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Little Andaman Islands (Hutbay) - How to Visit and Tour Planning

Just like the name goes, Little Andaman is a little beautiful unexplored place of Andamans. Famous by the name of its main village and the largest settlement –Hut Bay (rarely known by its other name Kwate-tu-kwage, this island is part of the Little Andaman Group (Little Andaman is the counter part of Great Andamans).

At a distance of about 120 Kilometers by sea from the capital town of Port Blair, this island has become a tribal reserve from sometime near to 1957. This is considered home to the Onge Tribes, even though there are multilingual settlers of Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and Ranchi communities.

Lying at the southern end of the archipelago, this island is the fourth largest island in Andamans covering an area of about 707 Square kilometers. Hut Bay Jetty is the only harbor for ships or boats coming into this island from the capital town –Port Blair. Little Andamans is less explored due to the limited mode of connection with the capital town of Port Blair. The distance from the capital town to this rarely touched paradise remains unmeasured for there is no detailed facts that could make the travelers plan a visit to this place. We, being the local hosts and the island experts of Andamans, thought of going out there to the Little corner of our home- and measure out every inch of this paradise for you to get familiar with the place. When you complete reading this article, you’ll be seeing Hutbay through our eyes. We have been there ourselves, to make sure that the travelers within you knows how this place can be accumulated in your trip plan.

When we stepped into Little Andamans after quite a few years, we found this place to be still back in time. It hasn’t changed except for few infrastructural growths; some forest departmental actions and the help of the administration have given a slight upliftment to this place.

How to reach Little Andamans ?

The Little Andamans is a separate piece of Island and hence sea-route is the only option to enter this place. The gateway to enter Little Andamans is the Hut Bay harbor. As on February 2020, you can reach Little Andamans (Hutbay) only through Government operated ferries / ships from Port Blair.
There are big ferries (having seating capacity of 250 and above) that sails from Haddo wharf at Port Blair for Hutbay.

Duration: Duration of this voyage from Port Blair to Hutbay is of about 8-10 hours (Depending upon few factors like the size of vessel, day of the week and of course the Sea condition). While we took up this trip, we left from Port Blair (boarded the ferry) at 10:00 am in the morning and we reached the Hutbay Jetty at around 05:30 pm in the evening of the same day.

Schedule: These ferries are not available every day, but they operate 4-5 times a week. Sailing timings and schedule for these ferries are published in the local administrative Newspapers- the Daily Telegrams and Dweep Samachar.

Ticket Issuance: The tickets are issued 2-3 days prior to the sailing. So if you are looking for a travel to this island, you have to start checking the schedule at least 6-7 days prior to your travel date to Little Andamans

MV Coral Queen & MV Campbell Bay are the two ferries/ ships operating currently for the sector of Port Blair to Little Andaman and vice-versa.

The tickets for these sailings are issued from the STARS ticket counter and few authorized Common Service Centres (CSCs).

To travel and commute within Little Andaman

Upon reaching the Hutbay harbor, the means of commute within the island are:

- Government Buses:

The buses operated by the State Transport Services (STS) can be availed with nominal fares between 20-40 INR for getting transferred from the harbor to different villages. However these buses won’t go up to the beaches or tourist attractions.

- Private Vehicle:

Privately operated Jeeps, auto-rikshaws are also available to be hired from the harbor area to assist you in commuting within the island. These Jeeps are the mode of transport for all sightseeings also as there are too less or no commercial tourist vehicles available in this island. Some departmental registered vehicles like Maruti Sedans, Scorpio, Tata Sumo are available and those too are deputed in the service of Government officials or VIPs coming in to the island.

- Two-wheelers:

If you are comfortable riding a two-wheeler, then you can hire one from the main market areas of Little Andaman like –Hut Bay Indira Bazar, Netaji Nagar Market or RK Pur market. All you have to do is to hire a Jeep/ rickshaw or get on to a STS bus, to reach any of these market areas and hire a Two-wheeler for rest of the journey.

Whether to plan to touch this place or not?

This island is a platter full of wonderful sights. So to plan or not plan this place in your itinerary is not just depending upon your interests because who chooses Andaman as their destination is definitely supposed to fascinate the white sands and crystal clear waters. If you are planning to add a visit to Little Andamans, first of all you have to be flexible with your return date –Keeping in view the schedule of the ferries (we’ll tell you more about the schedules and availability in our “How to reach” section). Second thought you should take is that whether you’ll be able to adjust in eco-huts and limited menu for your meals? (You’ll get to know more on this part in our “Accommodations” and “Food options” sections of the article).

