Sundarbans: The Mangrove Tiger Land

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Sundarbans is the world’s largest delta and mangrove forests, located at the border of India and Bangladesh.

sundarbans
Image source – Wikipedia/Sundarbans

It is a confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers into the Bengal Basin. The ecosystem over here is extremely productive and this area is known for its delicate fauna, numerous bird species, the Bengal Tiger and other threatened species like  estuarine crocodile and Indian python.

Exploring Sundarbans

Sundarban is a tiger reserve , a biosphere reserve,a national park and  a UNESCO world heritage site.

The beautiful landscape with numerous rivers, rivulets and creeks add to the uniqueness of Sundarbans. These water bodies separate the entire forest into parts of varying sizes and the only way to explore Sundarbans is on a cruise boat.

sundarbans
Image source – Sunderbannationalpark/boating

While you are in Sundarbans, you cannot miss out to visit the watch towers of Sajnekhani, Dobanki, Sudhanyakhali, Jhingamari, Bonnie Camp and Kumirmari. These are the places from where you can get the best views of this mangrove land and also spot tigers.  Neti Dhopani is one of the best Watch Towers here but only 8 boats are allowed every day, so you need to book the cruise in advance.

Wildlife Spotting

Sundarbans forest is home to more than 400 tigers. The Bengal Tigers here are known for their unique charectersitic of swimming in the water and for their man-eating tendency. Come winters and you can spot tigers sun bathing in the banks from your boat.

sundarbans
Image source – Sunderbannationalpark/Tiger

Apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger; Salt water Crocodiles, Fishing Cats, Leopard Cats, Macaques,Fox, Jungle Cat, Flying Fox, Pangolin, Chital, are also found in abundance in the Sundarbans. Besides, sharks and the Gangetic freshwater dolphins can also be spotted in the water bodies here.

The raw jungle atmosphere over here and the thrill would surely give you goosebumps.

Bird Watching

Birdwatchers would surely have a gala time in the Sundarbans.

sundarbans
Image source – Sunderbannationalpark/Birdwatching

Cormorants, storks and kingfishers, common pochard and redshank can be spotted. Winters invite a lot of migratory birds too.

Sky Watching

The clear dark sky adorned with stars give you a vision of the constellations and stars about which you had read in your science textbooks.

The best time to visit the Sundarbans National Park is between November and March.

If you wish to have more details regarding booking, accommodation and transportation, you can click here or contact the Tourism Centre, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited, 3/2-BBD Bag (Near Great Eastern Hotel), Kolkata. Phone Number: +91 33 2210-3199, +91 33 2248-8271.

Foreigners have to avail an exclusive permit to reach this place. It is provided at the Sajnekhali Forest Office. The permit is granted for a maximum of five days and the local forest officer has to be contacted to extend it.

Other adventure activities include cycle trips, village walk and fishing or crab catching program. Bhagabatpur Crocodile Park is a must visit.Do not forget to shop for honey, local handicrafts, organic brown rice and hand painted outfits.

Stay and Food

There are several luxury and budget forest resorts  and hotels for a comfortable stay, most of these also provide safaris into the national park. There are luxury cruises too where you get to stay on the cruise ship itself and enjoy the marvels of this mystical mangrove forest.

All the hotels, resorts and cruise boats provide great Indian and continental food but while here one must try the Bengal fish delicacies for sure.

Plan a trip

To reach Sundarbans National Park, you can reach Kolkata via flight or train and then hire a private cab for the remaining 112 kilometers.

Entry points to Sundarban National Park are Godkhali, Koikhali, Namkhana and Canning. Sundarbans is the most readily accessible from Canning. No matter which route you choose, you have to reach Kolkata first. From there, you have to take roadways to get to the entry point. Jambudeep and Namkhana are connected to Sundarbans through waterways.

Set off on an exciting trip with your camera to Sundarbans whenever you get the next vacation and have the time of your life.

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