(Last Updated on : 10/07/2014)
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park, situated in the Ritchie's archipelago
of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
, is a picturesque wildlife refuge. It was established in the year 1996. It hosts a rich and unique assortment of flora and fauna. Lying at a distance of about 40 kilometres from Baratang Island, the place is a delightful destination for ecotourism. In fact it is regarded as the eco tourism hub of the Andaman district of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The mesmerizing landscapes of the park make it an inviting tourist destination which allures visitors from all around the globe. Owing to its great avian population, it has been declared as an important bird area.
Geography of Rani Jhansi Marine National Park
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park encompasses an area of about 256 square kilometres. The temperature of the place varies from 20 to 30 degree Celsius. Three islands are included in the archipelago of Rani Jhansi Marine National Park namely Outram Island, Henry Lawrence Island and John Lawrence Island. Henry Lawrence Island is the largest one named after a British General. The island provides glimpses of the Indian history during colonial period. The natural habitats scattered here include mangrove
forests, semi-evergreen rain forest, lowland evergreen rain forest, beaches, coral reefs and lagoons. The place enjoys humid, tropical coastal climate as it is located close to the equator and the sea. Average rainfall has been recorded to be 3800 millimetres which owes to the southwest and northeast monsoons. The months from January to April are comparatively dry.
Flora and Fauna of Rani Jhansi Marine National Park
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park is quite unique and is mostly dominated by mangroves which dot the shore line of the park. Terrestrial moist forest and other ecosystems can also be traced here. The forest is also famed for sun basking Crocodiles and the rare and endangered Dugongs
which dwell in the water along with other marine fauna.It offers an exquisite opportunity to explore the diverse avifauna, vibrant marine life and undisturbed coral reef formations of the place. Fruit-Eating Bat
is one of the major attractions of the park and this unique species plays an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of the place. It serves both as a pollinator and seed disperser which helps in flourishing the vegetation. Fishes and Turtles
are also common here.
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park is best visited between the period of December and March as the weather remains pleasant during this time. It can be approached through airways via Port Blair
airport. Port Blair has a good connectivity with Chennai
airports. Waterways also connect the place with the Indian mainland and ship trips can be thus availed. Majority of local population depends on tourism for earning their livelihood as the island has very little or no farm land. The surrounding islands of the national park offer a wondrous destination for snorkelling and scuba diving