Ross Island

Glimpses of more than 100 years of history.

Named after Captain Daniel Ross, the Ross Island is a very small island that comes under the south Andaman district, Port Blair and is barely 5 Kms from the Water Sports Complex, making it one of easiest inter-island to visit during your trip to Andamans.

Although most of the attraction in Andaman are famous for beaches and water sports, Ross Island brings a bit of history to the table that makes your vacation complete.

This Island was first occupied in 1782 and a sanatorium was build there, and then again in 1857 by the British who used it as a Administrative Headquarters for 85 years. During this time, a lot of important government offices were made by the British on this penal settlement, which were later abandoned after an earthquake in 1941.

Commissioners house at Ross Island
Commissioners House in Ross Island - First Settlement


The ruins of these old buildings made by Indian prisoners are still present at Ross, textured by thick roots of peepal and serie trees that takes us back to an era, long gone yet still remembered.

Magnificent man-caves, the old church and grim history associated with this place gives out a unique vibe that can’t be found anywhere else in Andaman and Nicobar.

The whole experience is even more mesmerizing with it's protected forest which is a sanctuary of a variety of birds and animals including peacocks and deer, that present an amazing experience for people who love to walk around and enjoy their time in the lap of nature under the shade of tall tropical trees.


The most unique thing about the island is that civilians settlements of any kind is prohibited by the administration which means there is no place to stay at night here and therefore everyone must leave the island before dawn.

5 things you must do during your visit to the Ross Island:

Among several other attractions, some of the best places you must visit during your trip are:

  1. Explore the Ruins
  2. Attend the Light and Sound Show.
  3. Visit the Sanctuary.
  4. Explore the mancaves.
  5. Enjoy a calming lunch.

1. Explore the Ruins:

One of the best things about visiting the Ross Island is the history associated with it. The island has an avid collection of some of the oldest British and Japanese structures in India, that shows the luxurious life of Britishers after they occupied Andaman.

All operations in the isles, including the construction of Cellular Jail was overseen from this island, which also served as the residence of the old Chief Commissioner.

Old Church at Ross Island, Andaman

The ruins include:

  • Church
  • Secretariat
  • Government House
  • Chief Commissioner's residence
  • Long strips of luxury gardens
  • Swimming pool
  • Grand ballrooms
  • Tennis court
  • Water treatment plants
  • Hospital
  • Printing press
  • and much much more

Indulging in these remnants of our unforgettable past takes us back to the penal settlement age and reminds us of our struggle for freedom.

2. Attend the light and sound show:

The light and sound show at Ross takes us back to the past and showcases the history of how everything was planned and constructed in the islands.

The complete show primarily focuses on the penal settlement period which shows how Britishers came to Andaman and what they mainly focused on building and setting the administration to rule the isles.

The show also focuses on the luxurious lifestyle of the Chief Commander and his family and the hardships faced by the inmate Indian workers who build the jail, only to be thrown in its cell later on.

If you'd like to add a pinch of history to your trip, we recommend attending the show.

3. Visit the sanctuary:

The sanctuary is located at the middle of the island and is filled with deer and peacocks, protected under the Andaman administration.

Deer at the Ross Island, Port Blair

These animals are taken care of on a daily basis by a caretaker appointed by the government and therefore the population of deer and peacocks in the islands is the highest at Ross.

All animals live inside a reserved area filled with large tropical trees including coconuts and palms and are allowed to come out of the reserve to play around with people.

Feeding or harming animals in any way is strictly prohibited here.

Overall a great place to be if you like animals and would love to have a close encounter with them.

4. Explore the man-caves:

Uniquely interwoven man-caves were build all around the Ross island to help the important British officers escape during an attack. Now when the caves have ran out of their purpose, they are abandoned and act as a showcase of skills, effort and hardships faced by Indian workers to make them.

The caves follow several joint paths that connect important offices and constructions throughout the island and present a very mysterious vibe to the explorer who gives them a go.

Before visiting them, it's always recommended to have a guide with you to ensure safety and swift return so that no complications arrive later on.

5. Enjoy a calming lunch:

Several huts and small sheds are build throughout the Ross Island where one can take a break from the tour and catch a breath surrounded by the shade of tall trees and shrubs.

The island is also home to a wide variety of bird species who chirp and play around the visitor and present a wonderful ambiance. What better place could you find to relax and have lunch?

Fish

How to reach Ross Island

The Ross island is located very close to Port Blair, infact, the whole island is perfectly visible from the Water Sports Complex and is a completely disconnected by land so it's not possible to reach there by road.

The island can only be reached by taking a boat or ferry from the Water Sports Complex which will take you directly to the jetty in less than 15 minutes.

You will have to book a boat in advance to ensure seamless travel as the tickets sell out really fast. The tickets can be easily obtained by visiting the Directorate of Shipping Services office, located at Aberdeen Bazaar.

Make sure to get a returning ticket as well because there is no place to stay in the island.

Don't forget to take your identity proof as its needed for booking tickets and also passport in case you aren't an Indian citizen.