Travel Special – Kurusadai Islands, Biologists Paradise with Clear Blue Water and White Sand

Kurusadai Islands is the haven of rare and near extinct species of marine sphere. A favorite exploration spot of marine specialists and aquatic researchers, the Islands has a global recognition for its unique coral reefs. With proper approval of the fisheries department the place can be visited by general people.

Found near the borders of Mandapam, Kurusadai Islands offer a visual delight to tourists who can watch the dolphins and sea-cows diving freely in the Gulf of Mannar. What distinguishes the place from other neighboring Islands is its exclusive wealth of atypical balanoglossus organism which is one of most precious living fossils available in the aqua biosphere of earth.

Sea anemone is another interesting asset of the Islands which takes the shape of an amoeba the moment it is touched or disturbed otherwise. The infinite range of sea weeds, multi-hued reefs and sea grasses spread over the shallow bed of the sparkling water brightens up the entire ambience of the place. From shades of violet to red, the raised coral reefs of the Islands are not only a special attraction of the place but also chart high on the list of marine biologists.

From algae, starfish and sponges to crabs and sea cucumbers, Kurusadai Islands is known to be the dwelling place of many other enticing generations of aquatic species.

A famous tourist destination, the Islands is well-equipped with a network of hotels and guest houses. While beautiful cottages provide a rustic charm, the contemporary hotels offer state-of-the-art amenities along with personalized care and comfort.

Being adjacent to Mandapam, Kurusadai Islands is connected to nearby spots of interest via the Pamban Bridge. Only a 20km driveway from Rameswaram, the Islands offer convenient transportation facilities to the visitors.

Symbolizing the extensive reserve of outstanding flora and fauna, Kurusadai Islands protects and encourage the vigorous growth of the marine species.

Dilapidated buildings on Kurusadai Island would be renovated to facilitate scholars and students to study the ecology and biodiversity, said C V Sankaran, Principle Secretary to Forest and Environment-Chennai recently. He assured that the forest department would render full support to the district administration to make the island a green world.

The people at Fisheries dept instruct that Kurusadai is best in the early morning at low tide and ask people to report at the fIsheries office in Mandapam (halfway between Ramnad and Rameswaram). Localities do not know about the office and so be sure to help yourself to reach the office.   The boat ride takes about 15 min during which  Pamban bridge can be seen. Clear blue water and white sand is not something we see in India very often. This is breathtakingly beautiful and some of the marine life found here includes a notable array of marine life-algae, sea cucumber, sea anemones, cowries, volutes, whelks, crabs, sponges, strombids, tonnids, sting rays, starfish, turtles, dolphins, dugongs, oysters, and others. Of the many dolphins (Oongil in Tamil) spotted here, there are many varieties such as – the bottle-nosed dolphin, the common dolphin, and the finless porpoise, while the land is also home to at least three different species of turtles found here which include the Hawksbill, Green and Olive Ridley Turtles. For those who prefer to enjoy the rich marine life found here, try the glass bottomed boat rides at the Pamban Bridge.

Studies estimate that some 117 species of stony corals inhabit the Gulf of Mannar, with Porites, Favia, Favites, Goniastrea, Platygyra being majority of the corals found here. The dominant reef building coral species belong to the family Poritidae and Faviidae.

Referred to as a “biologist’s paradise”, also of significance is the unique, endemic organism called “balanoglosus”  (Ptychdera fluva), a taxonomically unique  ”living fossil” which links vertebrates and invertebrates.

Posted on February 29, 2012, in Attractions, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thanks for introducing such a gem in our state. I never knew we could boast of such a diverse place. Will plan a trip here soon. Thanks a lot!

  2. Badly wanted to know the process to get permission from the fisheries department to go to Kurusadai island. Please email me with contact details if somebody could help karthik172[at]

  3. Hope to visit Kurusadai Islands and your excellent blog has helped me in my research.Thanks.

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