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Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park complete detail – updated

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. How to Reach Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. The park was closed for rehabilitation after the 2004 tsunami, but has since reopened, with damage seeming to be less than originally reported. Both Red Skin and Jolly Bouy islands are open during season.
Total area of the park is 281.50 Km2. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established in the year of 1983. The park is home to birds like white-bellied sea eagle, parakeets, Andaman teal, heron, terns, waders and swifts. The Marine National Park is highly diversified in terms of white sandy beaches, vegetation, and marine life. 
The sandy beaches and crystal clear water offers excellent recreational facilities. The park provides a reach and varied habitat for marine animals. One can undertake various adventure activities like trekking, island………….
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Andaman district of Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Union territory) of India. Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park also known as Wandoor National Park.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is situated about 30 km. from Port Blair, the Park is located on the South Western coast of South Andaman, in the Bay of Bengal.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established in the year of 1983. Total area of the park is 281.50 Km2.

The national park was established so as to protect the sea turtles, marine lives and the beautiful corals. The landscape of the park is dotted with 15 rocky islands and is covered with tropical forest.

The rich flora and fauna of the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park makes this park an ideal destination for the nature lovers. Rich marine life consists of variety of coral reefs, colorful fishes, molluscs, shells, starfish, turtles, salt-water crocodile etc.

The park is home to birds like white-bellied sea eagle, parakeets, Andaman teal, heron, terns, waders and swifts. There are more than 271 different varieties of birds inhabiting the idyllic landscape of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.

The park area includes vast stretch of enchanting marine waters, bushy vegetated islands, magnificent coral reefs and sparkling sandy beaches and mangroves.

The sandy beaches and crystal clear water offers excellent recreational facilities. The park provides a reach and varied habitat for marine animals.

The Marine National Park is highly diversified in terms of white sandy beaches, vegetation, and marine life. One can undertake various adventure activities like trekking, island camping, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman and Nicobar offer various prospects for the ecotourism. On the islands of Jolly Boys and Red Skin, there are large probabilities for the development of ecotourism industry as it offers various options for you to indulge in scuba diving and snorkeling.

The park was closed for rehabilitation after the 2004 tsunami, but has since reopened, with damage seeming to be less than originally reported. Both Red Skin and Jolly Bouy islands are open during season.

The park is under the overall administrative control of the Chief Wildlife Warden of the forest department of A&N islands administration.

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History

Marco Polo is believed to have visited the islands in the thirteenth century and the British used the island as penal colony in 1867 to send the Indian freedom-fighters and criminals for life imprisonment.

The islands were earlier inhabited exclusively by tribal people – the Jarawa, Onge, Sentinelese and Andamanis and the Shompens and Nicobarese.

The islands are uninhabited land although, per the 1981 census, there is a population of 3000 living in 8 adjacent villages.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park was established in the year of 1983 for the protection of marine life including corals and nesting sea turtles.

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.

Geography

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is located in the Andaman district of the state of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Total area of the park is 281.50 Km2.

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is Situated 29 km from Port Blair, the Park is located on the South Western coast of South Andaman, in the Bay of Bengal.

The parks boundary runs along the coasts as well as some time along island within the range of latitude between 11°22, 06″ and 11° 36 -34″ N and longitude between 92° 30.00″W and 92° 40.33′ E.

The landscape of the park is dotted with 15 rocky islands and is covered with tropical forest. At the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman and Nicobar, you can find a tropical type of climate.

The area includes vast stretch of enchanting marine waters, bushy vegetated islands, magnificent coral reefs and sparkling sandy beaches and mangroves. The sandy beaches and crystal clear water offers excellent recreational facilities.

There are also some islands more isolated or protected from the effects of weather in the Bay of Bengal. Tarmugli, the largest island, is covered with thick mangrove vegetation, sand covered beaches, uprooted trees and sheet rocks. Twins is an important breeding ground for turtles within the park.

The soil cover is rather thin, varying from two to five metres. It is mostly alluvial on the hill-tops and diluvial in the valleys and ridges. The coastal flats have a mixture of sand, silty clay and diluvial material.

The sand is in general, mild to moderately acidic with a rich humus topsoil. As a result, most of the islands in the park are densely forested. The open spaces are covered by creepers and scrub.

Dense mangrove forests spread right down to the sea. The vegetation on these islands is like none you might have seen in mainland India.

Caves and caverns are another interesting aspect of these islands. The sandy beaches where boats can land are interspersed between the sheer and imposing granite cliffs and walls.

Maximum rainfall received is around 2534 mm.

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Islands

Name – Area – Important futures

Alexandra – 4.97 Km2 – Reef wall, Sea fan Jungle

Belle – 0.08 Km2 – Patchy Coral Reef

Boat – 7.28 Km2 – Turtle nesting beach, Giant grouper

Chester – 0.49 Km2 – Large coral rock, Sea fans

Grub – 0.47 Km2 – Excellent coral Reef, Giant clam, Feather stars

Hobday – 5.28 Km2 – Underwater cave, Giant grouper, Saltwater crocodile habitat

Jolly Buoy – 1.74 Km2 – Large shoals of fishes, Good diversity of corals and reef wall

Malaya – 1.94 Km2 – Patchy coral reefs

Pluto – 0.52 Km2 – Patchy coral reefs

Redskin -7.07 Km2 – Reef wall, High diversity of corals, Saltwater crocodile habitat

Rifleman – 0.08 Km2 Strong current, Sea fans

Rutland – 136.17 Km2 – Giant leather back turtle nesting beach, Saltwater crocodile habitat.