Are you traveling as a group of youngsters? Are you couples having a flexible holiday or you are a solo-traveler on a long peace-finding vacation? If your answer to any of the above questions happens to be yes, then why not consider adding this paradise to your exploring list? Come along with us to get help planning further.

Places to see and things to do:

Attractions:

Little Andaman –having bigger waves in its waters, offers the possibility of Surfing in its beaches. You may grab our own surf-board and surf around in the waters of Kalapathar Beach or Buttler Bay Beach.

There is a road on the eastern coastal side of the island; the entire opposite side is either beach or forest. The villages along this coast are named based on their distance-per-Kilometer from the Hutbay Wharf.

Rarest of the Marine Turtle species, the extensive Rainforests, enchanting White surf waterfalls, white sandy beaches having high wavy waters that makes Little Andaman being the only place providing opportunity of Surfing in Andamans. Unlike in Havelock and Neil where there are lots of water activity service providers available, there are no vendors found yet, who can prove assistance to these activities as on date. So the travelers and the adventure junkies are supposed to carry their own snorkels, Surfing boards, etc to enjoy the adventurous phase of the trip in Little Andamans. There are many places that can be explored in Little Andamans.

When you start from the Hutbay harbor towards the northern side of the island, you find the sights of attractions in the below sequence:

- Hutbay Beach: At a distance of about 4.5 to 5Kilometers, a long stretch of white sandy beach nears the harbor of Hutbay. This beach is shaped like a curve and this is the starting of the long stretch of beaches that is there in Little Andamans. As stated earlier, the eastern coastal side is a stretch of road having only beaches on one side and plots and plantations towards the other side of this road stretch which is a combination of black-top road and muddy roads.

- White Surf waterfall: This waterfall is located at a distance of about 6.5 Kilometers from the Hutbay Harbor. To reach this waterfall we are supposed to trek for 4 Kilometers into the Jungle following the trekking trails. Signboards are erected on the way by the forest department to guide the travelers. From the 4th Kilometer crossing there is a off-road drive within the jungle for a distance of about 800meters. This jungle ride opens up to a picturesquely beautiful waterfall. This small 20-25 meters high waterfall having cold water flowing in between the surrounding green Bamboo grass all around and the water gushing through and bumping into huge rocks is a breathtaking view to see and provides picture-came-alive type moment.

- Netaji Nagar Beach: Situated at 11Kilometers from Hutbay wharf, Netaji Nagar Beach flaunts its white sand clear waters with least sea rock even near the shore. This beach is surrounded by Coconut and Arecanut trees.

- Kalapathar Beach (Janta Tikrey): This beach is another white sand beach situated in Janta Tikrey village at a distance of about 12 Kilometers from the harbor. Surfing is not allowed in this beach. This beach derives its name from the black rocky limestone formation. Due to this rocky nature of this beach, swimming is not allowed in this beach. The rocks close to this beach creates illusion of a huge bowl in which sea water gets filled in during high tides, making it a small salt-water swimming pool in which you can swim. The surroundings of thick rainforest and some eco-huts laid out by the forest department makes it an ideal picnic spot to spend some time and relax.

- Buttler Bay Beach: This is the most famous beach in Little Andaman (Hutbay). This beach has gained popularity for its varied marine activity options. There are departmental eco- huts made near the shore side of this beach itself for tourists. There are activities available like boating near the creek of the Buttler Bay beach, surfing near the northern side of the beach, expert snorkelers or divers can bring their own snorkel masks or diving equipments along and go for underwater viewing session of the rich coral life in the nearby waters of Buttler Bay beach. This beach is located at a distance of 14 Kilometers from the Hutbay harbor. Buttler Bay beach has gained popularity as one of the best surfing destinations of India. Some private resorts also lend Surfboards on rent for surfing enthusiasts.

- Whisper Wave waterfall: Whisper Waves waterfall is located in Krishna Nallah, 15 Kilometers from the Hutbay harbor. The way towards this beach is few minutes’ drive from the main road and a trekking through jungle for about 4 Kilometers.

- Ramkrishna Pur: Popularly (locally) known as RK Pur, is a village at 16Kilometers. There is a water Dam in RK Pur. No hydro-electricity or hydra-energy is generated in this Dam. But the locals treat this as an attraction due to the lush green surroundings of Areca-Nut and Coconut plantations.

