Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is located on the off-coast of Tamil Nadu State in India. It is situated at a distance of 10km away from the mainland of Tuticorin. This is the first Marine National Park in the country. A total of 21 Islands in the region were declared as protected areas. This park serves as a core area for Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve.
It was declared as a National Park in the Year 1980and earned the tag of “Biosphere reserve” in 1989. Within a radius of 10km from this park all types of human activities were strictly contained. This is done Inorder to protect the delicate marine ecosystem and marine life. Gulf of Mannar marine National Park stretches across an area of 6.23 km2.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
For most part of the year this region remains wet. It receives rainfall from both South-West and North-East Monsoons. North East Monsoons brings about a heavy down pour in the region, and it is usually advised not to visit this during this North-East monsoon period. Similar to the climatic conditions in the Indian Sub-continent, winter sets here in the month of January and summer during the month of March.
Gulf Of Mannar
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park had some rich Marine Bio-diversity in the while region. It serves as a home to a large number of exotic marine plant and animal species. The islands in the region are used as nesting grounds by Turtles. The coral reefs in this region are so abundant and therefore they are called as “Underground Tropical Rain Forest”. These Coral Reefs in turn support the entire marine life. Different Marine-ecosystems like Sea Grass, Mangroves and Coral Reefs were predominant here, in addition to those Algal communities and Salt Marshes were also found here. The beautiful Sandy shore of Islands enhances the scenic beauty of the region. This park acts as a shelter to nearly 360 species of Flora and Fauna.
Gulf Of Mannar Marine National Park Tourism
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park comprises of 21 Islands. Tourism and other human activities were strictly banned in this area. Aruvi Aru a Srilankan river and Tambarparini and Indian River merge with Indian Ocean on both ends of this Park. Based on their geographical position these Islands are categorized into four groups –
Vembar Group consists of Nalla Thanni, Uppu Thanni and Puluvinchalli islands.
Mandapam Group includes Poomarichan, Shingle, Pullivasal, Manoli Putti, Musal, and Manoli Islands.
Tuticorin Group has Kariyachalli, Vianguchalli, Kaswari and Vaan Islands.
Finally Kilakarai Group consists of Mulli, Vali Munai, Appa, Poovarsam Patti, Anaipar Valai and Talairi islands.
Except for few islands like Nalla Thanni, Musal and Krusadai all of them were uninhabited regions.
Must visit Places around gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
It will take nearly 3 days to tour entire 21 Islands. Prior permission need to be obtained to travel to these islands. However you can enjoy the exquisite marine life by a glass- bottom boat right. Besides it the following are some of the places you can visit here-
- Museum– This museum is being run Park officials. Here you can have a glance of rich marine life that is prevailed in this region.
- Rameshwaram– From here Rameshwaram an important tourist spot is located at a distance of 23 km. Here you can visit the famous Ramanathaswamy temple.
- Pamban Bridge– It connects Mainland of Tamil nadu to Pamban Island and spans a length of 2 km. It is the India’s first sea bridge.
Fishes- Mommon Dolphin, Humpback Whale, Parrot Fish, Squirrel fish, Blue Whale, Mink Whale, Fin Whale, Sperm Whale, Gastropods, Finless Porpoise etc.
Other Animals- Scaphpods, Shrimp, Bivalves, Cephalopods.
“Dugong” an n endangered Marine mammal was a special attraction here.
Nearly 5 types of Turtles can be seen here- Olive Ridley Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, , Hawksbill Turtle, Green Turtle and Leatherback Turtle.
Birds – A large number of Native and Migratory birds can be found here. Among the migratory birds Red Knot and Dulin are popular ones.
Native birds include Curlew Sandpiper, Stone Curlew, Broad billed Sandpiper, Little Stint.
Gulf Of Mannar Marine National Park How to Reach
Roadways : This Park is well connected to major towns in the region. Travel services to this region are offered by a number of private and government travels.
Railways : Rameshwaram Railway station is the nearest one located a distance of 27 km away from this park.
Airways : Madurai Airport is the nearest Airport located at a distance of 150km from this park.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park Accomodation
Currently y only private hotels were providing accommodation facilities which are located outside the park and the tariff rate starts from 1000 Rs.
Best Time to Visit Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
January to March are the ideal months to visit this palace
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park Timings
The will opened during following hours of the day
9:30 A.M to 12:30 P.M
1:30 P.M to 5:30 P.M