Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park - Tamil Nadu

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is believed to be the earliest marine biosphere reserve in Southeast Asia. It is also one of the richest marine bio diversity areas of the world. The park is located on the south eastern tip of the country about eight km away from the Tamil Nadu coast.

About the park
The marine park consists of 21 islands which are located about one to twenty-one km away from the mainland coast. The core region of the national park is approximately 560 sq km. It comprises of the coast of Rameswaram, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Tutucorin. There are about 125 villages on coastal region of the biosphere reserve.

Mangrove is the endemic vegetation here. Some of the important trees of the reserve include Bruguiera, Rhizophora, Ceriops, Avicennia, Lumnitzera and Prosopis. Sea grasses, seaweed and salt marshes are other vegetation covers of the park.

The fauna of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park comprises of Coral Reefs, Finless Porpoise, Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Squirrel Fish, Olive Ridley Turtles, Parrot Fish and so on. Dugong is an important fauna species here.

Visitors' tips
Permission is required from the Chief Wild Life Warden and Chief Conservator of Forests to visit the islands. Accommodation facilities are available in Ramanathapuram and Rameswaram.

How to reach
Madurai which is about 150 km away is the nearest airport. The nearby railway stations are at Tuticorin and Mandapam. One can also avail bus services from Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram to reach the park.

Tourist information
Address: Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park 76/1, Madhurai Road, Mandapam, Ramanathapuram, Tamilnadu.
Contact: (04567)230079
Best time to visit: anytime of the year.
Visiting hours: 9.30 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm to 5.30 pm
Closed: Sundays and other national holidays.

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