Go On A Glass-Bottom Boat Ride At This Marine Park With 21 Islands Near Dhanushkodi & Find Nemo
The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is a protected area with 21 islands, coral reefs, and incredible marine wildlife located between Thoothukudi and Dhanushkodi. You can take a glass-bottom boat ride to see the flora and fauna here.
What Makes It Awesome
Surrounded by estuaries, mangroves and 21 islands (yes, that many), the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is really a field of azure housing some of the most amazing species of marine life. Situated between Thoothukudi and Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu, this was the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in Southeast Asia.
Even though most of the area is sealed off to conserve the biodiversity of the region, the public can take a glass-bottom boat ride to explore the marine life. We’re allowed to explore some islands on this boat, which is a huge boat with sections of glass through which you can see the underwater creatures clearly. While on this ride, you can spot corals, fish, seagrass, and other marine life. Also, commonly found here are turtles, pearl oysters, sea cucumbers, dolphins, seahorses, barracuda, herrings, whales, and dugongs (sea cow). These waters are home to the blue whale, the largest mammal on Earth.
Carry your binoculars as you can spot more than 180 species of birds here. Here, you can spot the Balanoglossus (an ocean-dwelling acorn worm), and thousands of species which are endemic to these waters. The park is open all year, but we hear the best time to visit is between October and March. To explore islands, you can register for guided tours and take permission from the Forest Department. Madurai is the nearest airport (150 km from here) and there are many hotels to stay at such as Hotel Pearl Residency, Hotel Sri Sarvana, and Daiwik Hotels.