In Island ROSS & SMITH
Two secluded islands far away from the hustle bustle of the city and connected to each other by a thin strip of sandbar ; that's Ross & Smith island for you. The island pair stands as a silent reminder of 'Beauty in Connectedness'.
Everything from traveling to spending time on the islands have an exclusive feel to it. There is a Marine Sanctuary on the island which makes it an ideal place for spotting beautiful coral reefs and colorful species from the underwater. The beach is surrounded by tropical forests and is a preferred place for trekking and trail hiking by many tourists. One can also opt for activities like Scuba Diving & Snorkelling. And the clear blue waters add a touch of cleanliness and to the whole experience. The beach is seldom crowded and many a times tourists find the whole island to themselves alone!
Furthermore, Ross & Smith islands are home to the Olive Ridley turtles which means, being the right place at the right time, one can even witness the turtle nesting! (connect it to Turtle Nesting activity?) Occasionally, wild elephants from the adjacent forests may be spotted on the islands. The Smith island has a small village with about 60 families and accommodation is offered by the Directorate of Tourism. During peak season night stays are not advisable as there might be accommodation scarcity.
It is to be noted that Ross & Smith Islands cannot be visited without prior permission from the Forest Office at Diglipur (opposite the Jetty). The permission costs Rs 50 for Indian tourists and Rs 500 for foreign tourists and can be obtained on all days (except Sunday) between 6am to 2pm.
The twin islands can be reached from Diglipur. No public boats are available. A fisherman's boat ('dongie' in hindi) or a speed boat can be hired which will cost Rs 1000 at the maximum. The ride would take around 25 mins from the Ariel Bay Jetty in Digilipur. Even while travelling directly from Port Blair, one will have to first halt at Diglipur and then hire a dongie to the islands.