A visit to Kutch Marine National Park ( Part I)
The state of Gujarat has many firsts in it’s crown. Marine National Park is one of the brightest feathers. In 1980, an area of 163 sq. KMs consisting 42 islands falling in Gulf of Kutchh in Jamnagar district was declared as Marine National Park and an area
of 295 sq. KMs declared as a Sanctuary area.
Marine National Park and the sanctuary fall in the inter-tidal zone along the Jamnagar Coast and the islands in the gulf of Kutchh. The whole area is a treasure for nature lovers, biologists, marine scientists and tourists. It possesses a great diversity
of habitats, Coral reefs and Mangroves.
The island opens to a heart throbbing view of rich marine diversity in its mud flats, creeks, coral reefs, estuaries, sandy strands, marshy shores and mangroves. Temperamental tides visit the shore twice a day. And such various forms of habitats support
a rich eco system. One can see a multitude of fish, birds, corals, many sea creatures and worms.
A group of 60 Participants visited the Marine National Park last 28th and 29th January under the flagship of Youth Hostel’s Association of India, Gandhinagar Unit. We reached there at 12: 42 PM in high tide. After introduction and ice breaking session,
we had our lunch. As the sea water started to go back, we started our journey to bag an unforgettable experience of our life.
We went through a muddy shore on the eastern side of the island. We saw big amount of sea grass drained and reached the shore in tidal force. Then we saw sea worms. Sea worm is a worm like earth worm, with lengths of half to two meters’ and lives in
soft sand under the shallow sea water. We also saw colorful sponges, shells, chunks. We had a thrilling experience of walking in knee reaching mud, which is called ‘saari’ in local dialect. Hence being on the western coast of the island, we also were fortunate
to spectaculars view of Sun set.
( Text and Photographs by Chaitanya –Light house, tube worm and Neptune Crab)