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Sunderbans

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SunderbansThe name Sunderbans derive from the Sundri plant found in local mangrove and ‘ban’ in Bengali means forest. Therefore, literally Sunderbans is the forest of Sundri plants. The area is the vast tract off forest and salt water swamp forming ht lower part of the Ganges Delta, extending about 260 km along the Bay of Bengal from the Hoogly river Estuary (India) to the Meghna river Estuary in Bangladesh. Close proximity to Bay of Bengal make the place of highest rainfall of that area, also the place is much humid. The dense forest of Sunderbans is one of the largest mangroves in the world and habitat of of Bengal tiger. Tigers in Sunderbans are renowned for their notorious behavior. They are ferocious and innumerable tales are Gossiped among fishermen of man eater tigers. Most of tiger reserve is in the Bangladesh side but the Sunderbans in India hold more than 250 royal Bengal tigers. It is also a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. In the year 1997 Sunderban was awarded as world heritage site by UNESCO. Tiger reserve of Sunderban holds more tiger than any other tiger reserve in India. tigers have adopted to saline water and feed on fishes and small animals in the jungles. They are almost become amphibious animal and very good swimmers.

Sunderbans are cluster of Islands with an area of about 6000 sq.km forming the largest block of littoral forest. Natural surroundings of Sunderbans lure environmentalists and biologists also a home of various fauna, the place is natural habitat of several wild creatures. Sunderbans is specially famous for royal Bengal tiger, which has the highest population among any other national park in India. Besides tiger, Sunderbans is a natural habitat of spotted deer, jungle fowl, wild boar, monkeys, lizards, python, king cobra, chequered killback, ridley sea turtle. Sunderbans is also a breeding ground of innumerable varieties of birds like egret, cormorant, fishing engle, seagull, kingfisher, golden plover, pintail, white eyed pochard, eastern knot and whistling teal. The beauty of Sunderbans is being added by the migratory flock of Siberian ducks.

Look Beyond  Lotus Temple
Sajnekhali - Sajnekhali is the popular bird sanctuary and only place in the Sunderbans area where you will find some decent hotels. There is also mangrove interpretation center. The seven colorful species of kingfisher, plovers, lap wings, white bellied sea eagle, curfews, whimbrels, sandpipers and pelicans captures most of the attraction.
Sunderbans
Sunderbans Tiger Reserve - Project tiger was implemented in 1973 and later Sunderbans tiger reserve was separated over 2,585 sq.km. The inner circle of 1,330 sq.km has been declared as a national park and also a heritage site. The recent census confirmed of tiger population of 287. Although the environmetn is not typically of tigers but they are well adapted to the area.

Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project - Bhagbatpur is near Sunderbans and a crocodile farm. Tour to this farm are organized by WBTDC ( West Bengal Tourism Department Corporation). Bhagbatpur is a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world.

Piyali - Piyali is the gateway to Sunderban and a tourist complex. From Piyali tourist cruise takes to the largest evergreen mangrove forests of biggest colony of Indian tigers. The deep inside the forest there are rich tribal folklore of royal Bengal tiger. Local people believe that Bonbibi(goddess of jungle) protects the wood cutters, honey collector and fishermen. There is a famous saying of ‘ tiger is always observing you from silence’.

Netidhopani- It is a place of ruins of 400 years old temple.

Kanak - The place is a breeding ground of endangered olive ridley turtles.

Invaluable Suggestions

Best time to visit the place is between September and March. Specially in winter to catch a view of the migratory birds.

Winter cool in January at minimum 10, dry season December to April maximum 34 degrees.

Foreign tourist need to take a permit from the secretary of forest department of West Bengal to enter the special zone of Sunderbans national park. Tourist may visit the field director, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, PO Canning, District 24 Parganas, West Bengal. Though a boat cruise outside the sanctuary require no permit.

Boat cruise across the ebbing water and float down the various lanes formed by many rivers is the best way to discover the jungle.



Travellers Factoid
By Air : Kolkata is the nearest airport is at a distance of 112-kms from the Sundarbans National Park
By Train : The nearest railhead is Canning, 48-kms away from the Sunderbans National Park. From there you can take busses that goes to Sonakhali, Raidighi, Najat and Namkhana
By Road : The excellent road network connects Namkhana to Kolkata, Sonakhali (100-kms), Raidighi (76-kms), Canning (64-kms), and Najat (92-kms), all lying nearby the Sunderbans.

Related Storie(s)
Darjeeling – A Beautiful Hill Station- By Abdullah Sanwar Borah
Save Tigers- India’s greatest Wildlife Challenge- By Pramod Kumar
The Grassland Doctrine- By Pankaj Singhal
Wilderness In Himachal Pradesh- By Vinay Tandon

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