Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is located in Andaman district Island, in Andaman-Nicobar State, there is a small village named Wandoor, which is 29km. from Port Blair. The park is located on the South Western coast of Andaman. Wandoor is a small village with few shops and service to visitors. Wandoor is the entrance of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. The National park is the group of 15 Island, which are still untouched and fresh. The national park has pain purpose is to protect flora and fauna and marine life and coral reefs and also nesting sea Turtles. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established on 24th May 1983. Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader and Social worker, the park has been dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi’s for his great effort and work, which he has done for India, and India’s freedom, and people.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was set up in 1983 with the objective of protection of marine life such as corals and the nesting sea turtles prevalent in the area. Situated in Wandoor on the Andaman islands, which is 29 km away from Port Blair, the park is placed under the protection of the Chief Wildlife Warden of the forest department of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The national park area is the paradise for Marine life; it is famous for its crystal clear blue water, beaches with velvety soft sand and mangrove forests. The park area is near about 280sq.km. The marine life is also the prominent part of our Ecosystem its protection and safety is necessary like any other species.
The wandoor beach is very beautiful beach with clean water; the beach has a giant uprooted tree in the middle, which is like a memory of Tsunami. You can swim in the blue water, there are changing rooms are also available. You can see here many signboards written, beware from crocodiles. So one should follow the instructions, apart from that the beach area is calm and silent; you can relax here for hours, and enjoy the waves of ocean.
Terminalia Spp., Andaman Padauk, Andaman Bullet wood, Silk Cotton Tree, bamboos, Canes, Orchids, Gurjan, Ferns Auicennia etc are the dominant flora of the park. It would be difficult to understand for common man, but many people know about the types of flora.
Mammals- Wild Pig Spotted Deer, Bats etc.
Birds- Sea Eagle with white belly, Parakeets, Heron, Terns, Serpent Eagle, King Fisher, Reef Herons, Andaman Teal, Doves, Small Brown Ducks etc.
- Fishes- Parrot Fishes, Bat Fish, Butterfly Fish, hammer Headed shark, White Shark, Star fish etc.
- Corals- Acropora, Pacillopora, Montipora, Fungia, Tubipora, leptoseris etc.
- Reptiles-Green Sea, Hawks Bill, Olive Ridlay, Water Lizard, Sea Snake, Cobra, King cobra, Rattle Snake, Pit Viper, and crocodiles, Leather Back etc.
- Also included Sea Lily, clam Shell, cowries, troches, Sea Cucumber, Sponges, and Feather Star etc.
- Sea turtles and colorful fishes are very attractive especially for children.
- The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park stretches 15 island with that:
- Alexandra Island
- Belle Island
- Boat Island
- Chester Island
- Grub Island
- Hob day Island
- Jolly buoy Island
- Malaya Island
- Pluto Island
- Redskin Island
- Snob Island
- Twins Island
- Taramugli Island
Most of the islands are covered with mangrove trees or forest. Most of them are near to each other, you can watch one from other Island. The Island are rocky and with beautiful beaches. The Redskin and Jolly Buoy Island are open for tourists.
Best Time To Visit The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Between the months of November to February is the best time to visit the park. The park remains closed during heavy rain and Monday, so make sure that do not visit on these days. The boat ride is required for the trip of park, 5 boats are permitted to operate from the jetty in one day, or it depends on whether condition. The boats are commonly departed on 8.30am, 9.00am, 10.00am, and 10.30am. You must have to reach in the park early morning, and select the boat ride according to your timing.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park Fee
Entry fee for Indians is 50rs per person, and Indian’s child is 25rs per child. For foreigners 500rs per person, and if you want to take your camera inside then you will have to pay 25rs extra, per person. You can buy the ticket from ticket counter.
Boats are mainly runs by private operators, who are authorized by forest department. The boat ride coasts you 300rs per person for Redskin Island, and 650rs for per person for Jolly Buoy Island. The boats also include the glass boats, the bottom of the boat made with glass, that you can enjoy the sea life and coral reefs. If you want to hire your private boat, for longer time, then paying extra charges you can hire a separate boat. There are also separate packages available for snorkeling and diving. Jolly Buoy Island accessible from December to May, when Jolly Buoy is not active then tourists visits to Red Skin Island so basically in a year only One Island remains accessible.
Permit Requires for Park visit
You need an entry permit for visiting toe national park. The forest department permits coasts 50rs per person and you can get this on the counter of Wandoor jetty. Normally 150 permits are issued in one day on first come first serve, but it also depends on season and number of tourists.
The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park has a very clean and fragile environment. Everybody must take care about the cleanness and should not throw thing here and there, that’s why park authority have done such arrangements for that:
- The person who come to visit the park, have to clarify the plastic material, and will have to pay 100rs for each thing, after returning back one can show the same things and get the deposit back.
- You have to carry your food and beverages with you, and a simple jute bag, for this you have to deposit 100rs for each thing, and after visiting you can get it back.
- Night stay on the Island is not allowed, keep that in mind.
How to Reach Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
By Air- the Port Blair is the nearest airport, just 30km away from national park.
By Road- National Park is well connected with major cities and road networks. There are many private and government vehicle available for park. Local buses services are also good. 2-3 mini buses have been daily runs by tourist department of Andaman.
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park Accommodation
Hence, it is a one day tour, but if you want to stay, then accommodation is available at port Blair as well as at park itself. Forest guest house and lodges are available at Wandoor. You can book a room in advance on phone.
The preservation and the safety of marine life are important, they also breathe like us, and they are alive. So do not throw rubbish garbage on oceans and sea. It is our duty to keep neat and clean the water. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a safe haven for sea creatures. The underwater caves, the mangrove trees, coral reefs, and beautiful fishes, beaches all are the attraction and proud of Andaman and Nicobar Island. It is sad thing that very few people get interested in marine life.