Wondering what there is to see in Little Andaman? Here’s a list of my favourite spots on the island.
Kala Pathar or Kala Pattar means “black rock” in Hindi. This beach gets its name because of the tall and massive rocks on either side, which are, well, you guessed it, black! But, more than the rock formations, what really makes this place interesting is the rock pool formed close to the shore that is a great place for a relaxed swim. There are also a few caves within the rock formations, but you need to find out which ones are safe to explore because, as the tide rises, you may encounter waves smashing through from the other side of the rocks. By the way, it’s also a fantastic place to watch the sunrise – the image below should be proof enough.
Coconut groves so dense that it could be called a coconut jungle (if such a thing exists). These plantations serve as the means for food and money for the people of the Nicobari tribal settlement located close by. Almost everyone in the area will be doing something that involves coconuts – I even saw dogs eating coconuts here (have you ever seen that?). Per the locals I met while I was there, the entire area belongs to the local tribe (no individual ownership) and is controlled by the Chief/Captain of the settlement. All decisions with respect to work allocation, use of resources, sale of coconuts as well as those that can be used for personal consumption are made by the leaders of the tribe. So, visual spectacle of the grove aside, it’s fascinating to see the dynamics of the entire operation as well as to watch the skills of the people at work.
Note: While the main road runs through a part of the coconut grove and is accessible to all, outsiders are generally not permitted to enter the Nicobari settlement itself. You need to get authorisation from the relevant Governmental authority, or seek the permission of the leaders of the settlement to enter. It’s a good idea to speak to someone local before venturing in.
SOUTH BAY LIGHTHOUSE
The journey to the lighthouse is almost as lovely as the lighthouse itself. You need to get onto a narrow road that branches off from the main road near Harminder Bay. Soon, the tarmac vanishes and you find yourself in the midst of a jungle. There are several secluded and beautiful beaches en route. In fact, after a point it’s easier to ride on the beach than to use the jungle trail. A little over 10 kilometres in, you will see the South Bay light house standing tall. Visitors are allowed to enter and climb to the top of the lighthouse from where you get a commanding view of the dense jungle and blue sea.
Note: It’s best to go here when the tide is low (so that you can ride a scooty on the beach). Also make sure you have enough time to do the trip back while sunlight lasts. You don’t want to be lost in the jungle when darkness falls.
WHITE SURF WATERFALL
One usually associates an island with beaches, but the waterfalls on Little Andaman are a pleasant surprise to visitors. White Surf Waterfall is the most easily accessible waterfall and is one of the “eco-tourism” spots on the island. There is a very inviting pool right at the foot of the waterfall, but unfortunately swimming is not allowed due to the presence of crocodile friends (somewhere on the island). Thanks to the dense jungle cover, it’s pleasant to visit at any time of day, however, I’d recommend going sometime in the middle of the day because there’s a higher chance of not finding anybody else around. It’s accessible on all days except Monday.
Note: There is another waterfall on the island that locals refer to as “Big Waterfall”. Some people say that you can find it by yourself, but many caution that its better to go there with a local guide. Rumour has it that a few people who tried trekking to the waterfall solo ended up getting lost for a few days. I didn’t have the time to make this expedition, but if it’s something that interests you, you should talk to some locals and make it happen. If you go, send me some pictures and tell me about your experience.
BUTLER BAY BEACH
Butler Bay is the most popular beach on Little Andaman. If you are looking for a pristine beach that is easily accessible, this is the place to go to. It’s beautiful, no doubt, but it comes last on my list because it’s so well-known. If you want to find something more secluded, I would recommend exploring the beaches further south (on the route to South Bay light house mentioned above).
Also watch the YouTube video that I made from my trip to Little Andaman – click here.
Bonus Tip: In addition to visiting each of these spots, I would strongly recommend doing a ride across the entire length of the island. The landscape in the Northern end of the island is drastically different from the Southern side and there are several surprise changes in scenery along the way too. The vast Arracknut plantations near VK Pur are drastically different from the dense jungle near South Bay. The road in the North is smooth tarmac, but as you go further South it all but vanishes, leaving you to find your way through puddles of slush and much along with the local wildlife. There’s no better way to truly experience the diversity of this not-so-little island.