Located at the mouth of the Brahmaputra and Ganges Rivers, the Sundarban National Park is a biosphere reserve most famous for its rich mangrove ecosystem. The name of this national park comes from two words in the Bengali language – Sundar and Bans – which mean ‘Beautiful Forest.’
The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans almost 3,861 square miles. Approximately 65 percent of the park lies in Bangladesh, while the rest lies in India. Besides being the home of the Royal Bengal Tigers, the Sundarbans are famous for having the most diverse wildlife. You would also find rare birds and reptiles from wild boars and monkeys. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about exploring the beauty of Sundarbans.
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Why should you travel to the Sundarbans?
It is a well-known fact that the beauty of Sundarbans is unparalleled. A trip to these bans will undoubtedly leave you in awe. Here are some reasons you should plan a trip to the Sundarbans once in your lifetime.
1. Opportunity to see the Royal Bengal Tigers
If you have grown up with Kipling’s Jungle Book, Sundarbans will present you with an opportunity to see the majestic Royal Bengal Tigers up close. Join the jungle safari, where the guides will take you through the river channels to glimpse the Bengal Tigers.
2. Touring the local villages
Are you interested in immersing yourself in the local culture? Then, go for a village tour, where you can connect and interact with the local people. As you learn more about their culture, you can also learn how famous local dishes are cooked.
3. Catch a glimpse of different species of crocodiles
A visit to the Sundarbans will allow you to spot many different species of crocodiles. To see some saltwater crocodile species, visit the Bhagbatpur sanctuary in the Sundarbans. A visit to this place will undoubtedly leave you with many unforgettable memories.
4. Special tidal phenomenon
You will witness a unique tidal phenomenon in the Sundarbans, allowing you to explore the forest and spot wildlife on a boat. During the low tides, the mud land area lays flat, while the high tide leads to a 6 to 10 ft rise in the water level.
5. Captivating flora
Besides the Royal Bengal Tiger and other wildlife species, Sundarbans is also quite famous for being the largest mangrove forest in the world. So you could find more than 64 plant species besides beautiful multi-hued flowers like the red Kankra flowers and the yellow Khasi flowers.
Places to Visit – Sundarban Tour of a Lifetime
1. Kanak Island: This is the home of the Olive Ridley Turtles, the second-smallest turtle species in the world.
2. Bhagabatpur Crocodile Sanctuary: This is known for housing the biggest estuarine crocodiles in the world.
3. Sajnakhali Sanctuary: This sanctuary is famous for housing a rich avian population inside the Sundarban National Park. Visiting here will allow you to see various birds like Plovers, Lap-wings, Kingfishes, Curfews, Sea eagles, and Sandpipers and Pelicans.
4. Haliday Island: If you want to spot the Barking Deer, you must visit Haliday Island, located in the southern part of Sundarbans.
5. Kaikhali Island: This is widely known as the best picnic spot of the Sundarbans. It offers beautiful views, and you can experience nature at its finest.
6. Piyali Island: This is known as the gateway to Sundarbans and is located by the river having the same name. The scenic views make it an enchanting holiday destination. You can also experience bird watching and boat rides while immersing yourself in the village life.
Traveling tips for your Sundarbans tour
- Besides your passport, you must also take a valid permit to enter the park. This permit can be easily obtained from Kolkata’s West Bengal Tourism Office. If you travel with a tour company, all these arrangements will already be made for you.
- If you are visiting between November and February, don’t forget to pack some warm clothes. You should be ready for high heat and humidity from March to June, while July to September is the monsoon season in the Sundarbans.
- You will be charged an entry fee for the boat in all the zones of the boat. It is also compulsory to hire a guide with the boat. Ensure you have plenty of cash, as ATMs are hard to find in this region.
- Plan a longer trip to take in all the sights this region has to offer.
How to Reach the Sundarbans?
The only way to access the Sundarbans National Park is by water. The main entrance to the park is located on Sajnekhali Island, roughly 100km from Kolkata in India.
With this, we have covered everything there is to know about the Sundarbans. Hopefully, this will give you the necessary nudge to plan your next trip to this enchanting forest. So plan your trip to the Sundarbans with Travel-Wise today!