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Sundarbans Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: September to March Read More

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"Home of the Bengal Tigers"

Sundarbans Tourism

Known for hosting the biggest mangrove forests in the world, Sundarbans National Park is located around 110 Km south of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. It is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve famous for being the home of the Royal Bengal tigers, among others, including roaring rivers and beautiful estuaries. Sundarbans National Park is a part of the Sundarban delta, which extends into Bangladesh. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with a large variety of birds and animal species, including reptiles such as salt-water crocodiles.

Shared between India and Bangladesh, the Sundarbans meaning beautiful forest, was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1984. This area has a quiet charm that amazes visitors with the simplicity and uniqueness of its ecological balance despite offering habitat to some of the most dynamic and awe-inspiring flora and fauna. These forests are, in fact, the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Gangetic plains. Since 1966, the Sundarbans have been a wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are over 400 Royal Bengal Tigers residing in it.

This forest has the largest number of Sundari trees. Sundarbans epitomize wilderness with its meandering rivers, springs, creeks and estuaries. It was a declared Tiger Reserve, home to the Royal Bengal Tiger - an almost extinct species that swim in the saline water and are often called man-eaters.

Other endangered species in the Bioreserve are Batagur baska, King Crabs, Olive Ridley and Turtles. You can also find jungle fowls, 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 visit the Nilkamalor Hiron Point and Katka viewpoints, which offer fantastic views of animals in the wilderness. Also, enjoy the mudflats called Chargheri Char, where you can enjoy coastal trekking.

Things to do in Sundarbans

1. Boat Tour of the Mangrove Forest

Boat Tour of the Mangrove Forest
Boat Tours of the mangrove forest are the only way to properly explore the depths of Sundarbans as there are no jeep safaris here. Early morning boat rides through the creeks and canals are the best t (Read More)ime to watch the animals and birds. It is recommended that these boat tours are done in smaller groups as large groups can frighten away animals and birds.

2. Marichjhanpi

Marichjhanpi is one of the islands within India�۪s most famous mangroves - the Sundarbans. Being the location for Amitav Ghosh�۪s novel The Hungry Tide and a Bengali movie that is due to be released i (Read More)n 2020, Marichjhanpi is known as an island of atrocities.

3. Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary

Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary
Avid bird watchers can visit Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary situated within Sundarbans National Park. Here many bird species can be observed freely within the lush greenery. Some species that can be spotte (Read More)d here include kingfishers, open billed storks, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Paradise Flycatcher, and the rare Asian Dowitchers.

4. Ghoramara Island

Ghoramara Island
Ghoramara Island is one of the tiny islands of the Sundarban delta, 92km south of Kolkata. The island is a victim of global warming, soil erosion and the ever-rising water-levels of the Bay of Bengal (Read More) - and is shrinking at exorbitant rates.

5. River Boat Cruise

River Boat Cruise
River Boat Cruises can be enjoyed along the open waters of the river in large groups. These cruises are quite popular for sighting river dolphins within the national park. It is quite entertaining to (Read More)see the dolphins in the wild being playful.

6. New Moore Island

New Moore Island
New Moore or India�۪s Purbasha or Bangladesh�۪s South Talapatti is an offshore sandbar island off the coast of the Sundarbans. Two kilometres away from the mouth of the Haribhanga River, the 25,000sq. (Read More)m. island was completely submerged under the Bay of Bengal waters for years.

7. Sightsee from the Watch Towers

Sightsee from the Watch Towers
There are many tall watchtowers from where visitors can enjoiy panoramic views of the region and catch glimpses of the birds and animals. The Sajnekhali Watch Tower and Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower (Read More)are two such spots which offer fantastic views.

8. Watch Turtles at Kanak Island

Watch Turtles at Kanak Island
Kanak Island is the nesting ground of the Olive Ridley turtles in Sundarban National Park. During the nesting season, a large number of turtles are seen to come to the island from over 100 Km away to (Read More)lay their eggs. The nesting season is during the winter season and lasts from December to early March.

Must Know Before You Travel to Sundarbans

1) Sundarban National Park can be reached by driving to Godhkali (3 hour drive from Kolkata) and then taking a ferry or jetty to Sajnekhali.

