The Pirotan Islands near Jamnagar, Gujarat in India are like the Gold Coast of Australia to the country. These islands are deserted throughout the year with just the lighthouse keeper, tennis class Singapore the forest guard and the guardian of a temple out there. In case you want to go to these islands you will have to take special permission from the Forest Department. You have to take this permission well in advance. In case you are a foreigner you will have to get extra permission from the tourist department. You will have to take a boat from the Jamnagar Port. It takes about one hour to reach the island.
You will also have to check the tide timings that last for about 12 hours. The tide changes everyday and hence it is best to find the timings in advance so that you can plan your trip accordingly. Since the tide is the major factor the boatman will tell you when you would have to leave. You have to reach the islands at a specific time because the tide around the islands becomes so low that the boat which was running above water is now lodged on the rocks on the sea floor. The tide comes back in the evening and only after this the boat can return back home. smoke-island
Remember to stock up on one full day’s food and drinking water as there is no drinking water or food available on the island. You can go for an adventure or a study trip in the morning and come back in the evening. After descending form the boat you can go straight to the lighthouse and relax for a while in one of the quarters. Then you can ask the lighthouse keeper to take you for a two hour coral walk.
You should ideally wear thick soled shoes as the rocks at the bottom of the sea bed are quite sharp. The islands are one of the few places in the world where you can see the corals without diving in the water. The water has retreated to about 2 feet when the tide is low and hence you can see the corals easily. You will also be able to see marine life such as the sea cucumber that retreats in the ground when you touch it. Then there is the puffer fish that blows itself in a ball when you catch it. It has very sharp teeth and it can crack a small stone into two.
You will also see the tiny octopus that shoots black smoke when threatened. This black smoke confuses its predator while the octopus retreats into safety. The star fish and the jelly fish are also common sightings but the highlight of the trip is the vast quantity of corals that you find on the sea bed. So thick is their layer that you can literally walk on these corals. However you are not allowed to bring back any specimens of corals or living beings