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Jamnagar has the Countrys first Marine National Park, since 1982

Coral Walking by Tourists

This is one of the rare places in the world where one can look at corals without having to dive down into the water.

 

One just has to walk in the water, when tide ebbs, in about 1 to 2 feet of water and watch this facinating underwater world of corals.



The fascinating underwater world of the Marine National Park & Sanctuary.

162.89 Square Kilometers of Marine National Park and 457.92 Square Kilometers of Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Kutch at Jamnagar offers exotic sightings for people willing to go on an adventure trip in this area.

In the Gulf of Kutch, there are 42 islands, out of which 33 islands have coral reef. There are islands with sandy beaches and mangrove swamps. These islands are a treasure-trove of marine species and a paradise for birdwatchers.

The Marine National Park & Sanctuary has coral reefs, mangroves, sea-grass beds, mudflats, network of creeks and other ecosystems which supports rich marine life & bird life. Here one has chance to spot octopus, puffer fish, sea turtles, lobsters, crabs, dolphins, ray fishes, jelly fish, star fish, sea anemones, colourful corals, exotic marine flowering plants, etc.

And if one is very very lucky then maybe dugong which resembles seal.

Of the 42 islands, the most popular island is Pirotan (old name is "Pir jo sthaan" meaning the resting place of the holy Saint Khwaja Khizer Rahmatullahi Alayh).

         The Marine National Park & Sanctuary area has:

  • Coral Reef
  • 37 species of Hard & Soft Corals
  • 70 species of Sponges
  • 27 species of Prawns
  • 30 species of Crabs
  • 200 species of Molluscs
  • Endangered Sea Turtles like the Green Sea, Oliver Riddley & Leather Back.
  • Porpoise, Common dolphins, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins.
  • Dugongs (very rare to spot)
  • 108 species of brown, green & red Algae
  • Mangrove forests with Avicennia marina, Ceriops tagal, Aegiceras corniculatum & Rhizophora mucronata.  
  • Ray fishes which also include Sting Rays !!
  • 200+ species of Birds
  • There are beautiful islands here where one can see pristine & non corrupted sandy beaches..

Pirotan Island

Pirotan Island is about 7 nautical miles from Rozi port. Its around 1 hour journey through the beautiful Chejja creek. You have to board the boat from Rozi port (about 25 minutes drive from the Hotel President)

Sailing on the tranquil waters of Chejja creek, taking the curves, with mangroves forest on both sides is a wonderful experience.. Sailing to Pirotan

You are sure to see lots of birds also have a chance of spotting playful dolphins, sea turtles, ray fishes..

For access to the Marine National Park, one has to take permissions from the Forest Department, The Customs Department & the Port. In case of foreign tourists additional permission from the Police Department is also needed.

The fact which makes it worth planning a trip beforehand is that, one has to confirm the tide timings, as the boat can reach the pirotan island only when its full tide, the high tide has a 12 hours cycle...ie; if today high tide is at 6AM then next high tide will be at 6PM..

The tide timings keep changing everyday, so please check the tide timings with me, as to which date would be favorable..

OctupusAs a rule of thumb, the lunar or the Gujarati dates of  5th, 6th & 7th are the most favorable, when the high tide time is at day break

One should be able to go to the island for the adventure trip, in the morning and come back in the evening as the Island is so unexploited that no facilities have been developed yet... Not even drinking water is available on the island.

The only people there on the island are Forest Guard, Light House people & Mujhavar (Server) at the shrine of holy Saint Khwaja Khizer R.A. 

Visiting the Pirotan Island in fishing boats is prohibited.

Pirotan Island

For doing the coral walk, its advised to wear thick soled shoes or sandals, because some of the places in the reef are sharp.  In winter it gets quite cold and the boats available do not have covering, so its always better to wear warm clothes and carry cold creams to protect your skin from getting dry and in summer, lots of sun block cream, cap and dark glasses..

For a group of 12 people (Indian nationals) a Basic day trip would cost about Rs. 2500 per person (which includes Permits, Passenger Boat rental, Guide, packed Meals and potable Water - From Rozi port to Rozi port).

Pirotan island would re-open from 16/10/2015, with regular day-trips on the dates when high tide would be in mornings..

For organising a Pirotan Island trip, you may email your interest with list of names, age and your address atleast 2 days before to Mr. Mustak at Hotel President, Jamnagar

 

Narara coral walk at Narara

The Island accessible by road..

One can just drive to Narara, which is about 60 KMS from Jamnagar towards Dwarka; for doing the "Coral Walk" without sailing to the Islands.Crab holding stick at Narara

 

 

 

 

Most people do coral walking at Narara only, as not every time one can reach Jamnagar on the favorable dates to visit Pirotan.

The reef at Narara is like Pirotan with similar marine life and birds..

We have to consider the following points with regards to visiting Narara:

  • There are 4 tides in a day.. 2 high tides and 2 low tides.
  • High tide occurs every 12 hours..
  • The Coral walk is done in the dry spell between 2 high tides.. Generally it takes 3 and half hours for tide to reach the highest point at Narara on any given day.. and same time is taken for the ebb.. 
  • You may read this article to understand tides of the sea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide
    •  For example, if high tide on 15/04/15 is predicted to be around 3.30AM and then again at 3.20PM – then the coral walk should be started by 7 AM and one should be out of the reef by noon - which is 3 and half hours before the next high tide.
  • A coral walk of about 5 kilometers in the reef generally takes about 3 to 4 hours.
  • For visiting Narara, one has to take permit from Forest Dept.
  • Permit to be obtained on the spot at Narara itself
    • For a group of upto 6 Indian nationals in a car, entry permit would be Rs. 400 for the group (add 25% extra on weekends & holidays). For each still camera Rs. 200.  
    • For a group of upto 6 Foreign nationals in a car, entry permit would be USD. 40 for the group (add 25% extra on weekends & holidays). For each still camera USD. 20.  
  • Forest Dept. has kept guides at Narara and one may be got there after paying Rs. 300. 
  • For doing the coral walk, its advised to wear thick soled shoes (old sports shoes or crocs), because some places in the reef are sharp.
  • One should take along some snacks and water.
  • Taxi can be hired from taxi operators at additional cost.

The Issuing of Permits for visiting Narara start from 16th October till the first rains.

For assistance in visiting Narara, knowing the coral walk timings of a particular date & retaining an experienced guide, you may contact Mr. Mustak at Hotel President, Jamnagar.

Some exotic sea life which you can see real close.

wolf crab

Dolphin Sea Turtle

Ray fish

A bunch of ray fish

A point which I would like to bring up here to all who visit this exotic places, is not to harm anything and not to litter.. and in the words of a good friend, "Leave No Trace"

Please let it remain beautiful..

 

For assistance in visit Pirotan island & conductiong a Coral Walking tour at Narara with Guides, contact Mustak at Hotel President, Jamnagar


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Hotel President, Teen Batti, Jamnagar - 361 001, Gujarat, India. Phone: +91 288 2557491 Fax: +91 288 2558491

Email: info@hotelpresident.in



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This website is for local & international tourists as well as for Jamnagar residents interested in knowing more about the area.

 

Thank you for the photos : Mrs. Hima Parikh, Mr. Anil Munchandani, Bhatia Yashodhan (Bittoo),  Arpit Deomurari (Junglee), Manish Khetia (MTV) & Amit Vyas (Jiggu).

 

i`ll try to keep updating this website. if you have want to add something about Jamnagar, then pls email.

 

Mustak Amin Mepani

 

Created by -Mustak Amin Mepani-  No© 2005, updated May 2015   
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