2) Winter season from November to early March is the best time to visit Sundarban National Park.

3) It is advisable to take a multi-day tour package as the region to be covered is large and several experiences are not to be missed out on.

4) There are many nature camps and lodges across the many islands in Sundarban National Park. Gosaba Island has the best standardised hotels and resorts to choose from.

Top Hotels In Sundarbans

More on Sundarbans Travel

Safari in Sunderban National Park

Sundarban National ParkBeing in the midst of large water bodies means Sundarban can offer you the cruising experience of a lifetime where with just a little luck, you can experience the Royal Bengal tiger swimming alongside your cruise boat. Both government and private cruising tours are available here, ranging from budget to luxury options. 

Boat Safari

The government operated boat safaris are available in large and small sizes, large ones for longer durations and small ones for smaller durations. They are available in AC as well as Non-AC. The boat safari can be booked for one day and even for longer time periods 0f one week.

It starts at 08:30 AM and ends at 04:00 PM. Boats are not allowed inside after 06:30 PM. Both AC and Non-AC boats a


The 2 Night cruise operated by the West Bengal government takes you to Sudhanyakhali, Sajnekhali, Jhingakhali, and Dobanki watchtower. There is also a less expensive 1 Night tour which excludes a visit to the Jhingakhali tower. The tour is conducted in two boats, Chitralekha and Sarbajaya. The latter one is said to be the better option out of the two. The tours are conducted with a group of up to 50 people.

So, expect a large crowd and fewer chances of sighting wildlife as the boats can only pass through wide waterways because of their large size.

A 2N/3D tour will start from Kolkata at 08:00 in the morning from Kolkata and end on Day 3 at 05:30 PM, also in Kolkata.

Booking and Cost
You can book online on the website of West Bengal tourism. The cost depends on the part of the ship you book. An all-inclusive package starts from INR 4,840 for lower deck, INR 6,050 for Non-AC birth, INR 7,700 for AC birth, INR 6,600 for Cabin and INR 14,850 (2 PAX) for a couple.

Private Cruise Tours

Private cruise tours are also available, ranging from 2N/3D budget tours to 6N/7D luxury tours. The cost also varies with the type of amenities, facilities, and the requirements of the guest. Sundarban Chalo, Vivada Sundarban, Sundarban Houseboat, Help Tourism Sundarbans Jungle Camp, and Tour De Sundarban are some popular options with the tourists.

All cruise tours usually start at 8:00 in the morning and end around 5:00-5:30 in the evening.

The price can be as low as INR 2,000 per person and as high as INR 50,000 per person.

Private Boats

Privately run boat rentals are also an option if you want to explore the river waters for only a day.

Timings: Starts at 8:00 in the morning and end around 5:00-5:30 in the evening.

All inclusive food charges start from INR 950 per person, and overnight stay is charged extra at INR 600 per person. Expenses for the motorboat, forest entry fee, and video camera fee are over and above the food and overnight stay charges and have to be paid by the tourist to the forest department directly.

Watch Towers

To offer a full view of the rich animal and plant life to tourists, the forest department has constructed several towers inside the forest area. Below are the major ones with the sightings they are famous for.

Sudhanyakhali: Tigers, crocodiles, wild boars

Sajnekhali:  Kingfisher, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Plovers, Lap-Wings, Curfews, Whimprel, Sandpipers, Pelican, Bono Bibi temple, Crocodile park, Mangrove Inspection Centre

Dobanki:  Canopy walk, Cheetal

Burirdabri: Mud walk, Mangrove cage trail, molluscs, crabs

Netidhopani: Ancient Shiva Temple

Bonnie Camp: Scenic beauty, tigers, deer

Jhingekali: Tigers, Brahmini Kite Bird

Flora and Fauna

Sundarban is made up of a unique ecosystem of Mangrove trees and houses 1586 faunal species. Out of these, 15 mammal species, eight bird species, and 17 reptile species are counted amongst the rare and endangered species in India. 
The vegetation in Sunderbans is a moist tropical forest with Mangroves dominating the flora. Multiple species of Mangroves are found here. Sundari tree (Heritiera fomes), which in all probability gave the forest its name characterizes the thick Mangrove growth. Other species of Mangrove found here are Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), Keora (Sonneratia apetala), Dhundul (Xylocarpus granatum), Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorhiza), and Goran (Ceriops decandra).
Poresia Coaractata, Myriostachya Wightiana And Golpata are the species of Palm Trees found in the forest. Covers of Speargrass and Khagra grass are also found in the forest.

