Ross Island at Andaman
Ross Island is one of the famous tourist spot at Andaman Island and the tour itinerary is incomplete if Ross Island is not in the Tour. Ross Island in connect with ferry service from the main land of Port Blair.
Ross Island was the Administrative Headquarters of British Regime before Independence which later shifted to Port Blair after a earthquake in 1941. The headquarters were then shifted to Port Blair . This island remained under British occupation till 1942. From 1942 to 1945, the island was under the occupation of Japan. However, the allies re-occupied the island in 1945 and later abandoned it.
Panel Settlement at Andaman Islands
In November 1857, the Government decided to establish a penal settlement in Andaman and send "hard-core elements" among those who took on the British. There were two reasons:
One, to keep them away from other prisoners and the other, to send out a message that a similar treatment would be meted out to anyone who challenged the British authority.
Two months later, the British took possession of three islands in and around Port Blair and Captain H. Man, Executive Engineer, hoisted the Union Jack flag. In March, J.P. Walker, an experienced jail superintendent, arrived in Port Blair with four European officials, an Indian overseer, two doctors, 50 naval guards and 773 freedom fighters.
Writer Gauri Shankar Pandey, who belongs to a family that had suffered torture during the Japanese occupation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has documented that it was water scarcity that had driven Walker out of Port Blair and go to Ross Island.
Named after the marine surveyor Sir Daniel Ross, the Island soon became the base. Initially, crude barracks of bamboo and grass were put up for freedom fighters while the rest of the party stayed on board the ships that had brought them. Later, the freedom fighters built houses, offices, barracks and other structures at the Ross Island, after which they were promptly sent to Viper Island, where the first jail was built. The bungalow, meant for the chief of the Penal Settlement, was constructed at the northern summit of the Island. Called Government House, the large-gabled home had Italian tiled flooring on the ground level. Now, some remains of the flooring are there, of course in a decrepit condition.
In 1872, the post of Superintendent was elevated to the level of Chief Commissioner and Sir Donald Martin Stewart, who was at Ross Island for one year, was made the first Chief Commissioner. Stewart held the post from July 1872 to June 1875. After Stewart, Ross Island saw 24 chief commissioners. But, it was during the tenure of Sir Charles Francis Waterfall that the Island's position as the seat of power collapsed.
Waterfall, who became the Chief Commissioner in 1938, was captured by the Japanese in March 1942 when the latter invaded the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during World War II. He was held as a prisoner of war and his deputy, Major Bird, was beheaded by the Japanese at a clock tower in Aberdeen, Port Blair.
The small Ross island, with its treasure of ruins, became the hot tourists spot in the territory. The island presently houses the ruins of the state Ballroom, the Chief Commissioner’s House, the Government House, Church, the old 'Andamanese Home', Hospital, Bakery, Press, Swimming Pool and Troop Barracks, all in dilapidated condition, reminiscent of the old British regime. There is also a cemetery and a small museum managed by the Indian Navy. The museum has on display a collection of old records.
Ross Island can be reached by ferry from Rajiv Gandhi Water Sports Complex, Port Blair, . We at Mountain Edge organising all inclusive tour (includes Ferry Tickets, Entry Tickets & Transfers) on pre-book basis.