Marine biodiversity holds immense significance in our ecosystem and the balance in it. Most aquatic ecosystems still need to be explored, seen, and studied.
India is also home to some of the most intriguing Marine National Parks. They are some of the most remarkable places to explore in the country.
The glorious world of marine creatures has secrets that are thrilling and bewildering to witness. Let us dive deep and experience underwater nature in its raw form through all the phenomenal Marine National Parks.
In this article, you will learn about the following marine national parks in India,
- Marine National Park (Gulf of Kutch)
- Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
- Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
- Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary
- Rani Jhansi Marine National Park
- Gahirmatha Marine National Park
Let’s see each of these in detail.
Top Marine National Parks in India
1. Marine National Park (Gulf of Kutch)
The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park covers an area of 110 sq. kilometers on the south shore of the Gulf of Kutch. It is situated in the Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat and was established in 1982.
The Marine National Park includes 42 islands very close to the Northern Jamnagar coast and the southern coast of Kutch. Each one of them is brimming with adoring coral reefs.
It was the first of its kind in the Indian subcontinent, and the tropical islands hold and offer a lot to know and look into. The islands of Narala, Ajad, Pirotan, and Positara consist of a number of the finest coral reefs.
Among the 52 coral species, ten are soft, and 42 are hard corals. Mangroves fill the coastline with all its 07 species, thereby controlling erosion.
The rich marine life includes jellyfish, sea anemones, various types and species of arthropods like 30 species of lobsters, crabs, and shrimps, 27 species of prawns, and different other crustaceans. Octopuses, sea slugs, pearl oysters, sea horses, sting rays, whale sharks, etc., are also seen in plenty.
Apart from all these, there are 70 species of sponges, dolphins, dugongs, and different species of whales and sea turtles. The Aves species are also lush in the national park. Greater flamingos, terns, storks, sandpipers, gulls, redshanks, etc., are all sheltered on the Arabian coast.
2. Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
The national park at the Gulf of Munnar in the Indian Ocean includes 21 small islets and an adjoining coral reef. Located in the coastal areas of Thoothukuddi and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu, it is the heart of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve.
The park stretches for 560 sq. kilometers and is a fragment of the stretched Munnar barrier reef. It is 10 kilometers from the Tamil Nadu east coast and houses luxuriant flora, fauna, and marine creatures.
Reefs of vibrant corals, 12 species of seagrasses, 147 see weeds, and various Mangroves species are seen here. You will also get to see endemic plants and flower species.
Numerous vulnerable marine mammals, like dugongs, cetaceans, different types of dolphins, whales, fin fishes, ornamental fishes such as parrot fish, clown fish, butterfly fish, squirrel fish, etc., and exotic endemic species of Balanoglossus (Ptychodera Fluva) are found here.
The marine fauna and the beauty surrounding the Marine National Park are endless. The glass bottom boats inside the park can be easily accessed to see the underwater world, and the experience and thrill are authentic.
3. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
|Union Territory||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
Located near Wandoor in Andaman islands, the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established in the Year 1983 in the administrative district of South Andaman. It was created to protect the underwater life that is prevalent in the region under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
The Labyrinth Island and the Twin Islands are the two primary groups of islands that are situated 16 kilometers to the south of Port Blaire. There is 17 islands total, and the Marine National Park stretches for around 282 sq. kilometers.
The ecosystem here is splendid, with fringed coral reefs and numerous combinations of vegetation. The islands are wrapped in mangroves, white sand-covered beaches, and sheet rocks. It is enchanting to look into this beautiful national park.
A variety of brightly colored fishes, shells, saltwater crocodiles, turtles, starfishes, Portuguese man of war, octopuses, dolphins, sharks, sea anemones, sponges, and multiple other marine lives are thriving in this national park in the waters of the Bay of Bengal.
Boat rides, snorkeling, and scuba diving are all done here to enjoy and be face-to-face with marine life.
4. Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary
The town of Malwan is located in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Malwan Marine wildlife sanctuary is slightly off the coast of Malwan and is one of the wealthiest coastal areas in terms of its underwater world.
It wraps an area of 30 sq. kilometers and is enveloped with a splendid view of wild nature. It was declared a World Heritage site in April, in the year 1987.
The heterogenicity in flora and fauna is vivid and rich. Mangroves, seaweeds, brightly colored corals, mollusks, sea anemones, polychaetes, egrets, pearl oysters, black-headed gulls, and different other species of marine creatures reside here.
About 30 species and subspecies of fish, including Orangefin labeo, Tor putitora, etc., are found here. In animals, you will see Nilgai, Barking Deer, leopards, sambars, and more.
The marine wildlife sanctuary is also home to various migratory birds, wetland birds, and many other species of Aves. The place becomes admiring with all of these lives in it. Scuba diving is done to see what’s under the salt waters.
5. Rani Jhansi Marine National Park
|Union Territory||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park is situated in the Ritchie’s Archipelago, 30 kilometers from Port Blaire, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It was founded to commemorate Rani Lakshmibai in 1996.
The park encloses an area of 256 sq. kilometers and has a rich ecosystem. Coral reefs and mangroves occupy the marine national park. However, the main attraction of the place is the fruit-eating bats.
The region has exotic species of flora and fauna. It is the habitat of different biomes like lowland evergreen rainforests, lagoons, sandy beaches, mangrove forests, reefs of corals, and semi-evergreen rainforests.
Along with numerous flora and fauna, you will find endangered Dugongs, crocodiles, fishes, turtles, and so on. The Ave fauna is also diverse in this area. You can go boating, diving, and snorkeling to relish the incredible marine creatures.
6. Gahirmatha Marine National Park
Located in the district of Kendrapara, in Odisha, the marine national park is famed for being the nesting ground for Olive Ridley Turtles. It stretches for 135 sq. kilometers and is one of the most significant nesting beaches for turtles.
It was designated a national park in 1997 and had an essential ecological balance of flora and fauna. The ecoregion consists of grasslands, mangroves, tropical forests, scrublands, brooks, seaward islands, and beautiful sandy beaches along the Bay of Bengal.
A diverse range of fishes, water monitors, rare estuarine crocodiles, snakes, Gangetic dolphins, etc., is found. Turtles like green sea turtles, leatherback sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles, and numerous others reside in this area.
So many distinctive types of mammals, reptiles, and multiple species of birds are part of the Gahirmatha marine national park.
These are the famous Marine National Parks in India.
Make a plan to visit all these significant places, and you will find a whole new world of living creatures enfolding in front of your eyes.
It is a remarkable experience to explore the underwater marine world and all the life inside the blue waters. Do visit and absorb all the charm and fun you can.
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