Nandu's day out at Kalapathar Village Beach shelter-Andaman Islands(India)

Exploring Andamans-Part 5-Reaching Kalapathar Village

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This is part of a series, where I take my little son with me on my travels to help him understand responsible and sustainable tourism, so that he grows up to be a responsible citizen who can help inspire others to also understand the importance of respecting nature and nurturing it. In this series, we explore the Andaman Islands as part of #ResponsibleTravelForKids series. Can travel be made more meaningful and enjoyable for kids? Lets explore and find out. Check Part-0 Part-1 , Part-2 , Part-3 and Part-4 so far.

Entering Kalapathar

It was about 10 am, when I had come to the Kalapathar side of the island. The island seemed breathtakingly beautiful as we made our way with the sea opening out on one side and the tall trees by a hill on the other side. The road was patchy, as the population decreased along the 10 kilometre stretch from the market at Beach number 3 to Kalapathar Village. There was something very inclusive about the village, as soon as we saw the board that Kalapathar village welcomes us. The beach had a small road which had about 7 shops, selling food and beach wear, and 10 metres from it was one of the most pristine patches of sand that I have seen. In between was a shelter made out of tree logs, as seen in Munda Pahar, dotting the beach sands.

Nandu loved the beach, and made it a point to get right to the beach, and open his book and spend the day by telling us Spiderman tales, and by immersing himself in the turquoise waters of Kalapathar Beach.

Nandu’s Lesson #1- Its possible to spend a day just reading a book by a beach. The sea is calming and is always a source of energy for every session spent playing in the water.

Nandu's day out at Kalapathar Village Beach shelter-Andaman Islands(India)
Nandu’s day out at Kalapathar Village Beach shelter-Andaman Islands(India)

We went and checked in to the Flying Elephants Resort, and quickly came out to the restaurant that lies a 100 metres away from the resort on the village road, with an easy ambience inside. Our food affairs were limited as we mostly ordered bread toasts for breakfast and usually had the Dal-Chawal-Roti combo for lunch in the couple of days that we were there.

At the Flying Elephants Resort in Kalapathar(Andaman Islands-India)
At the Flying Elephants Resort in Kalapathar(Andaman Islands-India)

 

The resort had 2 types of huts. One type of huts was having a ground and a first floor through steps within the house, and the other type of hut had a front area as a balcony and a room right inside, all made of wood and bamboo, and that too very tastefully by the founders Lynda and Benny (who we did not meet during our stay, as they were traveling to Neil Island around the same time)

The houses have a pathway connecting the main part of the resort, which also houses a yoga centre. This resort has NO Air conditioners, NO Internet, NO telephone signals. You have chickens walking across the grass on either sides, and you are in exactly the kind of surrounding that mankind was meant to be. Waking up to the sounds of birds at 4 am, talking with fellow humans, sleeping at 9 pm, go for long walks in the forests and use the moon’s light for navigation, See sunrises and sunsets by a calm sea. Nature can help us re-discover that side of us, only when we blank out digital noises around us. It was beautiful and surreal being in a almost zero night pollution zone and our bodies were slowly getting synced to nature. Our mobiles were stashed in a corner safe, as they were of no use. No GPS, No Internet, No Signals.

Nandu’s Lesson #2- It’s possible to stay in the forest without air-conditioning and without television, and to follow a healthy sleeping routine in sync with the environment

The Long Pathway to our room at Flying Elephant Resort (Kalapathar Village in Havelock Island-Andamans)
The Long Pathway to our room at Flying Elephant Resort (Kalapathar Village in Havelock Island-Andamans)

 

Rotis for Lunch at Flying Elephants (Kalapathar Village in Andaman Islands-India)
Rotis for Lunch at Flying Elephants (Kalapathar Village in Andaman Islands-India)

Monsoon and Siesta

After a little siesta we headed out to the beach again, and it started to get very overcast. I knew that I was missing a sunset this evening owing to the cloudy nature. It then occured to me that this was the eastern direction, and the beach to be seeing a sunset was actually on the western side at Radhanagar. I could do nothing about it this evening, as that would mean, I would need to travel all the way to the market and take another bus from there to Radhanagar, which was easily an hour of public transport. Maybe I could do with a rental vehicle, but for today, I was content watching the pregnant monsoon in the Andamans, since the Indian mainland was having a scorching summer.

