Sundarbans National Park
West BengalThe Sundarbans is one of the most unique wildlife destinations you will ever visit. Its ecosystem is a nursery, protector, restorer and engine of many of land, sea and air’s most crucial natural processes. For anyone who loves nature, this treasure trove is a ‘must see’. Home to 78 species of mangroves - the highest diversity in the world - these aquatic and often tidal based forests are the only ones where tigers are found. The estuarine crocodile, water monitor lizard, the Gangetic and Irrawaddy dolphins, Olive Ridley turtle and king cobra make their home here too, close to the floating villages that inhabit the vast cluster of low lying estuaries and islands. The only way to see this place is by boat, either on short outings or longer cruises with an excellent guide. Keep your eyes peeled to see the creatures that inhabit this wet and wondrous world including smooth-coated otters, Irrawaddy dolphins, porpoises and sharks in the waters and crabs, reptiles and mu...dskippers on the shorelines! However, to spy a tiger is like winning the tombola, even though there are believed to be 90 here - somewhere! In an age of climate change, this forest is destined to be one of West Bengal’s most vital defences against rising sea levels that has the capability to stop the displacement of millions of humans. Measuring about 10,000 square kilometres and straddling both India and Bangladesh, it is the largest active delta in the world formed by the rivers Meghna, Ganga and Brahmaputra. Known for its unique mangrove forests, parts of the forest are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in recognition of their high biodiversity.
How To Book
Safaris can be booked through your lodge or tour operators.
The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, its adjoining Wildlife Sanctuaries and reserve forests are open all year round. However, the best time to visit is between November to February
Getting Around the Park
The only way to navigate is by boat. The road journey starts from Kolkata up to Gadkhali from where the tourists are picked up by mechanised boats for moving within the park. These boats are available on a half and full day basis, but a boat permit and a guide is a must.
R 100 for Indian Nationals R 200 for Foreign Nationals Entry for Motor Boats: R 500 per day for non-AC boats and R 1,200 for AC launch Guide charges: R 500 per day for Indians and Rs 800 per day for others. An additional fee of Rs 100 is charged for the guide's overnight pass, as well as Rs 100 for way fare.
By Air: Kolkata (100 km). Transportation can be hired to Gadkhali from where ferries are available to the park. By Road: From Kolkata, one can travel to Gadkhali from where boats ferry visitors up and down to the entrance of the Reserve. An alternative route is also via Canning, 80 km from Kolkata and then via boat to the entrance of Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary.
Eco-friendly properties in the area
Tora Eco Resort sits on Bali Island surrounded by paddy fields on the banks of the river Gumdi. The lodge is a unique and authentic community project designed to give travellers
Located on Dayapur Island on the banks of the River Pitchkhali opposite the mangrove reserve, this camp is a comfortable resort for exploring the region’s fascinating mangrove forests, myriad islands and fascinating wildlife.
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