Sundarbans National Park

Sundarbans National Park in India is one of the world's largest deltas and the mangrove forest formed by the confluence of three rivers- the Ganga, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna- covering an area of 2,585 sq km wildlife sanctuary, which extends into Bangladesh too. The Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary, the world's largest estuarine sanctuary is really worth a visit. With a series of densely forested islands and saline water channels, Sundarbans is home to 270 Royal Bengal Tigers along with the spotted deers, wild pigs, monkeys, herons, kingfishers and white-bellied eagles.

The Sundarbans is formed by an alluvial archipelago of 54 islands, made by the waters of Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Bay of Bengal. The Sundarban National Park got its name from the Sundari trees found here in abundance. Sundarbans' also shares its boundaries with the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary.

The most unique feature of the Sundarbans is the tigers in the park apt at swimming and are strictly amphibious! The Park is also famous for its conservation of the Ridley Sea Turtles. The other wild animals found in the Sundarbans National Park are estuarine terrapins, Olive Ridley turtles, estuarine crocodiles, Ganges dolphins, water monitors and a wide variety of birds, fish and crustaceans. One of the major tourist attractions is the Sajnekhali Visitors' Centre, which has a crocodile enclosure, a shark pond, a turtle hatchery, and a Mangrove Interpretation Centre.

Flora in Sundarbans National Park

Sunderbans National Park, IndiaIn April and May, the flaming red leaves of the Genwa bejewel the emerald islands. The other dominant floral species in the Sundarbans are crab like red flowers of the Kankara and the yellow blooms of Khalsi. As you go deeper into the Sundarbans forests, you discover the mystique beauty. The large floral population in Sundarbans consists of trees like Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan and Kankara. Apart from these trees, the tall and wide Goran trees cover almost the entire region.
Wildlife in Sundarbans National Park

The Sundarbans forest houses Royal Bengal Tigers in plenty. At the Sundarbans you are elated to watch Chital Deer and Rhesus Monkey. The aqua fauna in the park include variety of fishes, red Fiddler Crabs and Hermit Crabs.

There are crocodiles, which can be often seen along the mud banks. Sundarbans national park is also noted for its conservation of the Ridley Sea Turtle. There's is a incredible variety of reptiles also found in Sundarbans, which includes King Cobra, Rock Python and Water Monitor. The endangered river Terrapin, Batagur Baska is found on the Mechua Beach, while the Barkind Deer is found only in Holiday Island in Sundarbans.

Special Attractions In Sundarbans

Sunderbans National Park, IndiaThe Sajnakhali Sanctuary : The Sajnakhali sanctuary, a part of the Sundarbans Park is famous for its rich avian population. The wide variety of birds at Sajnekhati sancatuary captivates your eyes for sure. The most distinguishing feature of the sanctuary are the seven colourful species of Kingfisher, White bellied Sea Eagle, Plovers, Lap-Wings, Curfews, Whimbrels, Sandpipers and occasional Pelican.

Netidhopani : At Netidhopani, the ruins of a 400-year-old temple tell a tale of its own adding mystery to the surroundings.

Bhagabatpur : Bhagabatpur is renowned for having a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.

Kanak : Kanak is the nesting place for the Olive Ridley Turtles.

Holiday Island: The last habitat of the Barking Deer in India is the Holiday island thronged by the tourists every year.

Piyali: Piyali is the main gateway of Sundarbans, near Kolkata and Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Netidhopani through waterways. A small river Piyali criss crosses the green paddy fields and joins river Matla. It has become a perfect holiday and picnic destination.

Kaikhali : While your trip to Sundarbans, visit Kaikhali Island with a colourful atmosphere.
When to Visit Sunderbans National Park

The best time to visit
 the Sundarbans National Park is during the months of September and May. The possibility of observing the mighty Royal Bengal Tiger enhances in the winter season when one can watch the King of Jungle sun-bathing on the banks of the river. For this reason the ideal time to visit the sanctuary is December and January.

How to Reach Sunderbans National Park

By Air : Kolkata is the nearest airport is at a distance of 112-kms from the Sundarbans National Park.

By Rail : The nearest railhead is Canning, 48-kms away from the Sunderbans National Park. From Port Canning, regular buses ply 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.

Cruises : The tourists can hire a cruise in the riverine waterways from different places covering different stretches like Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project- Sagar Island -Jambudweep; from Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri- Netidhopan-Holiday Island; from Sonakhali - Gosaba; from Raidighi - Kalas. The watchtowers at Netidhopan, Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali and Haldi- provide you an excellent view of the wildlife.

The special feature of these boat cruises are: the organization of business conferences and seminars on the deck in the morning followed by a palatable Bengali lunch consisting of Bengali delicacies like fish and prawns. You can also have a vigorous dance session in the boat relishing the melodious music also.

General Information

Entry Permits : The foreign tourists willing to observe the tigers and implement the Tiger Projects and visit the Sajnekhali, have to obtain the special permits for entry into the Sundarbans National Park. The tourists should contact the Secretary, West Bengal Forest Department, Writer's Blidge, Kolkata - 700001, on request. To obtain the entry permit for other areas of the Sundarban; the tourists must visit the Field Director, Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, PO Canning, District 24 Parganas, West Bengal. A boat cruise through Sunderbans outside the sanctuary requires no entry permit.

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