In the southern Andaman district of India, an Island sleeps in hibernation. Formerly named Ross Island after its discoverer, marine surveyor Daniel Ross, it is now known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island. The island served as the British Administrative Headquarters for almost 85 years and is now known as a tourist attraction for its historic ruins. Among other ruins, you will find an abandoned church, bakery, cemetery, hospital, printing press, water treatment plant, ballrooms, gardens, and troop barracks.
The First Inhabitants
Over 200 years ago, the British ruled India. The Brits established their colony in the Andaman and administrated it until 1947. In 1782, Ross Island got its first inhabitants and most of them were important government officers.
Under the leadership of Archibald Blair, a lieutenant in the Bombay Marine and a naval surveyor, a sanatorium was built there and it became the first establishment of the island. For many years the island served as British jails until 1942 when a large earthquake killed thousands of inhabitants and the survivors abandoned the place. The Japanese then took ownership of it for a short time during the Second World War. Currently, it is owned by the Indian Navy.
A ghost island that is now serving as a safe haven for herds of spotted deer, rabbits, and peacocks is 400 acres of land open for explorers and its rich history. Some of the scenes here would probably remind a visitor of Cambodia. Between the roots of gigantic trees, ruins of churches and buildings stand tall. If one is tired checking old office quarters, Brit graveyard, commissioner’s house, and other ruination, one can study about the Island at the museum named Smritika run by the Indian Navy.
- It’s the jail inmates who built all the structures from scratch and they often faced brutal treatment from the Brit officers. The Island was literally a penal colony that saw bled sheds, hunger deaths, and tears of many jailers who fought for freedom from the British colonial rule.
- In 2018, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi renamed the Ross Island to Subhas Chandra Bose Island.
- There is a hidden beach on the island, which most visitors miss out on due to its location. Ferar Beach is breathtakingly stunning and beautiful.
- It is an ideal location to take part in water sports,
- There is no facility to stay on the island during the night; visitors should leave the area by a specific time.
- When the Brits were living on the Island, it had all the luxuries from a manicured garden, pools to a tennis court.
- The earthquake that resulted in the death of 3000 people had a magnitude of 8.1.
Visiting Ross Island is a once in a lifetime experience. If you are interested in exploring ruins, put Ross Island at the top of your list.