Monsoon laced evening at Kalapathar Beach
Monsoon laced evening at Kalapathar Beach

The rains came about slowly. The clouds were slowly building up giving people enough indications that a downpour was imminent and with the gathering of clouds, most of the people packed up early. Nandu and I were in the outer fringes of the sea, and we were enjoying lazing in the water and splashing each other. When it started raining Nandu was still in the water, and he realised that the water felt warmer while being in the sea, and he felt chill as soon as he came to the shelter where new clothes and towels were waiting.

Nandu enjoying the chill reaches of the sea in KalaPathar VillageNandu enjoying the chill reaches of the sea in KalaPathar Village

Monsoons! Yay!Monsoons! Yay!

Nandu and I were brushing ourselves dry, when we noticed a fisherman walk into the sea to cast his net. He did not seem to go far. He was at the fringes and spent some time before coming out. On days like these fishermen, who live by the coastal villages are far more cognizant of nature’s fury (which has probably denied them business for the day), than tourists who come to the island. We city dwellers dont quite understand the slow pace of life, and always plan packed itineraries even when the sea is part of the equation. The locals respect the sea, and the un-predictability that comes with sea life (rough weather, high seas with swelling tides), while we city dwellers cant quite react or manage un-predictability so easily. The city dweller that I am talking about is people like you and me, who find the change in the pace of life so different from the mainland to the Andaman islands.

A fisherman finding his catch in Kalapathar for the evening!
A fisherman finding his catch in Kalapathar for the evening!

Meanwhile, I could smell Maggi in the air. The shop on the beach road was closing down soon, and he was belting out Omlettes, Maggi and Pakodas to the remaining few people, who wanted to savour the smell of monsoon along with some tea and hot tasty snacks. With some Maggi for the night, I walked across the forest path to the resort, to stare into the night sky and tell my little son over stars.

Fresh Maggi for the rains!
Fresh Maggi for the rains!

We had an early start to our bed time, and it was pleasant to watch Nandu sleep before me and that too around 9 pm. 9 pm in the Andamans feels like midnight on the mainland, since the darkness starts to creep in from 5 pm. The next morning, I woke up rejuvenated and energetic at 4:15 am, and noticed that there was light rain outside. The place looked beautiful. I waited to go watch the greens outside the resort in the path leading to the beach. There was a sense of excitement that last probably came during Childhood when you wake up to a cloudy morning, visualizing that there could be no school that day. Today’s feeling was similar, except that there was no element of school coming in here. I grabbed at my rain bag which had my camera, and proceeded across the pathway, waiting to be part of the surreal scenery that would unfold.

Dawn View of our pathway at Flying Elephants Resort in Kalapathar Village (Havelock Island-Andaman Islands(India)
Dawn View of our pathway at Flying Elephants Resort in Kalapathar Village (Havelock Island-Andaman Islands(India)

 

G E T T I N G   T H E R E 

We stayed at ‘The Flying Elephants’ in Havelock Island (Kalapathar Village). Check room rates, and facilities here. You can reach Havelock Island by a ferry/helicopter from Port Blair.

Between Port Blair to Havelock, there are 2 private ferries (Green Ocean and Makruzz) and 1 Government Ferry. The private ferries have online advanced booking, while the booking window for the government ferry is 3-4 days in advance. You would need a local/agent to book the government ferry for you.

