A dive into the colorful marine life at nature’s abode underwater, the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has a lot to offer to a nature lover. The National Park has a rich marine biodiversity and has a different aura of nature’s one of the most beautiful forms. The National Park has an enormous number of marine flora and fauna as well as shore and intertidal habitats. This very distinguished marine habitat is an emblem of astonishing natural beauty which is profoundly the first marine national park in India with 42 islands located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has a variety of natural habitat including the most beautiful coral reefs is one of the major attractions of the area. The park is often referred as “Underwater Tropical Rainforests” due to its exquisite biodiversity. The glass bottom boat rides offer a mesmerizing experience to all the nature lovers, wanderers, wildlife explorers, bird watchers, and adventurers. The trip would be a lifetime experience providing a glimpse of one of the most breathtaking natural beauty that will make you carry a bag full of memories for a decade and its spell for a lifetime.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is located in the Tamil Nadu state of South India stretching across the coasts of Tuticorin, Rameshwaram, Tirunelveli, and Kanyakumari(Domestic Trips> South> Kanyakumari).
The 21 island which forms the Gulf of Mannar constitute islands of several groups including seven islands of the Keelakari group, four islands from the Tuticorin group, seven islands belonging to Mandapam group and the rest three islands from the Member group.
The area consists of the area between Tuticorin and Dhanushkoti(Nature Tours> South India> Dhanushkoti) and is separated by Palk Straits also known as Adam’s Bridge Rama Bridge on the south-eastern part of India in the Indian Ocean.
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park was declared to be a National Park in the year 1980. In 1989, the park was updated as a Biosphere reserve preserving the rich and rare marine wildlife.
The National Park was earlier known as the Pamban to Tuticorin Barrier Reef because of the beautiful coral reefs that form the backbone of the park and extend from Pamban to Tuticorin.
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park has a Tropical climate. It has hot and humid climate from the month of March to May. There is an average rainfall in the months of July to September while the winters are cool with an average temperature of about -17 degrees in the months of November to February.
The climatic conditions are favorable for the major ecosystem of Mangroves and Coral Reefs with a rainfall from both northeast and southwest. The tides are recorded to be in average amplitude of half meters. There is heavy rainfall during the months of October to December in the region.
Flora and Fauna
Nature has blessed the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park with a wide variety of flora and fauna. The natures’ Haven has some of the rarest and richest habitats including the coral reefs being one of the major attractions of the area. Other dominant flora constitutes the Mangroves which are found in the intertidal zone of the islands and the shallow waters which consist of a kind of grass which is found in only this region in India. There are about 12 species of sea grass and 147 species of sea weeds found in this marine ecosystem.
The fauna of the National Park consists of one of the most famous pearl banks of Pinctada Radiata and Pinctada Fucata. There are a variety of mammals which includes the Dugong being the most important mammal of the park. The other animals include Marine Turtles, Spineless Porpoise, Dwarf Sperm Whale, Spinner Dolphin, Melon-headed Whale, Parrot Fish, Clownfish, shrimps, lobsters, gastropods and a lot of other species of the marine ecosystem including some endangered animals like Blue Whale and Fin Whale. Many migratory birds like the red knot, crab plovers and bar-tailed godwit with flocks and flamingos are also known to visit the park. The glass bottom boat can provide a beautiful view of marine life as well as the birds and other connected habitats in a nature tour to Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park which will be cherished forever.
Route For Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
The road routes include various buses from the major cities nearby like Ramanathapuram, Madurai, and Rameshwaram.
- Nearest Railway Station: Rameshwaram and Tuticorin
- Nearest Airport: At a distance of 150 km in Madurai
- Best Time to visit: October to March