Marine National Park
National Park is situated offshore from the southern
coast of the Gulf of Kutch in the Jamnagar district of
Gujarat. The Gulf of Kutch, located on the west coast of
India is an arm of the Arabian Sea, and separates the
Saurashtra peninsula from the Great and Little Rann of
Kutch. It is about 58 km wide on the seaward (western)
side, and 170 km wide in the eastern side. The Marine
national park was established in 1982 under the
provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for
the protection of threatened marine flora and fauna in
the area. This park was declared as the first marine
national park in India in 1982 and covers an area of 458
square kms. The Marine national park consists of an
archipelago of 42 islands. Some of the best known
islands are Pirotan, Karubhar, Narara, Poshitra.
in the Marine National Park
Colourful coral reefs, mangrove swamp forests, mudflats, sea
grass, sea weeds, Saag, Sesam, Kheru, Limda and rocky shoals
form the landscape of the shallow waters of the park. These
plants prevent the land based predators from penetrating and
also provides shelter to the birds for nesting and roosting
purposes. Coral lichen, Coral sponge, Green sponge, Puffer Fish,
Crabs, Prawns, Sea anemones, Jelly Fishes, Octopus, Sea hare,
Shelled mollusks, Sea slug, Star fish, Dolphins, Sea turtles and
various coastal birds like painted storks, herons, egrets,
ibises, spoonbills, darters, flamingoes, avocets, ducks, terns,
gulls, little cormorants and stints can be seen feeding
mudflats and rocky shores, nesting on the mangrove canopies and
wading in shallow coastal waters. Dugong or sea cow, a marine
mammal that looks like sea and breed in the Arabian sea and rare
species of Bonnalia, an undivided worm, was also found here.
During the monsoon season, 30 different species of migratory
birds make their home among the mangrove forests. One of the
most threatened birds, the great Indian bustard and Chowsingha,
the world’s only four-horned antelope is also found in certain
protected areas in this island.
In the marine
national park, corals create fantasies in stone and are the
master builders of the park. Their limestone fortresses come in
a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from the convoluted brain
coral to corals that look like horns. There are some plants that
look like animals and animals that look like plants. There are
various varieties of turtles, shrimp, sponge, eels, sea urchin
lurk, fishes and octopuses that create a brilliance of colours
that can be unknown, unseen and unimaginable to us. Gobies are
also there which clean parasites from other fish and fishes who
burrow so deep that only their eyes can seen. The Marine
National Park also maintains a hatchery at Madhopur near
Porbandar and also some temporary hatcheries on islands near
Okha and Dwarka.
Best time to visit the
The best time to visit the
Marine national park is from end of October till end of
February. You can also hire boats at jetties near Jamnagar
for a trip to the Marine national park.
How to get here
The nearest airport is
located at Jamnagar, about 7 kms.
The nearest railway station
are located at Jamnagar and Rajkot.
The nearest bus stand is
located at Jamnagar.