Fauna: Glowing Phytoplanktons: If you are taking a night safari through the waters, be prepared to behold the rare sight of a magical starry night, both underneath as well as above you. Sundarban waters are replete with tiny organisms called phytoplankton which glow in the dark. If you plan accordingly, on a Safari on a new moon night, you will see the waters lit up like blue fairy lights. Animals: Sunderban is particularly known for being the only Mangrove ecosystem in the world which harbours an entire population of Tigers. The tigers here have adapted themselves to the salty water and also become great swimmers. Due to a difficult hunting environment, anything that moves becomes prey in the eye of the Tiger, including human who set out into the jungle.  Apart from tigers, other animal species found in Sundarban are  Cheetal, Wild Boar, Small Indian Civet, Rhesus Macaque, Fishing Cats, Leopard Cats, Common Otter, and Black Finless Porpoise. Dolphins are also aplenty in the river water and two types of Dolphin, that is, Gangetic dolphin and Irrawady Dolphin are found here. Reptiles: Estuarine Crocodile(Crocodilus porosus), though endangered, is still present in Sundarban in good numbers. Snake population pervades the jungle as 57 out of 93 snake species in West Bengal are found here. Common among them are Common Cobra, Russel's Viper, King Cobra, Indian Python, Common Krait, Rat Snake, Chequered Keelback, and Green Whip Snake. River Terrapin is a locally found species which has been given an endangered species. Water Monitor Lizard is another reptile with a decent population in the Sundarbans. Turtles, both freshwater and seawater are found here. Among the freshwater species, Indian Soft-shelled Turtle, Flapshell Turtle, and Spotted Pond Turtle are common.  Olive Ridley, Hawksbill Turtle, and Green Sea Turtles are commonly found seawater species. Birds: The rich avifauna of Sundarban boasts of over 210 species of birds. A huge number of migratory birds visit the forest every winter. Flocks of Wader birds can be seen foraging near the mudflats and sandbanks. Some majorly sighted bird species are Oriental Honey Buzzard, Herons, Short Toed Eagle, Sandpipers, Whimbrels, Spoonbills, Stilts, Thick Knees, Green Shanks, Curlew, Osprey, Shikara, Brahminy Kite, Osprey, and Crested Serpent Eagle. Other species of birds include Green Pigeon, Cormorants, Seagulls, Egrets, Cuckoos, Sunbirds, Ducks, Geese, and Storks. It's also known as Kingfisher's Paradise because of the presence of 10 out 12 species of Kingfisher in the region. Fishes: Numerous rivers and creeks wind through the forests of Sundarban, and an abundance of fish and crustaceans is found in the flowing waters. Peripthalmus and Bolethalmus are amphibious fish species, most frequently seen swimming near mud banks and jetties.  These rivers are also home to some endangered species such as Ganges Shark, Pondicherry Shark, and Shovel Nosed White Guitarfish.  Indian Dog Sharks, Hammer Headed Sharks,  Pale Edged Sting Rays, Bull Sharks, Black Tip Sharks, Pale Edged Sting Rays, and Black Edged Sting Rays are also found here in waters of Sundarban. Hilsa, Bhetki, Pomphret, Parshey, Gurjali, Topshey are other fish varieties commonly found here. Among the crab species, Ghost Crab and Fiddler Crabs are common inhabitants of these waters along with two primitive species of crabs known as Horseshoe Crab (Tachepleursgygus and Carcinoscropius rotundicauda). Tiger Prawns are also abundant and serve as a source of livelihood for the locals because of huge demand in the export market.


