Best Travel Guide to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (Ross) Island
Every Andaman Tour Package has a day excursion to Ross Island as it is one of the most popular places to visit on the Andaman and Nicobar Island. Located just 2 km away from Port Blair, Ross Island Andaman appears like a lost jungle city from the Hollywood movies with Victorian English ruins.
So, let’s learn more about Ross Island Andaman Nicobar and know more about why it is a popular tourist destination with the number of things to do here in this travel guide.
History of Ross Island Andaman
Ross Island, nestled in the heart of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, stands as a testament to the region’s historical significance and natural beauty. The island is less than a square kilometer in size but played a pivotal role during the British Colonial era.
Named after Sir Daniel Ross – a marine surveyor in the late 18th century, the island served as a crucial administrative center for the British during their rule in India. This island was first occupied in 1782 but was not put to use except that a sanatorium was built here. Later, Ross Island served as a British capital from 1858 to 1941.
During this time frame, many government offices, residences, ballrooms, bakeries, etc were built on this island. It was like a small British colony settled on this tiny island. Unfortunately, the island faced challenges during World War II, including an earthquake in 1941 and subsequent Japanese occupation in World War II.
But later, the Japanese force abandoned Ross Island. In 1945, during India’s Independence struggle the Indian allies reclaimed the island and rebuilt some of the buildings, which now play a major role in supporting the tourism scenario on this Ross Island Andaman.
In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed the Ross Island as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island in memory of the great freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Despite the shift in nomenclature, the island continues to be a living museum, preserving the architectural marvels of a bygone era. The remnants of colonial structures, including a church, ballroom, and chief commissioner’s residence, still echo the island’s storied past.
Today, Ross Island has become a captivating tourism destination, drawing visitors with its blend of history, nature, and tranquility. The well-preserved ruins and lush greenery make it a unique attraction, offering glimpses into the colonial era and the struggle for India’s independence. The island’s strategic location in the Andaman Sea, coupled with its historical significance, adds to its allure for both history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
How To Reach Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island/ Ross Island
Since the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island/ Ross Island is not connected by roadways, you can only reach this island by airways or by waterways. Ross Island is situated in close proximity to Port Blair. In fact, the entire island can be seen from the Water Sports complex.
To reach Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, also known as Ross Island, visitors can take a flight to Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India. From the airport, you can take a taxi/ cab to reach Port Blair jetty from where you can take a short boat ride takes you to Ross Island.
One can also reach Port Blair by taking a cruise to Andaman from the mainland of India. Once you are in Port Blair, reach the Port Blair jetty to take a ferry. The ferry ride to Ross Island typically takes around 15-20 minutes, offering picturesque views of the Andaman Sea. The distance is approximately 2 kilometers, making it a delightful and accessible waterway option for exploring this historical gem.
Reasons To Visit Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island/ Ross Island
1. Reflection of the History
Visiting Ross Island is a great way to get an insight into the past of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. As you step foot on the island, the historical ruins will captivate you with their rustic beauty, showcasing the island’s historical significance during the colonial era.
2. Cultural Journey
Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Ross Island, experiencing the blend of British and Indian influences that shaped its history. Discover the distinctive charm of Ross Island, standing out from the rest of Andaman with its well-preserved ruins and the aura of a bygone era. Marvel at the fascinating architecture of the colonial buildings, showcasing a unique blend of Victorian and Indian styles that transport visitors back in time.
3. Pristine Natural Beauty
Enjoy the lush greenery and scenic beauty that envelops Ross Island, offering a perfect natural retreat away from the hustle and bustle. Since Ross Island prohibits overnight stays on the island, there are no permanent settlements on the island. This policy ensures that its natural beauty remains untouched and allows visitors to relish its unspoiled allure. It also contributes to its cleanliness and serene atmosphere, making it a haven for nature lovers.
4. Easy Accessibility
Ross Island is located in close proximity to Port Blair – the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands. The distance from the Port Blair Jetty is just 5 km and the island can be reached with a 20-minute boat/ ferry ride, making it an easily reachable destination for a day trip or a short excursion. Enjoy a scenic boat ride to Ross Island, offering panoramic views of the surrounding azure waters and enhancing the overall adventure of reaching this historical gem.
5. Flora and Fauna
Wildlife enthusiasts have an opportunity to explore the wildlife on this Island that can be easily spotted due to the small size of the island. Embark on a journey through the island’s natural wonders, discovering unique flora and fauna that thrive in this secluded sanctuary, creating an immersive experience for wildlife enthusiasts. Bird watchers will delight in the diverse avian population that calls Ross Island home, creating a haven for birdwatching enthusiasts seeking rare and exotic species.
6. Educational Experience
Opt for informative guided tours that provide insights into the island’s history and culture, enhancing the overall visitor experience. Turn your visit into an educational adventure by learning about the island’s ecology, history, and conservation efforts, offering a well-rounded experience for curious minds.
7. Family Friendly Destination
With its blend of history, nature, and recreational activities, Ross Island is a family-friendly destination, catering to a diverse range of interests and ensuring a memorable experience for all. It’s easy accessibility and small island size, make it a perfect destination to explore for all the age groups in a family.
Things To Do On Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island/ Ross Island.
Tourists exploring Ross Island can immerse themselves in its historical narrative while appreciating the scenic landscapes that surround the remnants of the once-thriving British settlement.
The island stands as a living testament to the passage of time and the resilience of its history, making it an essential stop for those seeking to unravel the layers of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands’ past.
Here are some of the Best Things To Do on Ross Island in Andaman:
1. Explore Colonial Remnants
Begin your journey through Ross Island by meandering among the historic ruins. Discover the echoes of the British colonial era as you explore some of the top places to visit in Ross Island like the remnants of structures like the church, ballroom, government house, and chief commissioner’s residence.
