Location: 30 kilometers away from Port Blair
Area: 281.5 square kilometer
Nearest Airport: Kolkata airport
Nearest Town: Port Blair
Adventure: Boating, Diving, Snorkeling, Camping
Entry Fee: Rs. 50 per person and the tickets are available at the counter on Wandoor jetty.
Best time to visit: December to April
Marine Animals: 50 varieties of corals
Wandur National Park is ideally nestled in the picturesque islands of Andaman and Nicobar, bounded by the vast Indian Ocean. Wandur National Park is also known as the Mahatma Gandhi Marine Park, it is situated 30 Kms in the South of Port Blair and is spread over 12 islands. The park is famous for being home to beautiful corals and a wide variety of marine species. The island around which this marine park is spread is famed as the Labyrinth Island, for the channels weaving around them like a maze. Being one of the India’s best marine parks it is surrounded by tropical islands and dense forests along with being home to rare orchids and several creepers. These islands are set around the beautiful beaches. The islands also feature a large number of caves which one can explore while exploring the Wandur National Park.
The rare and the exotic marine life present at this park consist of Hawskbill Turtle, Green Turtles, Olive Ridely Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle. Amongst the other wildlife Estuarine Crocodiles also makes a significant part of the marine life present at the park. Apart from these a rich variety of fish, mollusks, coconut Crab and amphibians are a delightful sight present along the sea shore of the Wandur National Park.
The park is also home to a rich variety of water birds which include Roseate Tern, Black-naped Tern and Sooty Tern along with swifts, ospreys, swifts and serpent crested eagles which are present along the water's edge and feeds on the abundant marine life of this park.
Another added feature of this park includes the coral laid down over centuries. These Coral reefs present under the sea water form an amazing reef and underwater landscapes. The wide variety of coral found here includes antler coral, vase coral, finger coral, plate coral, brain coral and the leather coral. The presence of Xooanthellae algae along the reef provides reef with its amazing colors. The other wide variety of creatures that form a part of this underwater life includes crabs, shrimp, oysters, fish and sea urchins etc.
The Wandur National Park features a tropical climate. This national park receives medium to heavy rainfall during between the months of September to December. The park features no extreme climate except for the tropical storms and rains in the late summer due to be huge damage is caused to the park. The nights in the park are often cool and comfortable.?
The major mammals to spot in the park include spotted deer, wild pig, fruit bat and civet.
The marine life in the park is very active and abounded by a large variety of Coral reef fishes. If lucky enough one can even enjoy spotting fishes like a White - tip shark, manta-ray and blue-fin jack, hammer-headed shark and many more.
Water monitor lizards, Turtles, crocodiles and water snakes are some of the commonly spotted reptiles in the park. The two island present on the beach including Twin Islands and Rutland islands provides the best nesting grounds for four species of marine turtles: leather back, hawks bill, Olive Ridley, and green sea.
Flora in Wandur National Park:
The exotic flora of the park consists of Terminalis sp, silk cotton tree, cycus, bamboo, cane, orchid, fern, thespesia, Dipterocarpus sp, andaman padauk, andaman bullet-wood and pandanus.
The entrance fee at the park is Rs. 50 per person and the tickets are available at the counter on Wandoor jetty.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit this national park is from December to April. As between the months of May and October, the park receives heavy rainfall.
How to Reach:
In order to reach the Wandur National Park, you first need to reach Port Blair. There frequent flights available to Port Blair from Kolkata and Chennai. Upon reaching Port Blair one can either opt for a road trip or enjoy a boat ride to wonder, as it's just 30 kms from Port Blair. It will take approximately 45 minutes to reach Wandur by road. It is a small fishing town and lies in close circumference of the entry point of the park. As you reach this exotic Marine Park, travel around the park on totrized launches.
The Tourist Department of Andaman every runs two to three mini buses every day. These buses can be boarded from the office of Director of Information and Publicity and Tourism of Port Blair.
· Travelers are urged not break off pieces of the beautiful corals to take along with them as a souvenir, as doing so can easily damage the magnificent coral ecosystem present at this marine park.
· The coral formation present underwater can be visit from close by the keen scuba divers as the equipments required for the same are available at an affordable rent.
· The tourist from India are required to get a permit for visiting the Nicobar Islands while the foreign tourists are not allowed to visit the Nicobar chain of Islands.
· Foreign travelers also need a permit to enter the boundaries of Andamans. The permit provided by the Government of India is valid for a total of 15 days.
· There is no dearth of accommodation options since there are a large number of hotels and resorts present in the close proximity of Port Blair.