Known for hosting the biggest mangrove forests in the world, Sundarbans provide a complete nature's circle to the tourist right from 'Royal Bengal tigers' to roaring rivers and beautiful estuaries.
Shared between India and Bangladesh, the Sundarbans meaning beautiful forest, have been declared a UNESCO heritage site. This area has a silent charm that manages to amaze one with the simplicity and naturalness of its ecological balance in spite of offering habitat to some of the most dynamic and awe inspiring flora and fauna. They are in fact the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Gangetic plain and the sustainability of this natural structure is pretty majestic. Since 1966, the Sundarbans have been a wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are over 400 Royal Bengal Tigers and about 30, 000 spotted deer in the area.
This forest has the largest number of Sundari trees. Sundarbans epitomize wilderness with its meandering rivers, springs, creeks and estuaries. It is a declared Tiger Reserve, home to the Royal Bengal Tiger- an almost extinct species who swim in the saline water and are often man-eating varieties.
Other endangered species in the Bioreserve are Batagur baska, King Crabs, Olive Ridley and Turtle. You can also find the jungle fowl, giant lizards, spotted deer, wild boar and crocodiles in these forests. The Siberian ducks are another famous attraction here. Besides this, there are over 64 varieties of Mangroves such as Goran, Genwa, Dhundal, Garjan, Kankra, Sundari and Passur. Make sure to hit the Nilkamalor Hiron Point and Katka viewpoints that offer fantastic views of animals in wilderness. Also, enjoy the mud-flats called Chargheri Char where you can enjoy coastal trekking.
The West Bengal Government has made various lodging facilities available. However, make sure to book ahead.
Hot and humid climate. Threatened wildlife.
The Indian portion of Sunderbans is located in West Bengal. So, the region is perfect for tourists from West Bengal itself. However, the region should be visited by conservationists and shutterbugs from all over the world.
Day 1 - Start from Kolkata. Reach Gosaba and explore the villages around the forests. You can enjoy a boat ride in the river. Day 2 - Start off early morning. Visit the watch towers in Sajnekhali, Sudyanakhali and Do Banki. The mangrove interpretation centre in Sajnekhali is a must-visit. These regions highlight different features of the huge jungle and are exciting to explore.
Located between India and Bangladesh, Sundarbans is an alluvial archipelago of 54 islands formed by the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra. Known as the largest delta in the world, the place receives its name from the Mangrove or 'Sundari' trees which grow in the region in huge numbers. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve, the existence of Sundarbans is mesmerizing in itself. The mysterious mangrove forests are home to the Royal Bengal Tiger and several other species of animals. Sundarbans is a replica of the miracles of nature and shows us the importance of the ecosystem. A trip to Sundarbans is thus, a perfect escape from the hectic life into the lap of Mother Nature. Apart from the natural beauty, the non-communal traditions of the local population in the region gives a strong message to take away home.
Though the options for cuisine and food here are modest and limited, one can relish the freshest catches from the water around and indulge in mouth watering dishes prepared from the same. However since the options for restaurants and joints are limited, it is best to stick to your hotels to avail decent food options.
- Avoid venturing out on your own. Always carry flashlights and spare batteries.