is the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world
The Sundarbans National Park lies in the south-east of Kolkata in the
24-Paraganas District of West Bengal and forms part of the Gangetic Delta,
close to the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarbans National Park was given the
status of a National Park on 4 May 1984. Before this it was been declared as
a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1977. It was been designated as the core
area of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in December 1973. Sunderbans National Park
was inscribed on the World Heritage List in year 1985.
The vast swampy delta of the two great Indian rivers, Brahmaputra and the
Ganges stretches over areas consisting of mangrove forests, swamps and
forest island all creating a chain of small rivers and streams. The
Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal is home of the Royal Bengal Tiger.
The Sundarban region has derived its name from the Sundari trees, once found
in large number here.
West Bengal in the eastern part of India.
Rainfall is heavy and humidity high (80% on average) due
to the proximity of the Bay of Bengal. The monsoon usually lasts from
mid-June until mid-September, after which fair weather prevails until
mid-March. Mean annual maximum and minimum temperatures recorded are 34°C
and 20°C, respectively. Storms are very common in May and
October-November, sometimes developing into cyclones which are usually
accompanied by tidal waves and cause much loss of life and damage to
property and the forests
Travel Tips :
Know about the place well before you start your trip.
For Foreigners certain permits are required to visit the Tiger Projects &
Sajnekhali. Contact the Secretary, West Bengal Forest Department, Kolkata
for the same. Collect the permit for a visit to other areas of the
Sundarbans from the Field Director, Sundarbans Tiger Reserve.
Best Time to Visit :
September and May.
Nearest Town :
Gosaba (50 km).
Sundarbans is accessible by air, rail and road. But, as the entire place is
a network of river tributaries, you have to take boat ride to visit the
remote areas of the park. Bost is the best bet to explore the park
International Airport :
nearest airport at Kolkata, at 112 km.
Canning is nearest railhead (48 km).
Road transportation is available from Kolkata for Namkhana
(105-kms), Sonakhali (100-kms), Raidighi (76-kms), Canning (64-kms), and
Najat (92-kms), which are all near the Sunderbans and have access to the
Sundarbans are approachable only by riverrine waterways.
Motor launch facilities are available from Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile
Project- Sagar Island -Jambudwip; from Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri-
Netidhopan-Holiday Island; from Sonakhali - Gosaba; from Raidighi - Kalas.
Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary is close to the metropolis of Kolkata in West
Bengal in India. You will find numerous categories of accommodation near the
Sundarbans. If you are looking for a luxurious accommodation then, stay in
Kolkata, as this city has wide range of accommodations for its tourists from
Nearby Wildlife Lodges
Venture Into The
The best and only means of travelling the park is to hire a boat and float
down the various lanes formed by the many flowing rivers. You can hire one
from the locals in the area or one of the two luxury launches - M.V.
Chitrarekha and M.V. Madhukar, operated by the tourism department. If you
are in search of a luxury tour, then hire - M.V. Chitrarekha, which offers
all the basic facilities required by the tourists, including overnight
accommodation. And, if you are looking for the local boats then you will get
then at Canning, Gosaba and Basanti. The luxury launches starts their
journey only from Canning.
As you cruise through the world's largest estuarine mangrove forest in
Sundarbans you come across numerous (54) small islets, networked by many
tributaries of the mighty rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra, which finally flow
out at the southern tip into the Bay of Bengal.
The entire trip will leave some exceptional memory in your mind as your
invade through the swamp, littoral forests, mangrove scrub forest, salt
water mixed forest, brackish water mixed forest and alluvial grasslands. The
dense and huge forest reserve of Sundarbans has also been classified as a
World Biosphere Reserve. Some of the more commonly found plants and trees in
the park are Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan, Kankra and Goran.
The Sundarbans forest inhabits more than 400 tigers. The Royal Bengal
Tigers in this saline and aqua surroundings and are extremely good swimmers.
The animal stock of the Sundarbans is quite varied. As you thrive to get a
single glimpse of the Royal Bengal Tiger you will have a meeting with -
Fishing Cats, Macaques, Wild Boar, Common Grey Mongoose, Fox, Jungle Cat,
Flying Fox, Pangolin, Chitals, etc. on the way.
The climatic conditions at the park creates an ideal habitat for the
resident as well as the foreign birds of numerous variety. You will be
enthralled to find some of the popular birds in this region. The inviting -
Open Billed Storks, White Ibis, Water Hens, Coots, Pheasant Tailed Jacanas,
Pariah Kites, Brahminy Kites, Marsh Harriers, Swamp Partridges, Red Jungle
Fowls, Spotted Doves, Common Mynahs, Jungle Crows, Jungle Babblers, Cotton
Teals, Herring Gulls, Caspian Terns, Gray Herons, Brahminy Ducks, Spotted
Billed Pelicans, Large Egrets, Night Herons, Common Snipes, Wood Sandpipers,
Green Pigeons, Rose Ringed Parakeets, Paradise Flycatchers, Cormorants,
Fishing Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Seaguls, Common Kingfishers,
Peregrine falcons, Woodpeckers, Whimprels, Black-Tailed Godwits, Little
Stints, Eastern Knots, Curlews, Golden Plovers, Pintails, White Eyed
Pochards and Whistling Teals will make your trip to Sundarbans extremely
The Aquafauna &
Some of the fish and amphibians found in the parks are Saw Fish, Butter
Fish, Electric Rays, Silver Carp, Star Fish, Common Carp, Crabs, Prawn,
Shrimps, Gangetic dolphins, Skipping Frogs, Common Toads and Tree Frogs. The
number of reptiles is excellent here that are found within its complex. Some
of the most commonly seen are - Olive Ridley Turtles, Sea Snakes, Dog Faced
Water Snakes, Green Turtles, Estuarine Crocodiles, Chameleons, King Cobras,
Salvator Lizards, Hard Shelled Batgun Terrapins, Russels Vipers, Mouse
Ghekos, Monitor Lizards, Curviers, Hawks Bill Turtles, Pythons, Common
Kraits, Chequered Killbacks and rat Snakes
The nearest attractions are - Sajnakhali Sanctuary (famous for its rich
avian population), Netidhopani (ruins of a 400 year old temple),
Bhagabatpur, Kanak, Haliday Island, Piyali, Kaikhali Island. Since,
Sundarbans is close to Kolkata, it would be a good opportunity for you to
visit this city of joy. Visit the amazing Victoria Memorial in Kolkata. The
home to several Nobel Prize Winners, Kolkata boasts of a unique culture and
cuisine. You can also extend your trip to Darjeeling in the northern part of
West Bengal. Darjeeling is one of the most ideal halt for the nature seekers
amidst snowy mountains.
Extend the Trip
Dwelling in the lap of the Himalaya is Sikkim, the neighbouring state of
West Bengal. Sikkimis the most perfect destination for the adventure
seekers. You can engage in trekking, hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing,
snow mountaineering, river rafting, kayaking and canoeing.
You might face some language problem while speaking to the local people, as
the local people here speaks Bengali. Also, you might not find your choice
of food in the remote areas, if you are not used to Indian food.
Know about your travel routes before starting. Confirm the accommodation
facilities. Carry some winter clothes if you are planning to visit Sikkim.
Avoid the months of May and October-November, as these months are stormy,
which sometimes develop into tidal waves and cyclone.