Sundarban is diffusion of 54 islands, rooted in Mangrove vegetation. The existence of these islands is a worrisome cause for the nature lovers and conservationists as even the main islands are fast disappearing under the rising seawater levels and global warming. Four islands have completely disappeared under water, and another ten are at the risk of submersion because of increase in river water flowing from the Himalayas from global warming.
Lohachara island is one of the vanishing isles in the Sunderban delta region. It was once permanently flooded in the 1980s, then declared disappeared in 2006, and declared visible again in 2009. It was the only one of four permanently flooded islands inhabited by people.
Ghoramara island lies 92 km south of Kolkata and spreads in a minuscule area of 5 km. This island was also once populated with a huge number of local families but now faces complete submergence in water due to erosion and rise in sea water levels. Nonetheless, it is still inhabited by a population of 3,000 people.

The Mysterious Delta

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.


Sundarban is an island cluster in the Bay of Bengal, spread across an area of 10,000 sq. Km. 40 percent of this area lies in India, and the rest is in Bangladesh. The forest lies in the mid of the humongous delta formed by the rivers Meghna, Ganga, and Brahmaputra. The park area is also enclosed with different rivers on all sides. The park boundaries are shared by Malta on West, Haribhanga on East, and Netidhopani & Gosba in the North. The total park area is 4,262 sq. Km, half of which is covered by the Mangrove trees. Out of 102 islands, 54 are inhabited by forest vegetation and the rest by human dwellers. Various tributaries of the river Ganga flow through the park many other water courses, including 31 saltwater rivers form a criss-cross of water bodies in the region. All water bodies flow Southward to mingle into the sea. It’s interesting to note that the region goes through fluctuating geographical conditions, depending on the effect of flow tides and ebb tides. The waxing and waning of tides raise the river bed by depositing slit in varying heights and depths, creating new islands and carving fresh creeks. To the South of the Park and the Dublar Char island lies the mysterious deep-sea canyon, known as Swatch of No Ground where the depth of water undergoes extreme variations, ranging from 20 metres to 500 metres. Sundarban is also known for its metamorphosing mudflats. Mudflats are wet deposits of soil found near coastal areas, formed from the deposition of mud by rivers or tides. The mudflats are submerged during high tide and exposed during low tide, transforming within one tidal cycle. Outside the park, there is a mudflat which is being promoted as an upcoming tourist attraction by private tour operators. During low tide, tourists are seen visiting the mudflat, taking mud baths and even exploring the area on foot. With some luck, small Octopus, Sea Anemones, and Horseshoe Crabs can also be spotted here.

Culture of the Forest Dwellers

Here in Sundarban, you will witness a unique culture of communal assimilation. This is where different religious beliefs merge into one, where the sheer force of the forest brings all communities together, and Hindus and Muslims worship the same deities. Prepare to meet one of the most resilient, hardened community of people you will ever meet. Hardships of living in a remote village take on an entirely new form here as nature cavorts about furiously in the form of extreme tides which wash away homes and predatory animals who prance on humans venturing into the jungle for their livelihood. In the face of such dynamic natural forces, belief in forest deities and the supernatural is firm and unyielding. Bono Bibi (the forest goddess) is considered to be the protector of the forest dwellers, and everyone who ventures into the forest doesn’t forget to invoke her and seek her blessings and protection. What is interesting is that everyone, irrespective of their caste or religion worships the forest goddess and other deities such as Maa Manosa, Dakshin Rai, and Gazi Peer.

Restaurants and Local Food in Sundarbans

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.
View Top Restaurants in Sundarbans

Suggested Itinerary for Sundarbans

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.

Best Time to Visit Sundarbans

How to Reach Sundarbans

How to Reach Overview

Safaris are available both from Kolkata and Dhaka into the Sunderbans. Boat Safaris are enjoyable and an interesting experience. From Kolkata, suburban trains can take you to Canning (64 km) from where launch services are available for Sundarban. Otherwise, you can take buses to reach Raidighi (76 km), Najat (92 km), Sonakhali (100 km) and Namkhana (105 km) from where motorboats will take you to Sundarban.

