If you just nodded your head in YES; then one of the most intense and memorable trips to the Sundarban region in West Bengal is awaiting you. Sundarbans are a state in the northeastern part of India. This region of Sundarbans is stretched till the entire neighboring country of Bangladesh. Apart from the huge variety of wildlife, the region also has beautiful rural villages lined by dense and marshy mangrove forests. This area is popular for the largest mangroves in the world. So if you too are inclined to visit a place that is an amalgamation of misty rivers, swamped deltas, and the most exciting wildlife including the man-eating tigers then this is your best spot. Along with the most exotic wildlife and natural vistas that mesmerize the eye, the Sundarbans are the wild terrain that is worth your time.
Another reason to visit the Sundarban National Park is could be this being a UNESCO world heritage site. It does not just have extensive wildlife but also breathtaking and natural beauty. Although the national park is popular for the Royal Bengal Tiger, it also has about 100 islands with various enclosures and different animal species like turtles and crocodiles. The region is also is home to a couple of wildlife sanctuaries. As per the statistical account of Sundarbans from 1878, there are diverse species of fauna in the region like leopards, rhinoceros, tigers, wild hogs, wild buffalo, spotted deer, hog deer, Barasingha, and monkeys among others.
Sundarban has many attractions and it has highlights of both the land and water with many islands. The national park region has rare wildlife species like the Royal Bengal Tiger, river dolphins, saltwater crocodiles, and hawksbill turtle. The region is correspondingly popular for the ‘Ganga Sagar' which is an important Hindu pilgrimage. There are a host of interesting activities that can make for a memorable trip to the Sundarban National Park region for a trip to be cherished forever.
How To Reach In The Sundarbans Region
How to reach Sundarbans
The Sundarban region is located about 100 km from Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal state. This route can be easily covered with private vehicles too but state buses also ply between the routes. The region is not very expensive and thus you can cover the travel in a very pocket-friendly manner. Remember not to overpay the drivers and the boat and ferry owners here.
You can take the road route from Kolkata for a 3-hour drive to Godkhali. The entry to the Sundarbans from here is through a boat ride to the Sajnekhali islands. While entering the national park region, you will also need to pay an entry fee of Rs.60/- for Indians and Rs. 200/- for foreign nationals.
Prime Attractions of The Sundarbans Region
The Sundarbans have many attractions apart from the national park as this whole region is full of many natural and wildlife experiences. It gives a combined experience of cultural and natural excitement. Below are some attractions of the region that are a must for enjoying this region to the fullest:
1. Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary
This is a paradise for bird watchers and is one of the 3 wildlife sanctuaries in the Sundarban region. This is an ideal place for bird spotting with many species of birds like plovers, egrets, white-bellied sea eagles, sandpipers, and kingfishers. Sajnekhali bird sanctuary can be reached by taking a boat from Canning which can be reached from Kolkata using train or bus.
2. Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower
This is a watchtower near the Sundarban National Park region from which many Bengal tigers can be spotted in the Sundarban region. You can also see other species like crocodiles, wild boars, and axis deer from here. There is a sweet water pond near this tower where many animals come to drink water. You can also see the vegetation from the tower and enjoy the view. The tower has a limit of hosting only 25 persons per visit.
3. Mangrove Eco Garden
Sundarbans region of India and Bangladesh have the densest mangrove forests and they have many rare species of species that are present only in this region. The Mangrove Ecological Garden is maintained by the Calcutta Wildlife Society and preserves the rare species of the region. This eco garden also preserves the flora of the region which is supplied to the villagers for plantations. This is a great place to experience the rare flora and fauna of the region that is being preserved here.
4. Bharat Sevashram Sangha Temple
An ideal place for those seeking peace and tranquillity, the Sevashram is a charitable dispensary run by hundreds of monks that runs many charitable institutions like hospitals, dispensaries, and empowerment centres. This is an ideal place for those who seek spirituality and solace. You will need to register your name before you enter and they also provide good food as Prasad.
5. Sagar Lighthouse
The Sagar lighthouse is a great spot on the Sagar Island in the Ganga Sagar region of West Bengal. It is ideal to view the natural beauty of the Hindu pilgrimage Ganga Sagar and Sagar Island. Sagar Island is a holy spot for Hindus and there is a sea beach nearby. The lighthouse is ideal for you to enjoy the sunrise and the sunset on the beach.
6. Hiron Point
This is a small channel anchored in the Sibsa River and gives a great view of the embankments of the region. The region is mainly an island that is lined by Mangrove forests on both sides. The Hiron Point is near the mouth of the river and the river empties into the Bay of Bengal from here. The sediment that is emptied by the Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna River gets accumulated on the coast here. This is a great spot to enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
7. Sundarban Wild Safari
The best time to enjoy a visit to the Sundarban National Park is between September and March. This is the best Safari experience for anyone who wants to spot the Royal Bengal Tiger and other animals of the region. The boat Safari is also a memorable experience for anyone who wants to experience the fauna of the region. The visitors have to sail through the dense mangrove forests and connected by many rivers. The boat for the safari can be rented for a week but the safari boats are allowed inside the region only from 8.30 am to 4 pm.
8. Tin Kona Island
This is one of the most beautiful islands that give a great view of the mangrove forests of Sundarban. The place does not have many accommodation facilities nut is a great place to enjoy the beauty of nature in the region. The shore of this island is also famous for spotting the tigers of the region. This island is situated on the estuary of the rivers Mora Pashur and Pashur. The rivers give the shape of a triangle to the island.
About the Sundarban Delta
The Sundarban region lies in the delta of the Ganga – Brahmaputra – Meghna Rivers and the catchment area of the rivers is shared by 5 countries. This delta is in the north of the Bay of Bengal where the rivers empty themselves. The region is popular due to the huge mangroves forest and the traditional marine fishing that is adopted here.
The Sundarban forests are a key attraction of this delta which is shared between India (40%) and Bangladesh (60%). The region boasts of the world’s largest mangrove forests that are spread in an area of 10000 sq. Km. The immense biodiversity of the region and the natural beauty makes it a popular tourist attraction in this region. This biodiversity supports the livelihoods of the local population in this region.
How to Plan a Trip to Sundarbans Forest
Best Time and Weather to Visit
The best time to visit this region is from September to March and the most pleasant season to visit this region is during the winter months. The summers could be very hot and the monsoon is quite swampy and unsafe for family travel. The climate of the region follows the climate pattern of other cities of the area with different seasons.
Options to Stay in Sundarbans
There are many different types of options to stay in the region from luxury resorts like the Banani Resorts, Sundarban Mangrove Retreat, the Sundarban Tiger Land Resort to some budget accommodations like the Chital Tourist Lodge, and Hotel Apanjan. If you wish to enjoy the national park from close then you can also stay in the Sundarban Tiger Camp and enjoy the Tiger Reserve from the heart of the forest. This will make the experience most memorable for you.
Time to Pack Your Bags
When you have all the information needed for a trip to Sundarbans; why waste time in looking for other options. Plan any upcoming holidays and take a break from boring routine and polluted metro life.
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