Ross Island (Port Blair)- How to reach and things to do

Ross Island is one of the most popular destinations in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands which is located near Port Blair. This place, back in earlier times, was famous as the headquarters of the British Colony in the state. As of now, the island is under the Indian Navy’s control, and houses numerous churches and a small museum, Smritika, which reminisces the British way of life. Thousands of tourists flock to Ross Island each year, owing to its rich history, culture, and legacy.

Ross Island offers splendid views of the sea, and you can sit for hours relaxing on the beach while enjoying the cool breeze. It is the perfect place for a family or private time, as the island offers ample privacy and moments to cherish.

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How to reach?

Reaching Ross Island is possible via all modes of transportation. Since Port Blair is well-connected to nearly all major cities of India like Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, among others.

By Air: The nearest airport to Ross Island is Veer Savarkar International Airport, which is 5 km away from Port Blair. For traveling to different islands, there are inter-island helicopter services available for tourists and locals.

By Water: One of the best and most fun modes to reach Ross Island is by taking a ferry. One can choose to take private ferries or a short ride on a boat from Phoenix Bay Jetty.

By Road: There are a lot of buses that connect Port Blair to places nearby Ross Island. For instance, you can take a bus to Aberdeen Jetty from Port Blair, and then take a ferry to reach your destination.

What to do in Ross Island?

1. Visit the Ross Island Penal Colony

The Ross Island Penal Colony is considered as a location of confinement for the Indian locals who sparked the revolution against the bullying antics of the British government. The British exploited the Indians in all ways social, economic, and religious. As a result, the inhabitants decided to rebel against the tyranny upon them in the year 1857. This place was used by the British as a prison to lock the revolutionaries. The secluded settlement and dense forest soon became a place for 200 locked up prisoners, staying behind bars. The history of the place might be depressing, but the place has a certain aura about it. One gets to learn about how the inmates spent their lives during the time of movement.

2. Samudrika Naval Marine Museum

Popularly known as the Fisheries Museum, the Samudrika Naval Marine Museum is home to a range of aquatic species, which include rare species of fishes, shells, and corals. Overseen by the Indian Navy, the museum has five stunning exhibition rooms that present the geography, anthropology, aquatic life, and the history of Ross Island. Outside the location is a gorgeous skeletal framework of a majestic blue whale that reached the shores of the Nicobar after its death. The museum offers a great opportunity to experience the diverse ecosystem of the island, from the oceanic life, plants, and animals to the tribal settlements who are also inhabitants.

3. Have fun rides at Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex

The Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex offers a thrilling collection of water sports and events in which visitors can participate. Exciting activities like Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Speed Boat Cruise, Sea Walking, Parasailing, Banana Boat Rides, and Paddle Boating are available for visitors to enjoy. These rides and events are priced at economical rates, and will surely leave visitors enthralled by the distinctive aura of the oceanic beauty of Ross Island. The complex also carries historical importance in addition to the delightful water escapades that are on offer. The site experienced a conflict between the British regime and Andaman’s initial residents, and the incident was later called the Aberdeen Battle which adds to the historical significance of this place.

4. Taking in the sights of Gandhi Park

Gandhi Park

Located in the city’s main portion, Gandhi Park provides tourists the chance to revive themselves by spending some time in the park’s revitalizing aura. The park symbolizes the excellent architectural skills. This park is distinguished from other periodic parks by the mixture of the pristine lake and invigorating flora and fauna in the surrounding area. With some fascinating fun activities and a peaceful walking trail along the lake, Gandhi Park is the ideal place for nature lovers to enjoy the evenings. The Shaman tank located here once created the island’s only drinking water wellspring, adding a historic touch to the lovely environment of the park. Visitors also have the option of boating through the lake and relaxing from the daily hustle and bustle.

5. Bunkers used by Japanese invaders

Bunkers used by Japanese invaders

During World War II, Ross Island was invaded by Japanese military forces. The Japanese managed for a short time to dislodge British powers and exercise control over this island. They used Ross Island as a war settlement, treating both the Indians and inmates living on the island with severely harsh behavior. The Japanese constructed bunkers, a cannon sheathe, and countless winding tunnels using the island as a war camp. Their wonderful architectural prowess in Ross Island can be witnessed by the tourists.

6. Ross Island Light and Sound Show

A journey to Ross Island without the breath-taking Ross Island Light and Sound Show would be incomplete. This exciting display sheds light on the fascinating occurrences over the years that have taken hold of the island. The bakery is the backdrop for visitors to watch the unfurling history of Ross Island. This show reminisces visitors of tough yet simpler times, reviving the days of the age-old fight for liberty. Get prepared to be caught up in patriotic fervor when Gulzar, an accomplished lyricist’s strong voice takes over.

7. Water activities like Scuba Diving and Sea Walking

Scuba Diving and Sea Walking

The Chidiyatapu Laccadives Scuba Diving Center, an island nearby, provides visitors a chance to take adventurous dives into the island’s pristine waters. The center runs programs involving understanding the interconnected biological communities and species within these waters. The center provides interesting diving packages for sheer fun and entertainment for those who already hold diving certifications. Witnessing beautiful marine creatures in a complete swing is truly awe-inspiring as you swim past them. Another exciting activity is maritime walking, where you can have the luxury of walking underwater and feeding some exotic aquatic animals as well.

Places to stay in Ross Island

Ross Island is a famous destination that is never short of tourists at any time of the year. Following are the most popular locations while choosing your stay:

1. South Point

The location offers a mesmerizing view of the island and has hotels that offer luxurious rooms for both long and short stays. One can also choose to cross the curvy roads and go to the beach and witness how the locals catch fish.

2. Marine Hill

Marine life

This location has a marketplace that offers splendid souvenirs to reminisce of the amazing times spent on Ross Island. The hotels offer both a good view and proximity to popular tourist spots. Finding the right place to stay is not difficult, as the hotels are reasonably priced and offer great services to make the tourists feel at home.

3. Bay Island

Bay Island

Many tour guides offer their services in this location, which proves to be a good choice for newcomers to stay. The guides will take visitors to all the famous locations and ensure they have a good time. Both newlywed couples and families can enjoy their stay in Bay Island.

4. Aberdeen Bazaar

The hotels in this locality offer great views and are located near Fortune Bay Island, where tourists can grab a bite to eat at popular restaurants. The food stalls in Aberdeen Bazaar are popular for smoothies and pakoras, so those who love eating spicy food will definitely have an amazing time.

5. Phoenix Bay

The hotels in this location are near Cellular Jail, which is a historic place popular among tourists. Tourists can spend their nights in hotels and wander in the day to gather experiences and try all sorts of food. Many guides assist in visiting both Ross Island and North Bay Island from this location, and their service can be requested from the concierge.

Ross Island carries a rich cultural heritage and offers the experience of a lifetime. Those visiting the location can have a memorable time if done with ample planning. So the next time you think of vacationing, put this Island on top of your list for as it won’t disappoint you one bit.

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