Pirotan Island

Weather :

Timings : Depends on the tides, as boat services to reach here can be used only during high tides

Time Required : 5-6 hrs

Entry Fee : An entire day round trip: INR 2100 - INR 2500 per person (includes permits, boat rent and packed meals and water you'd take along)

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Pirotan Island, Bhuj Overview

Pirotan Island spreads over an area of 3 square kilometres and is one of forty-two islands in the marine park area, nestled within the vicinity of the Marine National Park in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat on the western coast. As part of the first marine national park - the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park, established in 1982, Pirotan Island offers an undisturbed rendezvous with nature in its abode. It is one of the two islands in the area which is normally permitted for tourists and visitors, Narara Island being the other one.

With only a handful of people living here which includes people from the forest department, Mujhavar at the Khwaja Khizer Dargah and a couple of people from the lighthouse, this enchanting island is much away from human habitation and way of life and comes close to being ideal if you are looking for a secluded getaway.

Although visits require permits from the local Forest Department, Customs & Ports Department, the hassle is entirely worth it. The island is a secluded getaway from the hubbub and commotion of daily life and deserves a space on your bucket list!

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Main Attractions of Pirotan Island

Undoubtedly the star attraction of the vast park, it is studded with coral reefs, mangrove vegetation, a wide variety of birds and low tide beaches. The plethora of biodiversity of both flora and fauna is just amazing, not to mention the abundance of marine life. The sacred shrine of saint Khwaja Khijer Rahmathullahalaih is situated on the island alongside the age-old lighthouse. Pirotan Island is located at about 20 kilometres (12 nautical miles) from the mainland, the closest port being Bedi harbour.

Etymology of Pirotan Island

Taking from its original name, "Pir jo thaan", which signified the relation of Pirotan with Khwaja Khijer, Pirotan is said to be among those rare coasts in the world, where one can spot corals by just walking by the shore in low tides, dipping feet is hardly 1-2 feet of water.

History of Pirotan Island

It is said that the island was previously known as 'Pir Jo Thaan', referring to the domicile of the late saint, Khwaja Khijer Rahmathullahalaih. Another account says the name is derived from Pirotan Patan, an ancient city near Bedi Bandar. In 1867, a flagpole was placed in the northern tip of the island to help navigate the area. This flagpole was replaced in 1898 by a masonry lighthouse which was subsequently converted into a 79 feet high lighthouse in 1955. The place has gained popularity since it was established as the nation's first marine national park in 1982.

Best Time To Visit Pirotan Island

You can visit Pirotan Island any time of the year although the months from November to February are preferred due to the calm weather. It can get quite sultry and hot during the summer seasons.

As mentioned above, it is always advisable to ask around for the tide timings as the only mode of transport to the island is cut off during low tides. The locals can advise or inform you about the tides which varies significantly throughout the year.

Traveling Around Pirotan Island

Local taxies and auto rickshaws are available for travelling within the city.

Stay Near Pirotan Island

Pirotan Island does not have any hotels and everyone visiting it, tend to stay in Jamnagar (the nearest major city). There are many cheap, budget and luxury hotels available in Jamnagar, take your call depending on your budget and desired services.

Activities At Pirotan Island

Pirotan Island's natural beauty is a fascinating sight. From creekside mangroves, stunning coral reefs and plenteous abundant marine life to serene stretches of low tide beaches and a vibrant bird population, there is so much to experience. The salty waters of the Arabian Sea are home to seabirds such as waders, seagulls, pelicans, herring gull, crab plover and black-headed gull. This is a bird enthusiast's paradise.

The abundance of marine life includes animals such as puffer fish, octopus, starfish, sea anemones etc. Dolphins and sea turtles also frequent the waters around the island, and you are lucky if you spot one! The coral reefs and sandy beaches of Pirotan Island serve as a superb getaway destination. The holy shrine of saint Khwaja Khijer Rahmathullahalaih is situated on the northern end of the island. A century-old lighthouse also stands valiantly overlooking the extensive blue of the sea.

Restaurants Near Pirotan Island

No eat outs available, carry your own beverages and snacks.

Sample Itinerary For Pirotan Island

Jamnagar is a hub of tourist destinations, a day trip to Pirotan can be planned when on a tour to Jamnagar. Having inquired about and made advance arrangements of your round trip to Pirotan preferably a day or two before, make sure you leave for the port on time, if you miss your boat, there aren't any alternatives available. On your way, as your guide will explain to you the dos and don't on the island, take note of things. Once on the island, walk along the beach, 162.89 square kms of the Marine national park and 457.92 sq kms of Marine Sanctuary await you. Get ready for some exotic visuals, look out for birds, and marine life, you've almost always just seen in books and movies.

Trivia About Pirotan Island

Pirotan island is known as India's first ever marine national park established in the year 1982.

Tips For Visiting Pirotan Island

1. If you're looking at visiting Pirotan, make sure you make advance arrangements. An Indian tourist needs permission approved by the forest and customs department, whereas a non-Indian would also need police departments' endorsements. Get in touch with your hotel staff as most hotels take care of these permissions.
2. The islands can be reached only when the tides are high, the movement of tides depends on the position of the sun and moon. Hence, there aren't any fixed hours of departure and arrival, get in touch with the local boatmen to set your trip as per your day.
3. Since the island hasn't yet developed as a tourist destination, there are no facilities for food and beverages, carry beverages along yourself.
4. There is no provision for accommodation on the island, but if you plan on camping on the island, prior permission needs to be obtained from the Forest Department.
5. There is no mobile phone network on the island.
6. The lighthouse at the beach has some rooms which can be used for changing the clothes. 
7. There are no restrooms/washrooms available on the island.

How to reach Pirotan Island

The only access to Pirotan Island is via waterways. A boat can be hired from the nearest port which is in Bedi as regular ferry services are not available. The journey takes approximately 2 hours to reach the secluded island. Be aware of the tide timings as boats operate only during high tides. The tide time varies with the effect of the moon. Hence schedules vary seasonally.

Jamnagar is the nearest major city from where you can avail necessary transport to Pirotan Island. It is well connected to other major cities in Gujarat such as Rajkot, Porbandar, Surat, Ahmedabad and Bhuj. State or private buses also operate regularly on these routes.

  • Air: Jamnagar airport is 10 kms away from the main city, the airport connects Jamnagar with Mumbai and local cities. There is little arrangement for connecting feeder service from the airport, it is suggested that you make prior booking for taxies or contact your hotel staff for making the necessary arrangements.

  • Rail: Jamnagar railway station is connected to the major cities of the country. Saurashtra Mail and Saurashtra Express run frequently between Mumbai and Jamnagar.

  • Road: Jamnagar is well connected with the other cities of Gujarat by road. There are intra state buses running between Rajkot, Surat, Junagarh, Ahmedabad, Porbandar and Bhuj. Apart from the state buses, there also are private bus services and taxies linking Jamnagar to the rest of the state.

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