Narara Marine National Park is a well-known tourist destination in Gujarat. It is the only region where tourists can view live corals prominently without taking a dive in the ocean. It is situated in the southern coast of Kutch within the district of Jamnagar. It was declared to be the first marine park of the country and is spread over an area of over 458 sq. km. It was formed in the year of 1982 within the purview of the 172 Wildlife Protection Act for the purpose of protecting marine flora and fauna. It is a combination forty two islands that include Poshitra, Narara, etc.
Being among the few marine parks in India, it offers the perfect breeding environment for various undersea animals and plants like sea weeds, sea grass, Sesam, Saag, Kheru, starfish, dolphins, pearl oysters, jelly fish, sea horses, corals and sponges. The undersea plants are known to offer protection to roosting and nesting birds and also play a vital role in preventing the penetration of land predators.
Visitors can also see other marine species such as sea turtles, puffer fish with hosts of coastal birds like ducks, gulls, flamingoes, darters, spoonbills and stocks. A popular tourist destination in Gujarat for both locals and outsiders, visitors have the chance to see Dugong, which is marine mammal along with rare Bonnalia worm species. During the time of monsoon the region is flocked with about thirty migratory bird species. Tourists can also visit Pirotan Island that is located near the park with similar attractive marine species.
A scientific study for obtaining details about marine biodiversity was first conducted in this region in the year of 1909. One of its kinds in India, the research in this Gulf region was the outcome of the initiative of the then ruler Sayajirao Gaekwad along with that of renowned marine biologist and erstwhile commissioner of Baroda Mr Hornell. Further, studies revealed many unknown details including ecology of this marine park. After independence the ecological significance of this place was discussed in depth in a seminar that was held in the year of 1980 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in Sans Gir. In that seminar the decision was taken to develop and protect the marine biodiversity of this region.
Where is it located?
This park is situated in western part of India along the offshore of the southern coast of Kutch Gulf. It roughly takes 49 km to reach the spot via GJ SH 6C and NH947 from Jamnagar airport. It is around 56 kms via GJ SH 6C and NH947 and falls within the jurisdiction of the forest department, permission must be secured before entering the area.
Ideal Visiting Time
The perfect time for visiting this national park is from October till February. Tourists can hire motorboats to have a trip around the national marine park.