Friday, August 19, 2022
Andaman and Nicobar
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Ross Island

Ross Islands was the seat of British Administration. It is situated North of Port Blair just across a narrow stretch of sea. This island with an area of about 200 acres was a small world in itself with chief commissioners residence.

The place came into decay with the shifting of the Chief Commissioner's Office in 1942 as areas close to the shore had developed serious cracks and it was felt that the building was not safe. The Japanese occupied the Island in March 1942. In October 1945 the Islands were reoccupied by the British. Today the Island is deserted. 

Where once manicured lawns occupied space and umbrellas adorned the poolside, when daily services were held in the Church, now forests and undergrowths have taken over. The place is in pathetic ruins but it is worth giving a look. On getting down at the Jetty, one has to sign the visitor's book as the island is under the Navy. Important ruins include a church, cemetery, swimming pool, chief commissioner's residence and Japanese Bunkers. A small museum of the Indian Navy, Smritika, has a good collection of old records.

Indian Navy has rebuilt some of the old buildings such as the Bakery. A Ross Island Memorial documentary is shown inside the Bakery (Timings - 9.30 am to 9.45 am, 11.30 am to 11.45 am) and a documentary on Andaman Islands is shown from 3 pm to 4pm. Private ferries are available from Aberdeen Jetty at Port Blair except on Wednesdays, to reach Ross Islands.

Viper Island

The Viper Island, near Haddo Wharf at the mouth of Port Blair harbour, is on 69 acres crescent shaped place. Once a full-fledged prison for local and mainland convicts, the Island had a gallows on top of a hillock which will take about 10 minutes from the jetty. The Jail was abandoned after commissioning of cellular Jail. The island serves as a tourist attraction. It is known as Viper Island because of the presence of Viper snakes in the past. Private ferries operate to Viper Island during Harbour cruise from Aberdeen Jetty in Port Blair every day at 3.00 PM. You could spend about an hour here.

Chatham Island

The centre of activity of the Forest Department is Chatham Island. It has perhaps one of the biggest and oldest Saw Mills of its kind in Asia. Burma Nallah is about 17kms from Port Blair. Here logs are extracted with the help of elephants. There is a museum with timber decorative pieces on display. Closed on Sundays and Industrial Holidays.

The forest here is a feast to the eyes with most colourful and rare varieties of orchards and beauty of other flora and fauna. The island is very small and is connected with Port Blair by a bridge over the narrow strip of sea water. It has the second biggest dock among all the islands of Andaman and Nicobar.

Carbyn's  Cove

 It is 10km from Port Blair, 4 km from airport. It is a crescent shaped beach ideal for picnic and bathing. The Andaman Beach resort run by the Travel Corporation is on the outskirts of this beach. It provides accommodation to visitors.