How to reach Sundarbans by flight

The nearest airport is the Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport in Kolkata. The airport is well connected to major cities of India through regular flights of various carriers. Cabs can be hired from the airport to reach Sundarbans which takes around 3 hours to reach.

How to reach Sundarbans by road

Sundarbans is well connected to neighboring cities in West Bengal by a good network of roads. One can take a bus or car till Sonakhali, Godkhali, Namkhana, Canning, Raidighi or Najat and proceed up to Sundarbans through motorboats.

How to reach Sundarbans by train

There are no direct trains to Sundarbans. The closest railway junction is Sealdah. One can reach Sundarbans via Canning by boarding one of the regular local trains running between Canning and Kolkata.

Local transport in Sundarbans

River cruises on boats are the best way you can enjoy Sunderbans.

Sundarbans Photos

Sundarbans, West Bengal
Sundarbans National Park Home to Bengal Tigers
Scenic View of Sunset in Sunderbans National Park
Boats and Small Ships - Only Modes of Transport in Sundarban Forest

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FAQs on Sundarbans

What are the places near Sundarban national park?

The top places near to Sundarban national park are Bakkhali which is 65 km from Sundarban national park, Kolkata which is located 124 km from Sundarban national park, Sagardwip which is located 84 km from Sundarban national park, Digha which is located 141 km from Sundarban national park, Talasari beach which is located 147 km from Sundarban national park

What is the best way to reach Sundarban national park?

Safaris are available both from Kolkata and Dhaka into the Sunderbans. Boat Safaris are enjoyable and an interesting experience. From Kolkata, suburban trains can take you to Canning (64 km) from where launch services are available for Sundarban. Otherwise, you can take buses to reach Raidighi (76 km), Najat (92 km), Sonakhali (100 km) and Namkhana (105 km) from where motorboats will take you to Sundarban.
Read More

What is the local food in Sundarban national park?

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.
Read More

What is the best time to visit Sundarban national park?

September to March are the best months to visit Sundarbans, the winters being the most pleasant period in the area. Summers could be quite hot and send the temperature shooting up, but are an ideal time to visit the wildlife sanctuary. The monsoons with full generosity in showers may make travelling a little difficult but the lush green surroundings might just make up for it. Aside from spotting these majestic beasts in their natural habitat, Sundarban National Park also has an abundance of diverse flora and fauna that make visiting the attraction worth it. The climate in and around this area generally follows the pattern of most Indian cities, and thus, it has three distinct seasons, out of which the winters are the most prefered, though all of them have their pros and cons.
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Who should visit Sundarban national park?

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.

What is not so good about Sundarban national park?

Hot and humid climate. Threatened wildlife.

What is famous about Sundarban national park?

Picturesque, adventurous.

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Popular Questions And Answers on Sundarbans

Q. If I hire a private boat for a day, can I go to watch towers or it is just river..?


6 years ago
Yes, apparently you have everything included in the package, unless you choose the shorter package. We recommend that you check the complete list of services before booking.
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Q. How is the weather now

Abhishek Dey

6 years ago
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Sundarbans Reviews

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Geo Emmatty

5 years ago
Roads from Kolkata are mostly two way and not that great. Sunderbans can be a different experience. Not that great with facilities. Take boating early morning. Ferocious Tigers..Tiger spotting entire (Read More)ly depends on your luck. Everything in Sundarbans survives on fish animals and birds....a world of its own..

Sandip Maji

4 years ago
Roads from Kolkata are mostly two way and not that great. Sunderbans can be a different experience. Not that great with facilities. Take boating early morning. Ferocious Tigers..Tiger spotting entire (Read More)ly depends on your luck.

Kirti Dass

6 years ago
One of my most recent trips included a three-day stay at Sunderbans. It is the largest Delta in India and has various exotic species of birds and animals. We took a bus ride to Sunderbans from Kolkat (Read More)a which is easily available. There are many beautiful resorts catering to the needs of the tourists. I was in complete awe of the Royal Bengal Tiger which is an endemic species, that is, species found only in a specific area. I enjoyed boating along the forests which are home to many species of monkeys, deer and tiger. However, the area is reserved and therefore one should act according to the rules mentioned by the tour guides.
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