There are daily flights to Port Blair from Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chennai. Carriers that service Port Blair include, Jet AirwaysAir IndiaSpiceJet and GoAir. Round-trip fares vary in price depending on how early you book.  It usually costs a minimum of about 11,000 INR return from Chennai. A 15kg check-in luggage limit exists for most air-planes. There are no international flights from Port Blair.

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27 thoughts on “Exploring Andamans-Part 5-Reaching Kalapathar Village”

  1. My last trip to India we were so close to visit this beautiful place. Reading your blog i have regrets but next time! I love the accommodation very similar to what you find in Goa. Looks incredible thanks for the info!

  2. Andaman is a great place for a blissful retreat! Nandu seems to be enjoying his time here! I have been to Kalapathar and scuba dived in other parts of Andaman so i fully understand the joy of being there! The rainy shot of Flying elephants’ resort is amazing!

  3. The city dwellers are pretty much clueless about many things where nature is concerned. I’d be the first to admit it since I grew up in the city. To me it’s all about appreciating the view, swimming a little, getting a tan, but to the locals of course, the sea is life. They grew up swimming in it, they sail not to have a vacation but fish for a living, and so they know the sea more than what any city dwellers could ever understand.

    1. More than that Marge, I brought that up more so to say that they are more in sync with nature. They have a deeper understanding of life and patterns with nature. I am saying we city bred people, are not in sync with nature as much as the locals on coastal villages are

  4. Looks like Nandu enjoyed every bit of the ocean! haha that’s nice! I also could probably do a little siesta if I am there. Hope to visit soon too!

  5. Andaman is no doubt as beautiful as ever. Kalapatthar is a must visit for Indians, for the sake of our past and to remind us what was the cost we paid for our independence. So, it’s a must do on my bucket list as well when I happen to visit Andaman.

  6. I didn’t know which country you had been to, before the first comment mentioning India. I’ve been to Goa once, but I would love to see a lot more of the country. I love anything Asian, and the food is so great, I would skip anything saying Maggi though 😀

  7. I really love the fact that you no only travel but also teach your son the simple things in life. Nandu is a really lucky boy. Nowadays we are so dependent on things like air conditioning, mobile phones, internet etc. that it’s affecting our lifestyle. I would love to spend time at the beach immersed in a book and wake up to the sound of birds. I’ve not been to Andamans yet but I’m definitely adding it to my bucket list!

  8. This is a great activity for kids. It’s beneficial to involve our children in these kind of activities. They will be open to certain things rather than letting them immersed in the digital world that we have today. The place seems to be nice and cozy and I could imagine the scent of Maggi noodles swirling in the air. Love your story here, it has a relaxing vibe in it.

    1. Thank you Blaine! I am so happy by your feedback on the post having a relaxing vibe! That’s all I want people to take inspiration from my blog. Relaxes them and inspires them to see the world in a positive light.

  9. I have been in love with Andaman ever since my last visit. In monsoon it looks even more pretty. I am glad your son enjoyed the pleasures of just being one with nature 🙂

    1. Hey Swati! That’s nice to know that you have been there in the monsoons. I am sure it must have really been green! I just happened to have a cloudy day, but coming here in the monsoons would be challenging since the sea would be rough and that means not everyone can plan their trip to the T here in Andamans.

  10. Andamans is my favorite beach destination. The Kala pathar beach was something I visited as a part of the beach hopping that we were doing. Loved the water there. And yes, as you said, without a wifi and tv, life was bliss

  11. The way you described the maggi and the pakodas makes me really hungry.I wonder how you managed to survive without mobile signals or gps,I would have gotten really bored without them.I don’t think my generation(I’m a college student) or the generations after mine can survive without a phone.

  12. I always look forward to your posts! I love how you’re pictures really bring these places you visit to life for me!! I LOVE it. Thanks for the mini holiday ?? and a great post

    1. Thanks Tahnee! I feel so happy that you look forward to the posts and that I am able to virtually make you travel. The mini holiday has 5 more posts coming up. Do visit them when you have the time!

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