Snob – 1.45 Km2 – Patchy coral reef, Sea grass beds

Twins – 1.84 Km2 – Turtle nesting beach, Sharks, Manta rays, Moray ells.

Tarmugli – 23.33 Km2 – Turtle nesting beach, Saltwater crocodile habitat, Crystal clear water

Dominant flora

Dipterocarpous Spp., Terminalia Spp., Andaman Padauk, Andaman Bullet wood, Silk Cotton Tree, Thespesia, Pandanas, Cycas bamboos, Canes, Orchids   Rhizophora, Auicennia, Herittiera, Gurjan, Bamboo, Ferns, Bruguiera etc.

Dominant fauna

Land Mammals – Andaman Wild Pig, Spotted Deer, Civet, Fruit Bat etc.

Birds – White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Parakeets, Andaman Teal, Heron, Terns, Waders, Swifts, Whistling teal, Andaman Serpeant Eagle, King Fishers, Reef Herons, Doves, Roseate Tern, Black-naped tern, Sooty Tern, King Fishers, Small brown duck etc.

Fishes – Butterfly fishes, Sergeon fishes, Angel fishes, Parrot fishes, Bat fishes, White tip shark, Hammer headed shark, Start fishes etc.

Reptiles – Green Sea, Leather back, Hawaks Bill, Olive Ridlay, Water Monitor Lizard, Banded Sea Snake, Karit, Cobra, King Cobra, Vinake Snake, Pit vipers, Day gecko, Estuarine crocodiles etc.

Corals – Acropora, Pacillopora, Montipora, Leptoseris, Fungia, Forties, Tubipora, Gorgonians etc.

Other fauna – Sea Liyy, Feather Star, Giant Clam shell, Cowries, Trochus, Sea cucumber, Sponges, Sea anemons etc.

Other Attractions

Patchy Coral Reef

Reef wall

Sea fan Jungle

Large coral rock,

Underwater cave

Saltwater crocodile habitat

Giant grouper

Giant

Calm

Feather stars

Large shoals of fishes

High diversity of corals

Strong current

Turtle nesting beach,

Sharks

Manta rays

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Best Time to Visit

The best time of the year to visit the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is between the months of November to February.

The park remains closed during the heavy rainy seasons (June to August).

Trip Timings

1st trip – 8.30 A.M

2nd trip – 9.00 A.M

3rd trip – 9.30 A.M

4th Trip – 10.00 A.M

5th & final trip Remaining authorized – 10.30 A.M

Fee

Entry fee (Indians) – Rs. 50/- per person

Entry fee (Indians children’s) – Rs. 25/- per children

Entry fee (Foreigners) – Rs 500/- per person

Camera fee – Rs. 25/-

A boat ticket can be purchased from the boat operators and costs around Rs. 300/-, Rs. 450/- per head.

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Port Blair airport, about 30 Km from the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park. Port Blair airport is well connected by road network to Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.

By Road Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park at frequent intervals.

Park is accessible by road from Port Blair. State transport/private buses ply regularly from port balir to Wandoor, the parks headquarter.

The Department of Information, Publicity and Tourism, Andaman and Nicobar islands also provides transport to reach the park. Within the park, a launch is provided by the forest department which visits two or three islands daily.

Local bus service is reliable and offer economical alternative to taxies. Buses are available from and for Port Blair every 30 min. or so. Tickets cost Rs.10 one-way. Local buses ply from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Tourist Department of Andaman runs 2-3 mini bus trip each day. Return trip costs about Rs.90. The buses start from Andaman Teal House and can be boarded from office of Director of Information and Publicity and Tourism (IP & T), Port Blair.

Distance from Nearby and Major Cities

Port Blair – about 30 km

Kolkata – about 1301 km

Orissa – about 1313 km

Chennai – about 1350 km

Bangalore – about 1638 km

Hyderabad – about 1650 km

Lucknow – about 2089 km

Mumbai – about 2271 km

Delhi – about 2477 km

Accommodation

Accommodation is available for tourists at Port Blair which is 30 km. from the park, as well as at the park itself.

A Forest Guest House with limited facilities and a private lodge are situated at Wandoor. The Directorate of Tourism provides cozy and comfortable accommodation at affordable prices at Hornbill Nest at Port Blair.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Integrated Development Corporation (ANIIDCO) runs the Megapod Tourist Home Complex at Port Blair.

Useful Contacts

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Van Sadan, Haddo, P.O., Port Blair – 744102, India. Tel.: 03192-33321.

The Chief Wildlife Warden, Andaman and Nicobar islands, Van Sadan, Haddo P.O., Port Blair – 744102, India. Tel.: 03192-33549; Fax: 03192-33549; E-mail: cwlw@andaman.tn.nic.in

Deputy Conservator of Forests, Wildlife division, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Haddo P.O., Port Blair – 744102, India. Tel.: 03192-32816.

Other  National Parks in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Year of Notification and Total area is as follows…
S.No. National Park State

 
Established Area (in km²)
1 Campbell Bay National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1992 426.23
2 Middle Button Island National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1987 0.44
3 Mount Harriett National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1987 46.62
4 North Button Island National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1987 0.44
5 Rani Jhansi Marine National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1996 256.14
6 Saddle Peak National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1987 32.54
7 South Button Island National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1987 0.03
8 Galathea Bay National Park Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1992 110

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