Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, Tamil Nadu

TripKart Holidays

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is an ecological wonder located in the southernmost part of India. This unique marine ecosystem is home to a vast array of flora and fauna, including several endangered species. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the park, its history, biodiversity, and the activities you can do to explore and experience its beauty.


The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is one of the largest marine reserves in India, located in the Gulf of Mannar, a shallow bay in the Indian Ocean. This national park covers an area of about 560 square kilometers and was established in 1980 to protect its fragile and diverse ecosystem.

History of the Park

The Gulf of Mannar has been an important site for pearl diving and fishing for centuries. The area was declared a biosphere reserve in 1989 by UNESCO and was later declared a marine national park in 1986. Since then, the park has been under the protection of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, which works towards preserving and conserving the biodiversity of the region.


The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is home to an incredible variety of marine life. The park contains more than 3,600 species of flora and fauna, including over 125 species of coral, 25 species of mangroves, and 55 species of seaweed. The park is also home to over 100 species of fish, 18 species of whales and dolphins, and five species of sea turtles, including the endangered Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles.

Activities to Do

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park offers a range of activities for visitors to experience and appreciate the biodiversity of the park. Some of the popular activities include:

Snorkeling and Diving

The park is an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving, with its crystal-clear waters, rich coral reefs, and abundant marine life. You can spot a wide variety of fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures while exploring the underwater world.

Kayaking and Canoeing

The park is also an ideal place for kayaking and canoeing, with its calm and shallow waters, making it perfect for beginners. You can explore the mangrove forests and admire the scenic beauty of the park while paddling through the water.

Beach Camping

The park has several beautiful beaches where you can enjoy camping and stargazing at night. Camping on the beach is a unique experience, and it allows you to appreciate the serenity of the park while being close to nature.

Wildlife Safari

The national park also offers wildlife safaris that take you through the mangrove forests, where you can spot a variety of animals, including saltwater crocodiles, spotted deer, and wild boars.

Conservation Efforts

The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a highly protected area, and several conservation efforts are in place to preserve the park’s biodiversity. The Tamil Nadu Forest Department regularly conducts awareness campaigns to educate locals and tourists about the importance of conservation and the need to protect the environment.


The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity, and it’s an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The park’s stunning natural beauty, rich marine life, and diverse flora and fauna make it a unique destination in India. A visit to the park is a great way to appreciate and experience the natural beauty of the Gulf of Mannar.


  1. Is the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park open to visitors all year round?
  • Yes, the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is open to visitors all year round. However, it’s advisable to visit during the winter months, from November to March, when the weather is pleasant, and the sea is calm. During the monsoon season, from June to September, the sea can be rough, and many activities may be restricted for safety reasons.
  1. What is the best time to visit the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park?
  • The best time to visit the park is from November to March when the weather is pleasant, and the sea is calm.
  1. Are there any accommodation options available within the park?
  • Yes, there are a few eco-resorts and guesthouses available within the park that offer comfortable accommodation and necessary amenities.
  1. What kind of permits do I need to enter the park?
  • Visitors need to obtain a permit from the Tamil Nadu Forest Department to enter the park. The permits can be obtained online or in person at the forest office.
  1. Are there any restrictions on the activities allowed in the park?
  • Yes, some activities such as fishing, hunting, and collecting of coral or other marine life are prohibited within the park to protect its fragile ecosystem.

Travel Tips:

  • Carry sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the harsh sun.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for water-based activities.
  • Follow the rules and regulations of the park and respect its delicate ecosystem.
  • Do not litter and carry back all your waste with you.
  • Hire trained guides and instructors for activities like diving and snorkeling.
Share This Article
Upendra Yadav is a seasoned Data Analyst with a passion for exploring new places and immersing himself in different cultures. With a curious mind and an eye for detail, Upendra delves deep into the history, people, and cuisine of the places he visits, and brings his experiences to life through his writing.. His work has been featured in various travel blogs, where he shares his insights and recommendations for fellow explorers. Through his writing, Upendra aims to inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and discover the hidden gems of the world. When he's not analyzing data or traveling to new destinations, Upendra can be found indulging in his other hobbies, such as photography and trying out new recipes. He is currently working on his next travelogue, where he hopes to take his readers on a journey to even more exciting and lesser-known destinations.