need to obtain RAP before visiting the island.
  5. Weather: The island’s weather can be quite hot and humid, so visitors should wear light, comfortable clothing and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  6. Best time to visit: The best time to visit Island is between October and May when the weather is pleasant and the sea is calm.
  7. Photography: Visitors are allowed to take photographs on Ross Island, but be aware that some of the ruins are in a fragile state and should be treated with care.
  8. Accommodation: There is no overnight stay facility on Island. Visitors can stay in Port Blair, which offers a variety of accommodation options.
  9. Safety Measures: Visitors are advised to wear life jackets while taking the ferry and follow the safety instructions provided by the Indian Navy.
  10. Respect: Visitors should be respectful of the island’s history and natural environment, and dispose of any trash properly.

By keeping these things in mind, visitors can fully enjoy their trip to Ross Island and appreciate the island’s rich history and natural beauty.

Ross Island’s New Name

Ross Island was renamed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island by the Government of India in 2018. The island was named after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, an Indian freedom fighter who led the Indian National Army during World War II. The renaming was done to honor his legacy and contributions to India’s freedom struggle.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Ross Island

Q. What is Ross Island?

A – Ross is a small island located in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago in the Bay of Bengal. It is known for its rich history, and natural beauty and was renamed Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island by the Government of India in 2018.

Q. How do I get to Ross Island?

A – The island can be reached by ferry from Phoenix Bay Jetty in Port Blair, which is the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Visitors can also hire a private boat or take a helicopter/seaplane service (availability depending on weather and permission from Indian Navy) to reach the island.

Q. Is there any overnight stay facility on Ross Island?

A – No, Ross Island is open for visitors only on a day-visit basis and there is no overnight stay facility. Visitors are required to return on the same day.

Q. What are the best things to do on Ross Island?

A – Visitors can explore the ruins of the British colonial buildings, visit the island’s museum, take a guided tour of the island, enjoy the island’s natural beauty, participate in water sports activities, and photography and attend the light and sound show.

Q. Do I need a permit to visit Ross Island?

A – Yes, visitors are required to obtain a permit from the Indian Navy’s Tourism and Hospitality division before visiting the Island. These permits can be obtained from the Tourist Information Centre in Port Blair. Foreign nationals also need to obtain Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit the island.

Q. What is the best time to visit Ross Island?

A – The best time to visit the Island is between October and May when the weather is pleasant and the sea is calm.

Q. Are there any restrictions on photography on Ross Island?

A – Visitors are allowed to take photographs on the Island, but be aware that some of the ruins are in a fragile state and should be treated with care.

Q. What should I wear and bring with me when visiting Ross Island?

A – Visitors should wear light, comfortable clothing and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended as the island’s weather can be quite hot and humid.

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