Ross Island used to be headquarters for the British administration of a penal settlement. It is one of the islands in the chain of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The plans for a settlement were made from 1788 to 1789, but at that time due to the high mortality the idea was soon dismissed. In 1887, the British administration established a jail and a penal colony which brought the people back to the island. It was occupied by Japanese troops in March 1942 and then returned back to the British control before being taken over by Indian Navy in 1979.
Now, Ross Island is totally abandoned, but it still is an appealing tourist attraction for people who are interested in discovering abandoned places and their history. The main reason for the abandonment of this island is the earthquake of 1941 that caused the British to leave. Since then the island started to gradually sink into oblivion and neglect. Now to promote tourism, the Indian Navy has rebuilt some old buildings and added local stores as well as souvenir shops.
The Farzand Ali store is the most famous building on the island, and it is soon to become a museum about British era and their activities in the past. Besides this one, a lot of old buildings still can be seen around the island such as the church, tennis court, printing press, secretariat, hospital, cemetery, open air theater and the water purification plant. There are also barracks for the troops and bungalows for officers. The island is embraced by a beautiful coast line with diverse kind of natural plants, birds and deer.
The island can overwhelm you with its natural beauty. It is covered with dense forest, intertwining creepers and mammoth tress. There was the time when the island was a thriving centre of colonial rule with wealthy lifestyle.
Furthermore, there are also plenty of interesting places to visit here. For example, the Presbyterian Church that was built of stone with a view looking to the harbor. The most impressive building that once stood on the island was the Chief Commissioner’s Bungalow located in the northern of the island. It was a wooden building. The magnificent house consisted of many rooms, a tennis court, palm house and was surrounded by gardens. In addition, the reason why there was a water purification plant on the island was due to serious diseases: malaria, dysentery and typhoid.
It is a place that can take you back in time offering old buildings and beautiful natural landscape. Even though the heyday of this island was long time ago, we still enjoy the remains and structures left on this island to remind us of more prosperous time.