Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch


Marine National Park and Sanctuary, Jamnagar, was declared as National Park and Sanctuary in August’ 1980. Marine National Park and Sanctuary falls in the inter-tidal zone along the Jamnagar coasts and islands in the Gulf of Kachchh. Blessed with a great diversity of habitats, its coral reefs and mangroves and the series of 42 islands form a unique, though fragile, eco-system, which supports an amazing marine life and biodiversity.

Narara Island or Marine National park is a must visit in Jamnagar in mornings. One is required to take a permit and visit it around low tide times when the island is abuzz with a variety of marine life which includes Octopus, fishes, crabs, sponges etc. Its a 2 km walk and takes 1.5 – 2 hours. Narara Island is good fun for nature lovers, families and anyone who is looking to do something different than touristy sightseeing. Note: Good footwear is a must so that comfortably one can wade through sea water. So sandles are recommended. Avoid slippers or sports shoes.

Inundated by temperamental seawaters twice a day, the Marine National Park stands as a vanguard to a very fragile eco-system, which is as good as any underwater forest eco-system. The protected area has a great diversity of habitats- ranging from coral reefs, mangroves, mudflats, creeks, estuaries, sandy strands to saline grasslands, marshy areas and rocky shores.

These varieties of habitats support multitudes of fish, birds, reptiles and many other life forms. The coral reefs and mangroves found in Marine National Park are of great conservation value, which have all along been considered as the most fascinating of all the rich marine biota in a compact place found anywhere in the country. Special efforts are made to preserve its rare dignity of being the first marine national park in the country.

It is a treasure trove of colourful corals and sponges, giant sea anemone, jelly fish, sea horse, octopus, pearl oyster, Portuguese man of war, starfish, dolphin, shark and many more varieties of under water creatures and plants.

Mangrove Forest
The mangroves are halophytic species growing in saline soils in the coastal areas along the shores. The mangroves are adapted to loose and wet soils and periodic submergence in the saline water. They survive in difficult conditions of high salinity, low oxygen and nutrient availability in the soil, wind and wave action and substrate instability.

Mangroves play crucial role in conservation of marine life as mangrove swamps are considered nursery and shelter grounds for prawns, fishes, birds and host of other marine life. The fringe mangroves function as stabilizer of sediments and protect shore land from erosion. Thick cover of mangroves trap silts and protect coral reefs from destruction by excessive sedimentation.

In and Around

Lakhota Talav
This is a lake where there is boating. There are about 75 species of birds that visit the lake. It is a good place to be in the evenings. There are roadside vendors who sell tea and light snacks. There is a small zoo nearby.

Lakhota Palace and Museum
This is a fort in the middle of the island. Originally it was used as a fort to fend off invaders and the lake acted as a moat. Now, it has been converted in to a museum with artifacts consisting of armory and muskets, a skeleton of a whale and many other things of the past. There are paintings on the wall. There is an entry fee. The timings are 10.30 am to 2.00 pm and 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm.

Bhujiyo Kotho
Also known as the Bhujiyo Bastion, this is an armory. The building is maintained well. There is a well and water can be drawn up by blowing into a hole by the side.

Bala Hanuman Temple
The chanting inside the temple has been continuous since 1st August, 1964 and has been entered in the Guinness Book of World records. It is near the lake.

Old City
A walk through that part of the city will be an experience. There are a lot of wood and stone buildings.

Ratan Bai Masjid
It is an old mosque in the old city and has towering minarets. The main door is made of sandalwood and inlaid with mother of pearls.

Pratap Vilas Palace and Peter Scott Nature Park
The palace was built in 1907 and in 1968 the palace grounds was converted into a nature park. Permission from the royal family is required to visit the palace and the park and can be requested at Darbar Gadh.

An excellent bird sanctuary situated about 15 kms away from Jamnagar.

Dwarikadish Temple
It is about 150 kms from Jamnagar.

Best Time

The best time to visit the Marine national park is from end of October till end of February. You can also hire boats at jetties near Jamnagar for a trip to the Marine national park.

How to Reach

By Air
The nearest airport is located at Jamnagar, about 7 kms.

By Rail
The nearest railway station are located at Jamnagar and Rajkot.

By Road
The nearest bus stand is located at Jamnagar.

Stay / Eat

Where to Stay
A Forest Rest House is situated in Theba which is about 8 kms away from Jamnagar. A circuit house having ample number of suits is located in the city itself. Number of Private Hotels and Guest house are located in Jamnagar having excellent facilities.

Hotel Aram
Nand Niwas, Opposite DKV Circle,
Pandit Nehru Marg, Jamnagar,
Gujarat 361008

Hotel Express Residency
Jamnagar-Dwarka Highway, Motikhavdi,
Jamnagar, Gujarat 361140

Hotel President
Teen Batti, Jamnagar,
Gujarat 361001

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