6 Marine National Parks in India that are hidden gems and you should definitely explore

By: FPJ Web Desk | May 16, 2023

Marine National Park, Gujarat: was established in the early 1980s on the Jamnagar coast along the Gulf of Kutch. The archipelago of 42 islands is home to a diverse range of marine habitats that support various species of corals, mangroves, species of birds such as painted stork, darter and black-necked ibis, dolphins, green sea turtles and the endangered whale shark. You can go snorkelling here when the tide is low and can rent a boat from Jamnagar to get to the marine park

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman and Nicobar Islands: covers 15 rocky islands with white sandy beaches and tropical vegetation, open seas and smaller bodies of water that are home to diverse marine life and species of birds including white-bellied sea eagles, parakeets and Andaman teal. You can scuba, snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat from Wandoor, a half-hour east of Port Blair, to explore all that the marine park has to offer

Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, Odisha: is the only preferred nesting spot of the Olive Ridley turtle by the Indian Ocean owing to the mangroves around these parts; the waters are nutrient-rich. The turtles migrate all the way from the South Pacific to the Odisha coast every year to breed and give birth en masse from October till May. The park is 75 km from Bhubaneswar (Puri-Konark Marine Drive)

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, Tamil Nadu: is located inside the larger Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka and is composed of 21 islands and coral reefs. It stretches across the 160-km distance between Thoothukudi and Dhanushkodi. In terms of marine biodiversity, this is one of the richest regions in the world and has been likened to an underwater tropical rainforest. The park is open all year round

Rani Jhansi Marine National Park, Andaman and Nicobar Islands: is home to a diverse species of coral, mangroves, terrestrial moist forest, crocodiles and dugongs. Visitors can explore the islands' lagoons, coral reefs and mangrove forests where a population of fruit-eating bats also reside

Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra: You can explore the area by taking a boat from the jetty in Malvan. Under the surface live a variety of species of anemones, molluscs, pearl oysters, corals, seaweed and species of fish, including Putitora mahseer, catfish and many others that you will come across if you go snorkelling or diving. Bird watchers will appreciate the wide variety of egrets, tern, plover and waterfowl that reside here. This sanctuary also includes within its boundaries the tourist favourite of Sindhudurg Fort

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