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Officially known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, this fascinating travel getaway was initially named after a marine surveyor, Daniel Ross. However, it was in 2018, that the name of this place was renamed after the great Indian freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose. 

Ross Island is famous for the ruins of the Penal colony. A Penal colony is basically an exile colony for prisoners where they are kept separately. The prison here came into function primarily to jail a large number of prisoners from the rebellion of 1857. And the same Penal colony later came to be known as Kalapani. It was given this name majorly due to the atrocities which the Britishers inflicted upon the Indian prisoners.

There is no reason that you shouldn’t be visiting Ross Island. It is actually one of the most lovely and adorable places to travel to. The oozing charm of this place won't disappoint you at all. Here you will also get to experience some of the most abundant and panoramic views of the nearby islands. And this place is not just brimming with fascinating beauty of nature but also with a wide range of animals like peacocks, deers, and many others.

Best Time To Visit Ross Island

One can visit between March to May where the temperature remains 25°C and 35°C and in monsoon (June and September) the temperature remains 20°C and 30°C.

History Of Ross Island

In 1858, the Britishers established a Penal settlement here. It won’t be wrong to say that the Indian Rebellion of 1857 had somewhat worked in the favour of the Penal Settlement in the Andaman Islands as it got to see a lot of prisoners from India. Then on 6th March 1858, Captain James Pattison arrived with around 773 convicts which included 4 officials from Singapore as well. 

And amid all of it, it was the Ross Island which remained the Administrative Headquarters for the Britishers between 1945-1946. It is intriguing to know that Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose had also stayed here during his visit to Port Blair from 29th - 31st December in 1943.  

Why the government had decided to specifically establish a penal colony here was to keep away other regular prisoners and also to send out a message which in its essence, was that similar treatment would be given to those who tried to challenge the British authority.   

Soon, this island became the base of British Authorities for their administration works. However, at an initial level, the crude barracks of bamboo and grass had to be put up for the prisoners while the rest of the party stayed on board the ships which had brought them. 

The Japanese Period

It was from 1942 to 1945, that this island was occupied by the Japanese. And during this particular timeframe, the government house became the residence for the Japanese admiral for the next three years. During this time, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose also hoisted the Indian flag over the government house where the Japanese admiral had stayed. The Japanese people also left their impression on the island in the form of bunkers which the tourists can see till date.

Major Attractions In And Around Ross Island

1. Ancient Presbyterian Church

Built out of stone, the Ancient Presbyterian Church stands among the most important remnants of British colonial rule. The church encompasses various windows that were constructed from durable teak, the spot offers wonderful views of its surroundings.

2. The Majestic Chief Commissioner’s Bungalow

It is a brilliant structure of colonial times. It still carries the same opulence even in its ruins. The bungalow has been encompassed with a lavish ballroom, splendid bedrooms, big dining rooms along with many drawing rooms. The outer side of this bungalow has been encircled with a beautiful pathway and magnificent Amalta gardens which come across as a wonderful spot to explore.

3. Ferar Beach

The unspoiled water of Ferar Beach offers a magnificent view with beautiful hillocks. The stunning views of the beach are simply great for tourists to experience. This beach has been dotted with globular stones, rock, and smooth sands.

4. Remnants of the Club Houses

The British army officials built three imperial clubhouses to fulfill their quirks and desires when they were off duty. Thus a settlement club was constructed especially for the high-ranked army staff; it stands among one of the top scenic spots of the island. The clubhouse is embraced with an amazing dance floor carved on the wood.

5. Marine Sanctuary

The Marine Sanctuary or Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is enough to mesmerize you with a whole lot of different water species. Mainly these include sea turtles and coral reefs. Apart from these beautiful abstracts of nature, the underwater colourful species will simply blow your mind.

6. Shopping

Although Ross Island is not that big of a place, yet here you get the opportunity to shop a great number of souvenirs. 

7. Adventure Activities

Apart from roaming around the streets, you can enjoy adventurous water activities like scuba diving, snorkelling and many more.

How To Reach Ross Island

Located in the vicinity of Port Blair, Ross Island is counted as one of the very popular destinations of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Widely known with the name ‘headquarters of the British Colony’, Ross Island endows the visitors with scenic views of the sea. Here is how you can travel to Ross Island via the following means of public transport. 

  • Nearest metropolitan city. Bengaluru
  • Nearest airbase. Veer Savarkar International Airport
  • Nearest railhead. Chennai Railway Station
  • Distance from Bangalore. 1740 Kms

By Air

Veer Savarkar International Airport or Port Blair Airport (IXZ) is the nearest airport to Ross Island. The inter-island movement can be done through the helicopter services available after deboarding at the airport. 

  • Distance from Veer Savarkar International Airport. 6 Kms

By Train

To reach Port Blair by train, there are three trains numbered 02382, 02302, 02304 that can take a passenger from Delhi to Port Blair via Kolkata. Though there are no train routes exactly at Port Blair yet you can choose this train route to reach Chennai railway station that is the nearest to Port Blair and from there get on board a passenger ship to continue your journey further. The journey can take you about 3-4 days of travel time. 

By Road

The connection of roads within Andaman islands is quite extensive, therefore one can expect to travel in a completely hassle-free manner. Whether you are a local or a tourist to this place, inter-island movements are the real fun for which ferries, buses, and taxis can be your perfect companions.

  • Distance from Port Blair. 11 Kms

Frequently Asked Questions About Ross Island

Ques. Why is Ross Island famous?
Ans - The Ross Island was famous for being the headquarters of the British Colony in the state. Now, the island is controlled by the Indian Navy and is home to several churches and a small museum. 

Ques. Is Ross Island worth visiting?
Ans - Ross Island is worth visiting to witness the British Aristocracy during the British Raj and the breathtaking light and sound show of the island. 

Ques. Where is Ross Island located?
Ross Island is located in the Bay of Bengal, near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India.

Ques. What is the history of Ross Island?
Ross Island was the administrative headquarters of the British during their rule in India. It was also used as a penal colony for Indian freedom fighters during the British Raj. After Indian independence, the island was used by the Indian Navy and was later abandoned.

Ques. What can I see on Ross Island?
Visitors to Ross Island can see the remains of the British colonial buildings, including the church, the chief commissioner's house, and the printing press. The island also has a small museum that displays the history of the island and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Ques. How can I get to Ross Island?
The only way to get to Ross Island is by taking a ferry from the main island of Port Blair. The ferry ride takes about 15-20 minutes.

Ques. Are there any accommodations on Ross Island?
Ans. No, there are no accommodations on Ross Island. Visitors are allowed to stay on the island for a few hours during the day and are required to return to Port Blair in the evening.

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