2. Visit the Ross Island Museum
The Ross Island Museum provides a glimpse into the island’s colonial past. The museum is housed in a historic building that dates back to the British colonial era. The museum features photographs, artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the island, including its history as the administrative seat of the British Government.
3. Attend the Captivating Light and Sound Show
Immerse yourself in the island’s rich history through the captivating Light and Sound Show. This mesmerizing experience unfolds the tales of Ross Island’s past in a vibrant outdoor setting, providing a sensory journey through time.
4. Indulge in Culinary Delights at the British Era Bakery
Embark on a delightful culinary adventure by visiting the British-era bakery. Treat your taste buds to delectable delights that carry the flavors of the island’s colonial past, offering a unique blend of history and gastronomy.
5. Savor Authentic Flavors at Local Eateries
Delight in the authentic flavors of Andaman at local eateries and small restaurants in Andaman. Relish mouthwatering seafood and traditional dishes that reflect the culinary diversity of the region, creating a memorable dining experience.
6. Go For Bird Watching
Engage in the fascinating activity of bird watching at Bird Island, a picturesque spot near Ross Island. Witness a diverse array of avian species in their natural habitat, making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and bird lovers.
7. Enjoy a Scenic Boat Ride
Enhance your island experience with a scenic boat ride to Ross Island. Immerse in the breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea and the surrounding landscapes, setting the stage for a memorable and picturesque journey.
8. Embark on a Unique Mangrove Exploration
Dive into a unique adventure by exploring the mangroves surrounding Ross Island. Discover the rich biodiversity of these coastal ecosystems, gaining insights into the island’s natural wonders and ecological importance.
9. Thrilling Snorkeling and Sea Walking
Dive into the crystal-clear waters surrounding Ross Island for thrilling water sports activities. Engage in the mesmerizing experiences of snorkeling and seawalking, allowing you to witness the vibrant marine life up close.
10. Relax with a Picnic Amidst Nature
Take a break and enjoy a relaxing picnic amidst the island’s lush greenery. Surrounded by the serenity of nature, it’s the perfect spot for unwinding, and creating cherished memories with friends and family.
11. Capture Scenic Beauty at Viewpoints
Unleash your inner photographer by capturing Ross Island’s scenic beauty from its viewpoints. These panoramic vistas provide the ideal backdrop for photography enthusiasts to showcase the unique charm of Ross Island.
12. Explore Historical Japanese Bunkers
Delve into the wartime history of Ross Island by exploring Japanese bunkers. These silent witnesses to the island’s occupation during World War II add a poignant layer to its historical narrative, providing a glimpse into a tumultuous past.
13. Discover the Tranquility of the Sanctuary
Delight in the tranquility of the sanctuary on Ross Island, where the lush landscapes offer a peaceful retreat. Connect with nature as you spot various species of flora and fauna, creating a serene and immersive experience on the island. Enjoy the sight of spotted deer that habitat naturally all over the island.
Points To Note Before Visiting Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island/ Ross Island.
- The best time to visit Ross Island is during the dry months of October to May for pleasant weather and smooth exploration.
- Regular ferries from various ports of Andaman operate every day except Wednesday.
- The ferries from Port Blair to Ross Jetty run from 8 AM to 2 PM. The to-and-fro ferry cost ranges from ₹150 to ₹500 per person.
- The timings of Ross Island are from 8 AM to 4 PM.
- The entry ticket to Ross Island is ₹30 per adult and ₹25 per child. Prices are subject to change frequently. The light and sound shows may be additional to the tour price.
- Ensure you don’t overpay for tickets by booking your boat ride in advance, as tickets tend to sell out quickly. Visit the Directorate of Shipping Services office at Aberdeen Bazaar to get your ticket.
- Acquire a return ticket in advance, considering there’s no accommodation on the island. Visitors are required to exit Ross Island after completing their trip and stay in Port Blair.
- Carry a valid identity proof, and for non-Indian citizens, a passport is essential for ticket bookings and verification
- Respect the environment by maintaining cleanliness on the island. Dispose of waste responsibly to preserve the natural beauty of Ross Island
- Follow the guidelines in the deer sanctuary; avoid feeding deer without permission to ensure the well-being of the wildlife
In conclusion, Ross Island beckons travelers with its pristine beauty, historical charm, and diverse experiences. This Complete Travel Guide aims to assist you in planning an unforgettable journey to this tropical paradise. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment, Ross Island offers it all. Pack your bags and embark on a voyage to discover the hidden gems of Andaman’s crown jewel.
FAQs for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island/ Ross Island
What is the opening and closing time of Ross Island?
The Ross Island Andaman’s opening time is 8 AM and the closing time is 4 PM. You cannot visit Ross Island on Wednesday as it is closed to visitors every Wednesday.
What are the best Hotels at Ross Island?
Ross Island does not have hotels for overnight stays as it is not permitted. Visitors typically stay in hotels located in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and take day trips to Ross Island
Are there any water sports available on this island?
While Ross Island itself may not be a hub for water sports, you can find various water activities like scuba diving and snorkeling on the shores of the island. But if you want to really enjoy the water activities then you can visit the nearby areas of Port Blair. Visitors often engage in water sports such as snorkeling, sea walking, and boat rides to explore the marine beauty surrounding Ross Island.
What is the timing of the Light and Sound show at Ross Island?
The light and sound show on Ross Island typically takes place in the evening by sunset. On most of the days, the timing ranges from 5 PM to 5:30 PM. The show offers a captivating narrative, bringing the island’s history to life in a mesmerizing outdoor setting.