The Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is one spot that you just shouldn’t be missing when you decide to visit Andaman Islands . It is situated in Wandoor village which is about 29 km away from the capital city of Port Blair. This park was set up to ensure the safety of the marine lives of the area. The park as a whole is a cluster of 17 islands, among which the major islands are the Labyrinth Islands and the Twin Islands. The largest island is Tarmugli Island, a beautiful place covered with thick mangrove trees and surrounded by beautiful beaches. Some of the islands remain isolated for precautionary measures from the extreme weather condition that prevail in this area. The coral reefs in this area are mostly fringing, fringing reefs grow near the coastline around islands and continents. They are separated from the shore by narrow, shallow lagoons. Each island has a varied type of flora and fauna and is different from one another. The Twin Islands is used as an area for breeding and nesting sea turtles. The islands that are opened here for the visitors are mainly to promote ecotourism. All the islands here come under Port Blair politically.
Red Skin Island
Among the islands that form this marine park, Red Skin is the second most visited island. This island is open for visitors when the Jolly Buoy Island is closed for preservation which makes it available for the tourist from March to October. Red Skin Island is a “No Plastic Zone” so do not carry any plastic items with you here. You will be asked to hand over or throw any plastic material you are carrying to Red Skin Island. Carry some refreshments and take a trip to this serene and secluded island for an amazing experience. Basic changing rooms are available, however, nothing more robust. Make sure you go to the washroom at Wandoor jetty itself as there are NO washrooms in Redskin Island.
Tarmugli is the largest island in this park and it has beautiful sandy beaches, it is covered with thick mangrove trees and has uprooted trees scattered on the shore. Tarmugly Island is open to visitors. However, currently, no boat goes to Tarmugli Island, so people can’t visit the island until the administration promotes the island as safe for tourism and allot boats for a trip to this place. Till today the Tarmugli remains untouched. Yes, because even chartered boat cannot take you to visit this place as it comes under the Marine National Park's reserve for which the entry of boats is regulated by the government.
By this, we come up with the fact that Chartered boat services are not allowed for taking a visit to the Islands that fall under the Marine National Park. We have to get proper pre-issued permits for visiting the currently visitable islands- i.e., Jolly Buoy & Red Skin.
Jolly Buoy Island
The Jolly Buoy Island is one of the most visited spots in Andaman; the island doesn’t fall short in the aspect of cleanliness and hygiene. The Jolly Bouy island is one of the most well preserved natural marine eco-system in India. One feature of the island that would definitely make you way more interested in visiting it is the fact that this island is a “No plastic zone/ No man zone”. For the ones who enjoy their lone time, the island serves as an ideal spot for relaxation. The ideal time for visiting the island is from November to April, the remaining months are scheduled for the corals to revive themselves. You can avail of the glass-bottom boat rides to explore the beautiful corals. Being one of India’s conserved natural marine eco-systems which demands the months of preparation and effort to be put into maintaining the island for it to be what it is when visited.
Other Island in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park
Unfortunately, since the below listed Islands are not yet opened for visits, we are unable to tell you how the experiences would be to step in these untouched paradises. However, the names of the other islands that are grouped together to form this park are named below:
- Alexandra Island
- Bell Island
- Boat Island
- Grub Island
- Hopday Island
- Malay Island
- Pluto Island
- Riflemen Island
- Snob Island
- West Twin Island
- East Twin Island
- North Hopday Islands