Accomodation Options:

Private accommodations: There are 5-6 privately run lodges/ Guest houses and eco-resorts that we could locate in Little Andaman to serve as an accommodation option during your stay.
Most of the stays that we found were double sharing’s or single occupancies fan-cooled eco-cottages with basic amenities like a bed with mattress and pillows, with attached toilet and bath. It is suggested to carry your own bath towels, beach towels, personal hygiene essentials and toiletries.
Most of these private accommodations are situated in the locations between Hutbay beach near the harbor and Kalapathar Beach at Janta Tikrey.

Government accommodations: There are guest houses/ lodges operated by departments like APWD and Forest Department. A government organization, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Forest Plantation Development Corporation Limited (ANIFPDCL) has also built a guest house and few beach side eco-cottages. These government accommodations are available to the government officials / government servants on providing due applications for reserving them.
These rooms are allotted to tourists also, but only on the basis of availability. Hence the availability of these resorts can be checked on arriving at the islands only.
TIP: Any of the government or privately run accommodations of Little Andaman (Hutbay) are not available online on any portal. Even if they are seen updated, it is better to contact a local tour operator, who has telephonic touch-n-tie-up with these properties so that a confirmed reservation could be done for your stay.
There are hardly 70-75 rooms inventory overall in Little Andaman for the visitors. As on current dates, there are lesser tourists going to the Little Andamans as a part of their trip. So you may consider booking an accommodation as a walk-in-customer. But, as we always say –Nothing is better than pre-booking.

Food Options:

There are small locally operated Dhabas / canteens that serve good hygienic food. There are fast food stalls and snack bakeries also in the major market areas of the villages there.
It is best to keep your menu for the day decided and ordered to one of your chosen eatery, because they don’t have all ingredients and supplements to serve you on the spot other than general local meals. If you order your preferences a meal before, it is easier for them to keep the food ready for you and this helps you too when you rush to the restaurant in hunger and get served with your choice of food.
Just as we discovered, Hutbay is specialized for Sea food (mainly crabs & prawns) just like other places in Andamans and for people having a sweet tooth, Rosogullas sold by the Bengali sweet stalls is a delicacy worth packing and taking away along.

What To Expect While Travleing To Little Andamans:

The place: The major visitors traveling in and out of Little Andamans are either the residents of this island, the government workers or officials who travel for work / research duties, or the people (like us) who stay in other islands of Andamans traveling for an inter-island vacation.
The above fact must have made it clear in your mind that there will be lesser hospitality services available. People who stay there may not be very fluent in English, but they speak Hindi widely, and regional languages like Bengali, Ranchi, and Tamil & Telugu are spoken here apart from few tribal-native languages.
The major occupation of the people living in Little Andamans is either fishing or owning or working in plantations. The major plantations in Little Andamans are Palm plantation (Red Oil Palms), Lotus, water lilies, Cash crops like Coconut plantations and Arecanut plantation; vegetable farms are also seen there. Spices like Nutmeg, Cinnamon and cloves are grown in the farms of Agriculture departmental farms which also do bee-keeping.
There was once a palm oil extraction mill in Little Andamans, which is now closed. The palm plantation here covers a huge area of about 1600 Hectares.
There are some areas in Little Andamans which are restricted for visit by tourists under the protection Acts for Tribes (PAT). So as a visitor, you’ll have to follow some guidelines of DO’s and DONT’s as suggested by the people or government officials there. Mobile Networks: Only BSNL and Airtel networks are available for call and text messages. Vodafoe works in some part of Andamans, but in Little Andaman, Vodafone network won’t work.
Internet connections: There are hardly few broadband connections in Little Andamans which are available in commercial outlets. These shops can provide you paid WiFi connections based on the connectivity (which comes n goes).
So before you land into this land, make sure you have the knowledge about the place and you are aware of the facts and arrangements required that can make your journey smooth and the experience better.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) About Little Andaman Island

How many days are required to visit just Long Andaman?

To visit Little Andaman atleast 4 days are required. 2 Days are kept aside just to go back and forth to little Andaman. The remaining 2 days to explore this untouched paradise.

Is Little Andaman Island a Must visit place?

People who are in search of remote and exotic destinations in its pure form should never miss Little Andaman Island. For Backpackers, Nature photographers and offbeat travelers Hutbay (Little Andaman) is the place to be touched once in a lifetime.

Who can avoid Little Andaman Island?

Travelers who are visiting Andaman for the first time and are coming for fewer number of days to the islands can avoid Little Andaman. Travelers with Kids can avoid this island as well.

How many days in total is required to cover entire Andaman including Little Andaman?

To visit all the islands including Port Blair, Havelock, Neil, Baratang, Diglipur, Rangat, Long Island and Little Andaman keep atleast 3 weeks to explore it properly.




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