Marine National Park (Gulf of Kutch) is located in the district of Jamnagar, Gujarat state. It is a wonderful national Park with exotic plant and marine life, including corals, that are found nowhere else in the world. It is the first Marine National Park in India, and it is a must-see for anyone who is interested in nature and the ocean. It is a treasure trove of colorful corals and sponges, giant sea anemone, jelly fish, sea horse, octopus, pearl oyster, Portuguese man of war, starfish, dolphin, shark and many more varieties of under water creatures and plants.
Marine National Park
This part was established in 1982 in accordance with the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act of India. This Park stretches across a vast area of 168.92Sq.km. There are nearly 42 Islands situated in this Marine National Park, out of them 33 were surrounded by coral reefs.
The Marine National Park has ecosystems like Mangroves, Coral Reefs, Mudflats, Sea-Grass beds and Network of Creek. Along with abundant marine life also serves as a home to several migratory birds which flock to this region during winter season. At times one can spot the rare Seal looking- Dugong here in this park.
Coral Walk at Pirotan and Narara Islands
Pirotan Island in Marine National Park is the popular destination for Coral walk. It is located at a distance of nearly 7 nautical miles from Rozi port on the mainland. The boat ride from Rozi port through Chejja creek is a blissful experience. There will be 9 gross whose roots are almost visible on both sides throughout the boat ride. There will be large number of words which can be seen rested on these mangoes. On the way to Pirotan Island one can find Ray Fishes, Sea Turtles and Dolphins playing in the water.
One has to mandatorily preplan his trip to Pirotan Island, since navigate in those waters only during your high tide. The tide timing alters frequently, so one needs to seek information prior to planning history. The trip to Pirotan will be an adventurous one and it takes one full day to explore the beauty of island.
The island doesn’t have any human settlement and it is usually advised to carry some snacks along with water while visiting this Island. At this Island the shrine of Khwaja Khizer Rahmatullahi Alayh is situated. The Coral walking on this island leaves us with an Epic experience. One needs to wear soled shoes while walking on the Coral lands, since most of the areas are sharp.
To visit this Island you need to contact Hotel President located at Jamnagar. They will plan your trip according to the feasible time. A basic Pirotan trip for 10 people costs you around 3000rs. This package includes Breakfast, Lunch and Potable water. A guide will come along with you to this Island. You need to obtain prior permission from Park officials for visiting this park. In addition to this normal permit, foreign nationals need to obtain extra permission from Local Police officials.
Instead of sailing to an Island for Coral walk, you can do the same at Narara Island. It is located at a distance of 60kms from Jamnagar towards Dwaraka. Here too permission from Park officials is necessary to enter Park. The entry permit costs you around 40rs and for carrying camera you need to pay extra 200 Rs. One can do a Coral walk between two high tides, whose interval is usually 12 hours. It takes nearly 3 to 4 hours to walk 5km in Coral Land. It is advised to wear Soled shoes to avoid injuries while doing Coral walk.
Most part of the park is dominated by Mangrove vegetation. Besides it, other trees found here are Limda, Kheru, Sesam, Saag and different types of Sea Grasses and Sea Weeds can be found here. Mangroves found here include Avicenna Alba, Rhizaophara, Bruguiera Gymnorrhiza and Ceriopstagal. The families of Hydrocaharita and Potamogetonaceae are abundant in Sea Grass beds.
The Marine National park because of its conducive Eco-System it supports a large number of Marine Species. The common aquatic life which can be found here include Gaint Leather Back Turtles, Ray Fish, Gangetic Dolphins, Jelly Fish, Star Fish, Octopus, Shark, Pearl Oyster, Sea Horse, Colorful Sponges and Balooga Whales.
The ground fauna include Black napped Hare, jungle Cats, Jackals. This park is a sanctuary for Birds and paradise for Bird- Watchers. Birds which can be found in the region are Montagu’s Harrier, Steppe Eagle, Imperial Eagle, White-Tailed Eagle, Variable Wheatear, Flamingo, Clamorous Reed Warbler, Avocets, Spoonbills, Painted Storks, Egrets, Herons, Osprey, Terns, Gulls and Black Necked Ibis.
How To Reach
By Air– Jamnagar Airport is the nearest airport located at a distance of 7 km away from the Marine National park.
By Rail– Jamnagar and Rajkot Railway stations are the nearest Railway stations. From here you can reach Marine National park by a private cab or government operated Vehicles.
By Road– This Park is well connected to major towns in the region through road network. A good number of government and private travels are present in the region which will take you to the National Park.
There are many resorts and Private lodgings were available near this park. Forest Department’s rest house is located at distance of 8 km from Jamnagar.
Best Time To Visit
The period between November to the end of February is the best time to visit this park.