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Exotic Wildlife Sanctuaries & National Parks
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
07 Days 06 Nights

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

  • Location :Ramanathpuram

  • Coverage area : 6.23 Km

  • Main attraction : Blue whale, Mink whale, Gastropods, Fin whale

  • Best time to visit :October to March

  • Nearby excursions : Adam?s Bridge or Rama Setu, Dhanushkodi, Rameshwaram Temple

  • Nearby cities :Rameswaram

From the past two thousand years, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, which was actually known as Pamban to Tuticorin barrier reef, is famous for its Pearl Banks of PinctadaFucata and PinctadaRadiata. Located in the Ramanathpuram&Tuticorin districts of the state of Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a part of the core area of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve.

Established in the year of 1980 over an area of 6.23 Km2, this is the first marine Biosphere Reserve in India.The National Park was given the status of a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It comprises of 21 islands and all of them are surrounded by coral reef areas along with shallow water habitat of unique marine biodiversity. As all the 21 islands come under the Marine National Park sphere, there is no permission of tourism or other commercial activities. So, public access inside the Park is limited to

Climatic conditions

It also has an interesting geographical condition as Tambaraparani River from the coast of India and the AruviAru from the coast of Sri Lanka merges with the Indian Ocean on both sides of the park. The 21 islands within the park are of various sizes and are grouped into the following four:

  • The Tuticorin group

  • The Vembar group

  • The Kilakarai group

  • The Mandapam group

Gulf of Munnar experiences tropical climatic conditions and receives rainfall from both southwest and northeast monsoons. During the months of October to December, heavy rain-showers are recorded although the dominant monsoon is the northeast monsoons.

December is the coldest month but interestingly, summer sets in by January and remains till May when there is unusually hot climate. The wind and ocean trends are generally quite irregular, but stormy ocean and wind speed is observed during the months of June to August. On an average, the Park has an arid climate marked by hot and humid temperature.

Best time to visitGulf of Mannar Marine National Park

The months October to March are considered as the perfect time to visit Gulf of Mannar National Park for unforgettable experiences.

Animals that inhabit the sanctuary

The park has both vertebrates and invertebrates. The common ones among the Vertebrates are:

Blue whale, Mink whale, Gastropods, Fin whale, Sperm whales, Finless porpoise, Humpback whale, Bottlenose dolphins, Common dolphin, Butterfly fish, Parrot fish, Squirrel fish, Clown fish, Snappers and more.

Major invertebrates include but not limited to Lobsters, Echinoderm, Bottle nosed dolphins, Shrimp, Cephalopods, Sponge, Bivalves, Polyplacophorans, Crabs, Sea cucumbers, Molluscs, Gastropods, Scaphopods, Sea horses, Spinner dolphin, and Common dolphin.

Amongst the birds, visitors can easily spot Dunlin, Longtoed stint, Rednecked phalarope, Lesser sand piper, Red knot, Eastern knot, Curlew sandpiper, Little stint, Crab plovers Bar tailed Godwit, Broad billed Sandpiper, Little tern, Kentish plover, Stone plover, Stone curlew, and Lesser crested sterna.

Crab plovers, Broad billed sandpiper, Bar tailed godwit, Dunlin, Red necked Phalarope, Long stoed stint and Red knot are the usually seen migratory birds.


Coral reefs, Mudflats, Beach, Island, Shallow water, and Mangrove form the major floral ecosystem. Cymodocearotunds, Haloduleuninervis, C. Serulata are the main Coral reefs; majorly found mangroves are Rhizophoramuctonata, Bruguieragymnorrhiza, Ceriopstagal, Avicenniaalba, and Lumnitzeraracemosa.

Distance of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park from major cities:

  • Rameswaram , 23 km

  • Mandapam , 45 km

  • Madurai , 191 km

  • Thiruvananthapuram, 387 km

  • Coimbatore , 403 km

  • Chennai , 583 km

  • Bangalore , 626 km

  • Hyderabad , 1192 km

  • Goa , 1194 km

How to reach the National park ?

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  • Madurai airport is about 150 Km from the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park and is the nearest air route. Tourists can fly to this airport as there are plenty of private cars and buses available for transfer.


Rameshwaram railway station is the nearest railway station and is about 7km from the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. Rameshwaram railway station is easily connected by the road network. Mandapam-Ramanathapram and Tuticorin are the other nearby railway stations.


There are buses connecting Ramanathapram, Rameshwaram and Madurai.There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that offer transfers from the connecting towns at frequent intervals.

Accommodation facilities

A number of accommodation options are available in Rameswaram (22 km) and Ramanathapuram (59 km) for tourists which range from premium to budget category. There is no hotel or resort owned by the park. Daiwik Hotel, Hotel MCM Towers, Hotel Brindavan Residency are some of the preferred private stay options.

Places to visit nearby

Adam's bridge or rama setu, dhanushkodi

This is almost a 50 kilometer long bridge that is basically the modern-day version of the Rama Setu. A chain of coral reefs and sandbanks punctuates the view and if the old tales are to be believed, the bridge was completely above the sea level until it was destroyed in a cyclone in AD 1480.

Rameshwaram temple

Most of the places in India have a certain sense of spiritual essence attached to it. Rameshwaram Temple is beautiful in its own way and reflects a unique architectural blend along with the spiritual mood of the place. It is a preferred place to seek salvation by taking a dip in one of the twenty-two holy water bodies present there.

Pamban island

This is the pilgrimage centre and is also called Rameshwaram Island. This place too has been mentioned in Ramayana and today, it is one of the perfect places for a great relaxing beach destination with sun, sand and surf.

Ruins of Dhanushkodi

The Church and Railway station of Dhanushkodi were destroyed in a cyclone and a walk through these ruins is an amazing affair for the history lovers.


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