Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is located in the areas of Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram districts near Mandapam – 150 kms away from Madurai, South India. The Park is spread over an area of 623 ha. Of land and consisting of 21 small islands (islets) and adjacent coral reefs in the Gulf of Mannar in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the world’s richest regions from marine bio diversity perspective and the first marine Biosphere Reserve in Southeast Asia. The Park can be accessed only with glass bottomed boats.
All these 21 islands are divided into 4 different groups which are as follow:
The Tuticorin group: Vaan (16.00 hectares), Koswari (19.5 hectares), Vianguchalli (0.95 hectares) and Kariyachalli (16.46 hectares).
The Vembar group: Uppu Thanni (22.94 hectares), PuluviniChalli (6.12 hectares) and Nalla Thanni (101 hectares).
The Kilakarai group: Anaipar (11.00 hectares), Vali Munai (6.72 hectares), Poovarasan Patti (0.50 hectares), Appa (28.63 hectares), Talairi (75.15 hectares), Valai (10.10 hectares) and Mulli (10.20 hectares)
The Mandapam group: Musal (124.00 hectares), Manoli (25.90 hectares), Manoli Putti (2.34 hectares), Poomarichan (16.58 hectares), Pullivasal (29.95 hectares), Kurusadai (65.80 hectares) and Shingle (12.69 hectares)
Gulf of Mannar National Park was declared as a Marine National Park in 1986. In 1989, the National Park was given the status of a Biosphere Reserve.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is rich in vegetation provides important feeding grounds for the vulnerable marine mammals, the Dugong, endangered Green turtles and Olive Ridley turtles. There is a recorded 12 species of sea grass and 147 species of sea weeds in the entire zone.
The main attraction of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is coral reefs and turtles. Dugong, a vulnerable marine mammal is the flagship mammal of the park. About 510 (23%) of the 2,200 fin fish species in Indian waters are found in the Gulf, making it the most highly diverse fish habitat in India.
Glass bottomed boat facilities for viewing the underwater life is available there. It is a best and recommended place for Bird watchers.
Best time to visit:
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is open throughout the year. October to March d the best time to visit this Park.
Timings and Fee:
Visitors are advised to get in touch with officials of the sanctuary for complete information entry timings and fee.
There are several accommodation options around Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park to accommodate outsiders or tourists. Visitors are advised to get in touch with us to get know about accommodation and other facilities along with charges.
By Road: Mandapam – 150 kms away from Madurai
By Train: Mandapam-Ramanathapram,Tuticorin
By Air: Madurai