Just 3 KMs away from Port Blair you find Ross Island. You find history at every nook and corner of this small island, which is so inspiring and so mesmerizing. It hardly takes less than half an hour to reach Ross Island from Port Blair. Your Tour Operator knows better, but still be advised to time your visit in such a way that you stay there at Sunset, because it’s then, when the Sun sets, and the Sky gets pitch dark, they start the light and sound show here. Words fail to tell you the magnificence of this show. Seeing is believing.
Ross Island is in the South Andaman District, which was basically a penal colony. This island remained under the British occupation since 1858. We were told that this remained the administrative headquarters till 1941 when a massive earthquake rocked the island. The remnants are still present here – The Government House, Bakery, Bazaar, Stores, Water Treatment Plant, Secretariat, Printing Press, Hospital and a Cemetery, though all are in dilapidated condition except the Bakery, which is white washed and maintained. It is here, in front of the Bakery, the audience sit mesmerized watching history unfold before them through the Light and Sound Show. The Bakery becomes the Laser Screen for the Light and Sound Show. The speakers and lights are kept at various places near the trees spread around the place, to create that magical aura, and to recreate the history in all its glory and gory.
Tall Coconut trees adorn this place, where otherwise, history lies in ruins. You have battery operated vehicles which charge you Rs.100/- per person to show you around the island, in case you cannot walk. It takes you up to the light house and back, showing you the Government House, Bakery, Bazaar, Stores, Water Treatment Plant, Secretariat, Printing Press, Hospital and a Cemetery.
As the Sun sets, it’s time for the Light and Sound Show, and all the tourists assemble and settle on the chairs opposite to the Bakery. Pin Drop silence. People await in anticipation. It’s totally dark and the show starts. At first, there is lightning and thunder all around the trees, and the Sound captivates you. The dark trees are lit, in fiery Red and sometimes in lightening blue. The husky voice of Gulzar sahab is a real trance. It transports you back into the days of yore. You are literally transported into the British Era.
The show makes any Indian a true patriot. Did really people suffer so much in the hands of the British? What probably anyone knows about the history of India and the struggle for its independence was mere HEADLINES. We never knew how many atrocities our freedom fighters faced in the hands of these Britishers. And that was why, there was the Inquilab Movement. Seeing the Show, the blood boils in anger at the atrocities these Britishers meted out to our freedom fighters.
At 07.30 PM we left Ross Island and reached Port Blair with our faces writ with amazement of the show. No Time Machine can take you to the days of the yore. Truly mind blowing and mesmerizing and not to be missed - if you have missed it, you have not seen Andaman at all.