Saturday, 31 December 2016

Ruins of Ross Island Andamans

Do ruins tell a story?
Of course yes, if there is a story teller around. With an experienced guide like Ms Anuradha Rao our visit to Ross Island, 2 kms east of Port Blair, turned out to be an exciting experience. It was the administrative HQ under the British rule till 1941 when the earthquake caused widespread destruction. From 1942 to 1945 it was under Japanese occupation. After three decades of neglect, it was handed over to Indian Navy in 1979. Thereafter, it became a tourist attraction in Andamans.

Ghumakkad along with other Naval veterans, visited Ross island in September 2016. Here is a short picture story for you.

On the day of our planned visit to Ross Island, the island was declared closed  for public. Reason: Official visit by 150+ officers from DSSC Wellington. Thanks to Commodore Govindan's excellent liaison, we were accommodated in the same ferry.

We were so ably conducted by Ms Anuradha Rao, a private guide at Ross Island.
For her devotion to duty, she has been commended by the C-in-C, Andaman and Nicobar Command. You can see her proudly wearing her commendation badge.

Water borne diseases had claimed many lives in the island in 19th century. Therefore, a water distillation and treatment plans was installed. Dating back to 1740, remains of the boiler can still be seen.
Here is a short video about the water treatment plant.

We continued the walk around the island. Those who can not walk, a battery operated cart is available. 
To enable the visitors to catch their breath on a hilly track, our guide gave a short pep talk on the importance of caring for aged parents. A short video which also shows the resident spotted deer and their stroll with us:

 Visitors are not allowed to feed the animals or birds in the island. Our guide however was feeding them as we walked past. When questioned, she explained that she gets special bread baked in a bakery at Port Blair which does not use any harmful chemicals like yeast etc. A dedicated environmentalist indeed!

As the Sun was about to go down, we had to complete our walk around and take our seats for the sound and light show. We had already seen the show at the Cellular Jail. But friends had recommended not to miss the show at Ross Island. It had to be better. It certainly is a class apart.
 With photography prohibited during the show, Ghumakkad had to borrow few pictures from Google images to convey the multi-media impact.

Those planning to visit Andamans, please do not miss the sound and light show at Ross Island. You can skip the show at the Cellular Jail but not at Ross Island.

It was time to return to Port Blair whose skyline was well lit by then. A picture.

 Being our last night in Port Blair, we all had a ball on the roof top lounge of our hotel. Apart from deciding the team for the next bash of FFA (what is FFA? scroll down), it was also time to say thanks to Commodore and Mrs Govindan for their selfless service in organising the Andamans trip so well.

Veterans in formals on a vacation? Yes, since we were going to visit the Ross Island along with Defence Services Staff College student officers, we all decided to shed our jeans and tees. The veterans look dashing, isn't it? Not only do they look dashing they also rock!
 And their charming spouses rock harder!
 Here is the complete gang which made it to Andamans together for a week! Simply unforgettable.

We started with our tour logo reproduced below:

This story, 10th in the series, marks the curtains on Andamans. Ghumakkad enjoyed creating and sharing this ten-part story with inputs from all the buddies. Thanks are also due to all the blog readers for their encouragement and feedback. In case you missed browsing any of the the earlier stories, here are the links:

  1. What is FFA?
  2. Port Blair: Kala Paani and beyond
  3. Sailing to Havelock
  4. Havelock- A Fun Place
  5. Scuba Diving@65
  6. Snorkeling at Elephant Beach
  7. Radhanagar Beach where voice of the sea speaks to your soul
  8. Kalapathar Beach where you discover yourself
  9. Chidiyatapu- Where the birds find you 
Although it has already been three months since our visit to the Andamans, we keep dreaming about it.

This story also marks the end of 2016. Ghumakkad wishes you a very happy new year. May 2017 take you to newer places with renewed vigour.

God bless and love
  -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 30th Dec 2016