About Ross Island
Ross Island is a tiny remote island known for its distinct old-world charm. It is untouched, undisturbed and unfailingly authentic, where the essence of the bygone days still remains.
Once the seat of colonial power, today, the island boasts of breathtaking ruins, sprawling creepers and a close peek into the luxurious imperial lifestyle.
Frozen in time with an intriguing story to tell, Ross Island is definitely worth exploring.
The History Of Ross Island
Named after the British marine surveyor Daniel Ross, Ross Island (renamed as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Island) used to be the headquarters of the Indian Penal Settlement for close to a century.
The now deserted island was once called “Paris of the East”. It had all the modern amenities – from bazaars and bakeries to church, tennis courts, ballrooms and printing press but were all later abandoned after an earthquake in 1941.
Not just the British but the Japanese forces also left their mark after invading the island during World War II.
The ruins of these old buildings made by Indian prisoners are a perpetual reminder of the terrorizing past of the island. At the same time, they are a reflection of a colorful era long gone but not forgotten.
Highlights of Ross Island
- The Ruins – The stunning architectural ruins are one of the major attractions of the island including the remnants of a church, the chief commissioner’s house, a hospital and a cemetery to name a few. Walking through these structures is like walking back in time.
- Light and Sound Show – The chance to watch the entire island come back to life just like the olden days through the Light and Sound show is an experience not to be missed. The show features the work of renowned artists like Gulzar, Shabana Azmi, Shankar Ehsan Loy, Resul Pookutty and more.
- Museum – The Smritika Museum falls under the administration of the Indian Navy. The museum holds an exquisite collection of antique pieces and photographs that unfold the eventful history of the island.
- Japanese bunkers– Using the island as a war camp, back in the day, the Japanese built these bunkers as watch points along with plenty of cannons.
- Still standing strong, these remain a symbol of Japanese power over the island for a short period.
- Wildlife Sanctuary– The island is home to many friendly animals and birds like deer and peacocks who roam freely and are protected by the administration. A perfect addition for those who love animals.
How to reach Ross Island?
Ross island is one of Port Blair city’s closest islands and can be easily reached via a short (15 minutes) boat ride from the Aberdeen Jetty (inside the water sports complex).
You can reach the jetty by renting a Taxi or auto-rickshaw.
This island is easily visible from the east coast of Port Blair.
Do remember that you need to purchase a boat ticket and Sound and Light show ticket (if interested) in advance from Port Blair. Procedure for ticket purchase changes often (either online, at the IP&T counter, or the jetty), so ask your hotel/travel agent for updated information.
Useful to Know
- Cost: Entry cost is Rs 50 for adults (above 9 years) and Rs 25 for children.
- Timing: The ticket counter (at Port Blair) is open from 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM. The first ferry to ply is at 8.30 AM.
- The light and sound show begins at 5.30 PM. Tickets need to be bought three days in advance and you need to produce photo IDs at the time of purchase.
- There is no accommodation available so it’s not possible to stay overnight on the Island.
Exploring the island can take around 3-4 hours. So, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes and clothing as there is plenty of walking to be done.
With all that walking, don’t forget to walk till the highest point and get an amazing panoramic view of the neighboring islands. Also, feel free to spend some quality time with the friendly deers and other animals on the island but remember, you’re not supposed to feed them.
FAQs About Ross Island
Is there any transport available in Ross Island?
No, there’s no transport available or required in Ross Island and the best way to get around is by walking.
What are the best hotels available in Ross Island?
Since it is a deserted island, there are no hotels available to stay overnight. You can find a snack shop on the island. The nearest hotels available are in Port Blair.
Can you explore the island all by yourself?
Yes, you can definitely explore the island by yourself at your own pace. In fact, the more you explore the more beauty you will discover.
What is the timing of the Light and Sound show?
The Light and Sound show starts around 5:15 in the evening and is about 1 hour long.
Why should you visit Ross Island?
Ross Island is not just mesmerizing to look at, it is also a place of great cultural & historical importance with a totally unique island experience. A trip to Ross Island is absolutely worth it, if you love exploring and enjoy spending time with nature.
- Buy Ross Island Entry Tickets
- Book Guided Tours of Ross Island
- Book Light & Sound Show Tickets
- Book Sightseeing Tour of Port Blair