Sundarban travel guide: The world's largest active delta mangrove forest


Sunderban is one of the best tourist spots situated in the state of West Bengal. This article describes about the world's largest active delta mangrove forest and its top attractions. The flora, the fauna, the climate and the various species of plants and animals that exist here is depicted in this article. Besides, it also provides relevant information about the different routes, lodging and package tours available for this place.

The word sunder means beautiful and the word ban means forest. Hence, Sundarban is the name of the beautiful forest and it is one of the world's largest active delta mangrove forest. Without any doubt, it is the nature's most beautiful gift, given to us. Some regions boast of crocodiles in the water and tigers prowling on the land while the other fills the air with the roar of hyenas, jackal and unique sounds of other animals and birds. From the middle of the wood flows the Vidyadhari, Hogal, Raimangal etc., rivers. Besides, the mangrove forest is one top feature of the Sundarbans. Though the UNESCO announces the Sundarbans as the “World Heritage Site” in 1984 but in 1994, it chose it as a wildlife sanctuary. It covers an area of 4210 Kilometer square with 102 islands in it. Among these islands, the humans live in more than 28 islands including Lahiri Pur, Dayapur etc. Sunderban gets its name from the Sundari trees that exist in large volume in this wood. The forest reserve is well-known in the world for the presence of the Royal Bengal Tiger. This wild animal has yellow and black stripes on its body and has enormous power and strength. Besides, deer, wild boar, crocodile, monkey, porcupine, etc. In winter, flocks of migratory birds cover the wider section of the forest region adding more smashing charm and beauty. Storks, sun birds, mynahs, tailor birds, kingfishers, pond herons, woodpeckers, red vented bulbuls water hens, etc. are some of the common birds found in the forest. The Bonbibi God is the cultural God of the people living in this region.

How to reach Sundarban


There are several ways to reach there. Some of the most common and convenient ways are as given below:

  • One may board a local train from Sealdah to reach Canning. Here, one has to take permission from the forest department and go to Basonti. From Basonti, one has to travel by boat to Sajnekhali.

  • Another way to reach Basonti or Dhamakhali is to board a CSTC bus from Babughat/Dharmatala. From here, one has to travel in boat to reach Sajnekhali.

  • If one travels in his own car or in a hired car he/she has to follow the way from Science City to Basanti highway. From Basanti highway one has to go through Ghatakpukur, Malancha, Sonakhali Bridge and reach Godkhali Ghat. Here, boats are available for Sajnekhali.


Since the infrastructure of the Sunderban has not developed well now it is better to travel there with package tours.

Attractions


The river matla separates the Sunderban national park area from the adjoining local village. The cool, moist climate, physical presence of several rivers and various species of mangroves like the Sundari, Kankara and Golpata allures many birds and animals to make their home here. There are many things in the Sunderban to gaze and soothe the eyes but the top attraction of the place is the Royal Bengal Tiger. Besides, there are the crocodiles, tortoises, deers, etc., to win the heart. First, one needs to collect the permit to enter the forest from the regional office at Sajnekhali. In the area of the regional office, one may come across crocodile, tortoise and squirrels. Moreover, there is also a museum that briefs about the details of the Sundarban.

One needs to travel for an hour in water from Sajnekhali to Sudhanyakhali. One may come across several gulfs in the way but entry to these restricted. There is a watch tower at Sudhanyakhali. The path way inside the wood fences by wires. The sweet water pond invites the animals including the Royal Bengal tiger to quench their thirst in the morning and evening.

Next, to reach Kalasdweep, one needs to move straight through the Thakuran river. This is on the lap of the Bay of Bengal and thick wood covers one side while water covers the other side. Though one side of it is open and vacant but the other side greets the arms of nature. The Holiday island locates at the front side of Matla river and in winter months it remains busy with groups of tortoises hovering over the island to lay eggs. Further ahead, a watchtower alines an amazing view of the surrounding region from its top. It may give one a chance to view tiger from the best place. Beside the watchtower is an age-old temple of Lord Shiva. Within a distance from the watchtower the rivers Bidyamati and Matla meets.

Lodging


In Sajnekhali, the Sajnekhali tourist lodge grantees suitable lodging hotel in Sunderban. For a double bedroom accommodation one has to pay around RS 1400. For dormitory, the price is around RS 400 per head. Besides, the Bony echo camp of the district committee charges around RS 1100 for double bedrooms. The charge for the dormitory hall stay is RS 200 per head.

Package tours


Package tours are the best options for a trip to Sundarban. One needs to choose from the different types of tour packages available according to one's suitability like one night–two day stay , two nights-three days stay etc. A one night-two days stay for a couple may cost around RS 8500 and two nights-three days stay for a couple may cost around RS 11500. One may contact the tour and travel companies that arrange package tours, at different holiday destinations, for a better idea on the different packages available and chose the one that suits. Besides, comfort food and lodging is available in the small hay shade cottages. Here food is available by the Boo-fey system.


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