Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a national park of India in Wandoor on the Andaman Islands. Situated 29 km. from Port Blair, the park covers 281.5 km² made up of 15 islands and the open sea creeks running through the area. There is a chance for ecotourism on the islands Jolly Boys and Red Skin which are open during some seasons offering glass bottom boats, scuba diving and snorkeling as a way to see the park’s coral reefs and marine life.
Location of Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: This National Park is located in Wandoor on the Andaman Islands, at a distance of 29 km. from Port Blair.
Ideal Time to Visit Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park: Best time to tour this National Park is from the month of December to April.
How to Reach Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park:
- By Air-Airport of Andaman is at Port Blair. It is linked to Chennai and Calcutta. There are numerous flights from Port Blair to other Airports. Discounted airfares are available during the tourist seasons.
- By Ship– Cruises are available from Chennai and Kolkata to Port Blair about 4 times in a month. There are deluxe A/C cabins and second class cabins. Ships from Visakhapatnam to Port Blair are available once a month.
The petite fishing hamlet Wandoor is the entry spot to the park. You can reach there by a hired taxi or bus from Port Blair. Buses ply from and for Port Blair in every 30 minutes or so.
Attractions at Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park:
You enjoy the trip to view underwater world and take pleasure in snorkeling and scuba diving. Its lavish marine life includes variety of colorful fish, sea anemones, turtles, water snakes, shells, sharks and underwater coral reefs.
- Main Attraction-Corals are the key attraction of this marine park. These colorful microcosms are instrumental in maintaining the surrounding eco-system. But extensive fishing, human intervention and global warming have brought their existence to peril. Efforts are being made to conserve them.
- Fauna-Terrestrial lives found here include mammals, spotted deer, wild boar, civet and the fruit bat. Among the reptiles cobra, vine snake and python are mostly found. Beside the park a hunt for bird watchers is also there. Local teal, tern, kingfisher, swift, reef heron etc. are common avian species here.
- Nearby Islands-Jolly Buoy, Redskin and Cinque are the most visited islands.
Fee for Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park:
- Apart from receiving general visitor’s permit, you have to pay while hiring a boat or arranging a dive trip.
- Entry permit is required to enter the park. It is about Rs. 50/person.
- Carrying a camera demands about Rs. 25 extra.
- Plastic bags and bottles are not permitted in the park. You have to deposit money for every bottle carried. Deposit about Rs. 100 for up to 3 bottles. On returning, you have to show the required number of bottles to the forest official to claim your deposit.
Lodgings are mostly as forest rest houses, available only after taking special permission to stay overnight. Since its establishment on 24th May, 1983, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is most frequented and still continues to attract tourists all over the planet.