Location : Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts near Mandapam, 150 Km from Madurai.
Attractions : Tropical flora and fauna, coral reefs, dugongs, turtles, dolphins and balano-glossus.
Area : 10,500 Sq km
Best Time : Throughout the year
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a unique marine biosphere reserve, located in the Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamilnadu. Rich in marine life, the Gulf of Mannar is spread over an area of about 10,500-sq-kms with 21 islands and continuous stretches of coral reef.
Flora and Fauna at the Marine National Park
Full of marine life like coral reefs, Turtles, Dugong and Balano-Glossus, the Gulf of Mannar is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South East Asia. If you are a lover of Sea life then the Gulf of Mannar Marine National park is the place for you! The unique marine eco system of the Gulf of Mannar is one of the richest for biodiversity resources. It is well evident from the fact that more than 3, 600 species of plant and animal life have been registered at the reserve. Dolphins, one of the most amazing sea animals, are great attraction for the tourists. The coral reef, flora and fauna are present in their virgin form here in the biosphere reserve. The geographical location of the National Park makes the coral reefs highly productive and the Coral reefs are therefore referred to as "Underwater Tropical Rain Forest.
Many islands including the Kurasadai Islands, off Mandapam, boast of a vast expanse of shallow Seawater. Another interesting facet of the marine National Park is that over 138 villages and towns spread over five districts of the region depend largely on the fishery resources of the Gulf of Mannar. More than 50 along the coastline bordering the Gulf of Mannar depend directly on the biodiversity resources of the Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve for their livelihood.
How to Reach
By Air : The nearest airport is at Madurai (150-km).
By Rail : The nearest railway stations are the Mandapam railway station and the railway station at Tuticorin.