Gujarat State Forest Department has lifted a four-year ban on tourists visiting Pirotan Island in the Marine National Park, located nine nautical miles from Jamnagar and well-known for its biodiversity.
There is no human settlement on Pirotan Island and overnight stay remains prohibited.
Earlier, the State agencies were caught off-guard as a buried corpse was unearthed near a monastery on the island and all visits were banned thereafter.
On December 13, 2021, the chief wildlife warden of Gujarat issued a circular lifting the ban on tourists visiting the island.
Visitors, however, will need to seek the approval of the Marine National Park and from departments including the police, Deep Bhavan (LightHouse) and the District Collectorate. Exact guidelines are being drawn up.
Of the 42 islands, the only ones that visitors are permitted to enter and explore are Pirotan Island, which is easier to access and therefore more popular, and Narala Island, which lacks infrastructure and can only be reached at certain times, when the tide is high enough.
The islands are uninhabited except for the workers at Pirotan Island lighthouse, so enjoy the solitude and use it as an opportunity to lose yourself to the wide world around you. Armed with a little knowledge, you can spend hours walking around the tidal flats at low tide, observing the fascinating marine life as it lies exposed from the receding waters. Some of the creatures, such as jellyfish, are best left untouched. Be sure to ask the park officers what others should be avoided, but don’t be afraid to have a hands on experience with the creatures that are open to it.