Monday, January 05, 2009

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Reserve, Tamilnadu, India

2nd day continued from my post here ... but this visit was special. It is about Marine Life....
People usually visit Rameswaram and then Dhanushkudi - the farthest tip towards Sri Lanka where the Epic of Ramayana tell us that Hanumana built a Bridge (called Ramar Setu- Setu=bridge. Ram's Bridge) by dropping huge boulders so that Ram could cross to Sri Lanka to retrieve his Queen Sita from the clutches of Ravana. But there is another fantastic place to visit for those who love nature.
Kurusadai Island.
These islands are on the west of the Pamban Bridge and are about 20 kms from the Rameswaram railway Station. The chain of coral reefs surrounding this island make it an ideal research area for biologists and a beautiful place for tourists. The marine life includes algae, sea cucumbers, crabs, starfish, sponges, sea anemone etc.

Those who are interested in reading about Marine Life in Gulf of Mannar can download this booklet from the Forest deptt here.

You cross the Pamban Bridge towards Rameswaram and just after 2 kms or less you have to turn right. This turning will be before you reach the Forest Deptt offices on the left on this road. Unless someone takes you, you will miss it. Then the road goes through the village. Since it was raining before I came, the village was inundated with water and at some place I had to go through water.. but no problems.. Then I reached the sea shore where I took the forest deptt boat to the Island. This is the only island they allow us to go, all other islands are out of bounds.

Due to the windy weather the glass bottom boat which runs near the Pamban Bridge was not operating as the sea was not clear and the waters were murky. I had difficulty in photographing the corals and the sea anemone and the sea cucumber & sea grass, I saw under water on the island beach. But anyway.. the slide show is here below. We got down on one side of the island and walked one km to the other side.. -very narrow island..just long. that is all. The sea on the other side where the coral reefs were there unde the water was COMPLETELY CALM. NO WAVES!! Oh by the way the island is also full of medicinal plants and so on. Read about them in the booklet.

It takes one- two hours from waiting for the boat to going there (motor boat) to walking to the other side and then coming back. They do not give you much more time.. you cannot sit on the beach and spend a whole day. Tamil Language is a problem so I could not understand a single thing the forest official was saying.

Contact Wild Life Warden Office, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, Mandappam Road, Dt Ramanathapuram- 623501 Phones- 04567 230079


Sujoy Bhattacharjee said...

Is that a sponge. My knowledge of aquatic life is quite limited.

BTW awesome makeover. Great design and usability. Did you do it yourself or did you get it done professionally. Really good!!!!

Happy New Year (5 days late)!
May the recession end.

ShantanuDas said...

Happy new year!! I am late also!
No it is a sea anemone.. My bad luck that the sea water was sandy due to heavy winds.. so could take only a few photos and that too not very clear.. will post the details tomorrow..

Glad that u thought this design good.. No .. I searched and searched and got this free template because someone said this needed a makeover .. from the web.. the credits are at the end..

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