Marine National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary

Marine National Park and Sanctuary, Jamnagar, was declared as National Park and Sanctuary in August’ 1980.Marine National Park and Sanctuary falls in the inter-tidal zone along the Jamnagar coasts and islands in the Gulf of Kachchh. Blessed with a great diversity of habitats, its coral reefs and mangroves and the series of 42 islands form a unique, though fragile, eco-system, which supports an amazing marine life and biodiversity.

Inundated by temperamental seawaters twice a day, the Marine National Park stands as a vanguard to a very fragile eco-system, which is as good as any underwater forest eco-system. The protected area has a great diversity of habitats- ranging from coral reefs, mangroves, mudflats, creeks, estuaries, sandy strands to saline grasslands, marshy areas and rocky shores.

These varieties of habitats support multitudes of fish, birds, reptiles and many other life forms. The coral reefs and mangroves found in Marine National Park are of great conservation value, which have all along been considered as the most fascinating of all the rich marine biota in a compact place found anywhere in the country. Special efforts are made to preserve its rare dignity of being the first marine national park in the country.

It is a treasure trove of colourful 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.

Islands

Narara is one of the important tourists’ destinations. Although it is an island, it is well connected with the mainland. It is also known for its vast inter-tidal zone, facilitating viewing of marine invertebrates. It is therefore, a very good nature education site.

Similarly, Pirotan is another tourist attraction where all kinds of invertebrates are easily visible. If you intend to go to Pirotan island, please remember that you will need high tide to reach the island by boat from the creeks (20 nautical miles). There is a time gap of 12 hours between the two high tides during the day. Therefore, once you cross the creek to Pirotan island, you will be able to return only during next tide after about 12 hours.

The time when you will get the tide on a particular day depends on its date as per the lunar calendar shown in the graphic below. The tide timings shown below are approximate and not exact.

You should reach at Bedi Bandar or Nava Bandar (boarding point for creek crossing) one hour before the high tide.

Flora

Six species of mangroves, several species of herbs, grasses and shrubs and 120 species of algae.

Founa

Colourful sponges and corals including 42 hard coral and 10 soft coral species, sea anemones, jelly fishes, sea horse, octopus, pearl oyster, sabela, portugese- man-of-war, starfish, bonellia, sepia, lobster, crabs, prawns, sea turtles, dolphin, dugong, porpoise, shark etc.

Mangrove Forest

The mangroves are halophytic species growing in saline soils in the coastal areas along the shores. The mangroves are adapted to loose and wet soils and periodic submergence in the saline water. They survive in difficult conditions of high salinity, low oxygen and nutrient availability in the soil, wind and wave action and substrate instability.

Mangroves play crucial role in conservation of marine life as mangrove swamps are considered nursery and shelter grounds for prawns, fishes, birds and host of other marine life. The fringe mangroves function as stabilizer of sediments and protect shore land from erosion. Thick cover of mangroves trap silts and protect coral reefs from destruction by excessive sedimentation.

Amenities / Facilities

The island does not offer any staying facility.

Tourist Guide
Reach by air
Jamnagar (7 kms) Ahmedabad (350 kms)
Reach by bus
The Nearest bus station is Jamnagar (7 kms).
Reach by train
The Nearest Railway station are:Jamnagar – 7 kms. Rajkot – 90 Kms
Best time to visit
October and March is the fair period to visit the sanctuary.
Nearest places to visit
Khijadiya : An excellent bird sanctuary situated about 15 kms away from Jamnagar.
Dwarka temple, Rukmani temple, Gopi talav, Nageshwar temple near Dwarka : about 150 kms from Jamnagar
Narara- 60 km. by road from Jamnagar.
Bet Dwarka, the mythological kingdom of Lord Krishna- 30 km. from Dwarka Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary.
Accomodation
A Forest Rest House is situated in Theba which is about 8 kms away from Jamnagar. A circuit house having ample number of suits is located in the city itself. Number of Private Hotels and Guest house are located in Jamnagar having excellent facilities.