The gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is established within the larger gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve in Tamil Nadu. The marine national park is spread across an area of 560 square kilometers and is located in the coromandel coast region, the national park consists of 21 islets enclosed by coral reef areas and the slightly underwater habitat of marine biodiversity.
This protective area has a high diversity of aquatic plants and animals. The national park is counted amongst the richest areas in terms of marine biodiversity and has three marine ecosystems, Seagrass, coral reefs, and mangroves. This is the beauty of the coral reefs of the gulf of Mannar marine national park that they are often esteemed as the underwater tropical rainforest. Moreover, the national park has 11 species of seagrass and 117 species of hard coral that are present in the biodiversity of the reserve. But the aquatic animals are the ones to be the concerned most, the reserve houses 5 species of turtles along with other marine species like whales, dolphins, sea cucumber, and dugongs that you can spot. Even though, the place is one of the most exotic travel destinations in south India for enjoying the holidays.
The dugong is an endangered marine mammal and the topmost attraction of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. This place is home to different vulnerable species of whales like humpback whales, fin whales, blue whales, and many more. Other vertebrates at the National Park that you can spot is including green turtles, olive ridley turtles, spinner dolphins, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, etc.
The Gulf of Mannar is fulfilled with coastal ecosystems and is considered one of the world’s richest regions from a marine biodiversity perspective it is known for its unique biological wealth and a storehouse of marine diversity at a global level. He gulf is the home of 4,223 species of plants and animals. The highly productive fringing and patch coral reefs surround the islands and are often called the underwater tropical rainforest and also called the treasure house for marine biodiversity and particularly ornamental fishes. And in order to specialize in these ecosystems is making the gulf of Mannar is a unique large marine ecosystem in the Indian subcontinent.
Also visit: The Lonar Crater in Maharashtra is a Cosmic Wonder
One of the beautiful pear fish, Pearl fishing has always been a part of the Gulf of Mannar. The pearl banks of Pinctada radiata and Pinctada fucata are better known for pearl fishing for the past 2000 years. The reserve holds more than 3600 species of marine organisms.
The Diversities one can find here is-
- Corals – 117 Species
- Mangroves – 13 Species
- Echinoderms – 100 Species
- Molluscans – 460 Species
- Sea Grasses – 12 Species
- Birds – 217 Species
So, what is the best time to visit the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park?
If you are planning to visit the Mannar, then visit in the months of October to March which is considered the ideal time to visit the Gulf of Mannar National Park for incredible experiences that you never experience before.
Are you looking out for the options to stay?
The park does not have its own hotel or resort but there are a number of accommodation options available in Rameswaram which is approximately 22 km and Ramanathapuram which is almost 59 km for tourists.