Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Port Blair & around - Part IV

Andaman & Nicobar - The Enchanting Coral Islands of India
(Port Blair- Ross Island & Viper Island)

Day 4  (Day 7 since arrival in Port Blair)

Ross Island as seen from Aberdeen Jetty

The first structure to come in sight at Ross Island after alighting at jetty

View of Junior Officers quarters

The local store run by Mr. Ali

The close up of Printing Press now in ruins

View of the Power House

View of the Bakery

View of the Church building

The Commissioners' house

             Although we did not take the tour consecutively for this trip, we had kept a day for this on our return from Diglipur.  However, since I am describing the places in and around Port Blair in this series, I will place the commentary here, so that readers do not find it difficult to re-connect at a later stage.  One can have a trip to North Bay Island (coral islands), Ross & Viper Islands as a one day round trip to these three destinations.  I did not go for the trip to North Bay islands as I had already visited Red Skin islands and seen the corals, but during interaction with other travelers aboard Makruzz, while traveling to Havlock, I found that a multinational company based in Thailand called Sea link Adventures - was offering sea walking there @ Rs.3000/- per trip with an additional fee of Rs.500/- for set of seven (07) underwater photographs.    However, you can also do the Ross Island and Viper Island trips independently or together in the evenings. 

View of gallows at Viper Island

 We had been considerably, delayed on our return from Baratang as the driver sought to take a short cut and routed the vehicle through Bamboo flat while coming from Baratang.  Being a Monday, there was a huge rush at the jetty and we were struck up at Bamboo flats.  When the tour operator called up on the driver and came to know of our predicament, he asked us to board the ferry and board another vehicle that was waiting at the Haddo wharf near Chatham saw mills.  We did accordingly, but because of the heavy rush we all had a horrendous journey being jam packed on the ferry like a pack of Sardines.  As we were very late, we headed straight to Ananda Restaurant for having breakfast and then checked back in the South Point Circuit house.  In the afternoon we headed for Ross Island, which was the administrative headquarters of the British and is now in ruins.  It has nothing much to offer, except for being a Naval Base, where entry for civilians is prohibited and the remaining area comprises of scattered remains & ruins of once pulsating township of the elite British officers who controlled the affairs of the Islands around.  This Island houses the ruins of a Church, the Commissioner’s bungalow on top of a hillock, Press, Bakery etc. but as mentioned all in ruins.  The other island called the Viper Island was initially the jail house for convicts and freedom fighters of 1857, who were later shifted to Cellular Jail in 1906 and this island became the primary jail for female convicts, many of whom were sent to the gallows here, the ruins of which can be seen even today.  The ruins of the gallows on the hill top can be seen, but the same is in shambles at present.  The name of the island is said to be have been drawn from the ship by the same name, which was deployed to establish a Penal Settlement here by Archibald Blair and is said to have later perished & sunk near this Island.  Other than this, these two Islands have nothing to offer.  One can seek to visit these islands from the Aberdeen jetty at Port Blair and single round trip to Ross Island costs Rs.65/- for a round trip and for both combined i.e. including Viper Island it costs around Rs.110/- for a round trip, whereas if you want to combine all three i.e. North Bay Island included, the tickets cost @ Rs.350/- onwards for a round trip.

View of Aberdeen Jetty by night

            © S. Roy Biswas – All rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Great blog nice n useful information , it is very helpful for me , I realy appreciate thanks for sharing. I would like to read more information thanks.
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