Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

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India >> Andaman & Nicobar Islands >> Port Blair >> Attractions >> Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

History

The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is located in Wandoor, 29 km from Port Blair. The park is situated in the southern western coast of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The park came into existence on 24th May 1983, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The aim was to preserve the marine life such as corals and the nesting sea turtles common in the area.

The Marine National Park was closed in 2004 due to the tsunami that struck and damaged the place but it was reopened to the tourists again. Jolly Boys and Red Skin Islands are two of the most popular islands of the Mahatma Gandhi National Park and the only islands that can be accessed by the tourists. There are various adventure sports like, deep-sea diving, snorkelling, and scuba diving organised for the tourists. Besides the adventure sports, sun bathing on the sandy beaches is another very popular tourist activity.

The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park consists of 15 islands namely; Alexandra, Red Skin, Boat, Hobday, Tarmugli, Grub, Chester, Snob, Bell, Pluto, Malay, Jolly Boys, Riflemen, Twins and parts of Rutland Island and covers an area of 281.5 sq km. The Marine National Park is highly diversified in terms of white sandy beaches, vegetation, and marine life. You can spot a variety of coral reefs, colourful and exotic fishes, turtles, shells, molluscs, starfish and crocodiles.

You can also see a variety of birds including White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Parakeets, Andaman Teal, Heron, Terns, Waders and Swifts in the tropical rainforests of the national park. The time required to spot the birds is usually longer and special permission can be obtained from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the forest department of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, under whose administration the park falls.

Day trips are organised to the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park from Port Blair on a jetty and it is usually best for the tourists to carry packed lunches and water bottles. However there are some small eating joints in Wandoor that offer limited options of eating. But once you get to Jolly Boys or Red Skin Island, there will be nothing available, so it is a must to carry something to eat and drink.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is between October and April, when the days are pleasant and the nights are cool and comfortable. The climate being typically tropical, monsoons are best avoided as any tourists activity is practically impossible.

Trivia

The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is also known as Wandoor Marine National Park.

There are over 50 varieties of corals found in this area.

Although the islands are uninhabited, there are around 3000 people that live in the 8 villages adjacent to the islands.

Timing

There are regular buses to and from Port Blair to Wandoor from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm, and it’s a 45 minutes drive by bus or taxi. The entry timing for Jolly Boys is 9:00 am and entry in Red Skin Islands starts at 10:00 am. Tourists are only allowed to spend 2 ½ hours in both the islands.

The park is closed on Mondays.


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