Marine National Park (Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu)
The Marine National Park of Gulf of Mannar is located in the districts of Ramanathapuram in the state of Tamil Nadu in India.
The park is an archipelago of 21 islands ringed by colorful coral beds and fringing reefs.
The nearest town is Tuticorin. The nearest railway station is also at Tuticorin. The closest airport is at Madurai.
The Marine National Park of Gulf of Mannar is located in the tropical zone. There are meadows of sea grasses. Littoral scrub forest can be seen in patches. Natural trees doesn’t generally grow in these islands. The people have raised trees of babul and coconut in plenty.
The fauna found are several species of birds, hare, squirrel, dugong, sea turtles, dolphin, etc. All the islands are egg laying sites for not less than 6 species of turtles. During winter season, thousands of migratory birds are found in the parks of the island.
The eco-system of the Marine National Park at Gulf of Mannar is under threat. A number of industrial units have sprung up round the islands. These industries discharge the effluents into the sea water which results into the death of whales and dolphins at the shores near the gulf. Expeditious remedial measures need to be taken to save this nature reserve.
The best season to visit this park is from October to March. Accommodation facilities are available only at Rameshwaram.