Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve is located along the coasts of Ramanathapuram
This is the first marine biosphere reserve in India comprising 21 islands with estuaries, beaches, forests, sea grasses, coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves. Dugong turtles, dolphins and balano-glossus inhabit the reserve.
The reserve is located near Mandapam, which is about 150 km from Madurai. Madurai Airport serves as the nearest airport.