Ross Island – Paris of the East
This island was called the Paris of East by the British, and named after the marine surveyor Sir Daniel Ross. It is small in the size, less than a square kilometer. It is just 2 km away from Port Blair and it takes 10 minutes ride to reach here. One can reach by a boat ride from Water Sports Complex; private ferries are also available from Aberdeen Jetty. You can also hire local fisherman for the ride. The island is controlled and managed by the Indian navy and you have to sign in while entering.
The island was once very popular and lavish accommodation of the British officers and their family. British were opulent and life at the island was leisurely for the English officers. One can see the glory of the past through the ruins of the church, cemetery, swimming pool, water purification plant, ice-making plant, chief commissioner’s residence with its huge gardens and grand ballrooms which today is hugged by wild wines and huge roots and trunks of century old trees. These roots form beautiful patterns and it seems that trees are actually growing on the roofs of the ruins.
The glory of the Ross Island was ended by the earthquake in June 1941 and it was assumed that island was sinking, so people abandoned it. The island was also hit by a big tsunami saving Port Blair with a huge devastation.
Island is very calm and beautiful. Looking from Port Blair, island appears very beautiful with a colorful sky adding to its beauty. Beach is a must visit place on the island which requires a little effort to reach. There is no accommodation or habitation allowed on the island. There is also a small museum, displaying a collection of old records, managed by the Indian Navy. Once can also enjoy the company of peacocks, rabbits, cocks, deer and ducks roaming freely. Walking is the only option to roam around. It is advisable to take your water and food as there is nothing much available to eat and drink. There is a small Café to have tea, coffee, or snacks etc. There is also an official time limit to explore the island.
Just like Cellular Jail, one can enjoy the light and sound show in Ross Island too. There is only one show in Hindi for 45 minutes. You will be surprised to see the technology used for the show. Its Asia’s first HD video mapping technology. A must see for all.
The rates of ticket are as under:
Adult: Rs.100/- for the show plus Rs.100/- for the boat fare plus Rs. 50/ for entry to Ross Island i.e. Total – Rs 250/-
Children between 05-12 years: Rs.25/- for the show plus Rs.100/- for the boat fare plus Rs. 25/ for entry to Ross Island i.e. Total – Rs 150/- It is closed on Wednesday.
(Source: Directorate of Information, Andaman & Nicobar Administration, India)