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Sunderban National Park

Sundarban National Park: A visit to home of Royal Bengal Tiger

A visit to the enchanting deltas of Sundarban can be the most memorable moment in your life. The exquisite Flora and Fauna of the place and the glimpses of this majestic Bengal tigers on the deltas of Ganga makes you adore and cherish Sundarban National Park.

Geography of Sundarban National Park

Sundarban literally means “the beautiful forest” and the forests of Sundarban are truly the reflection of captivating beauty. The Mangrove forest with the Sundari trees and the largest population of Royal Bengal tigers make Sundarban National Park a gem among Indian National Park.

Located at the South Eastern tip of the 24 Paraganas district in West Bengal is the magnificent magic of nature. The mesmerising Sundarban National Park is locatedin between 21° 432′ – 21° 55′ N latitude and between 88° 42′ – 89° 04′ E longitude, with an average altitude of 7.5m. The beautiful park is constituted by the crisscrossing of 54 small islands along with numerous River Ganges tributaries.The total land cover of Sundarban forest in India is about 4,262 sq. km, out of this 2,125 sq. km is covered by mangrove forest and the rest is under water.

Sunderban National Park

Climate of Sundarban National Park

Rain, rain and rain, dominates the way!!!

Yeah!! The Sundarban National Park receives lot of rain. The Park has an average minimum temperature ofabout 20 °C, while the maximum temperature soars up to 48 °C. The monsoon in the Sundarban National Park lasts from mid-June to mid-September and the rainfall is heavy with humidity as high as 80%. The heavy rains in the deltas make traveling treacherous but the lush greenery is a treat.Storms turning to cyclones are common during the months of May and September.

Best time to visit Sundarban National Park

The thriving wilderness and wildlife of the mysterious forestlands on the delta of Ganga, Yamuna and other local rivers on the coast of Bay of Bengal are delight for a wildlife enthusiast, photographer, bird-watcher, peace seekers etc.

The best time to relish your trip to Sundarban National Park is during winters as summers can be too steamy. September to March are the best months to enjoy trip to this wonder of nature.

Sunderban National Park

Flora and Fauna of Sundarban National Park

The abode for Sundari has a complex geological and hydrological character which endures it magical greenery and spell-bindingwildlife. Everything about Sundarban forest is mysterious and hypnotizing. Many exquisite varieties of trees are found here. The mangrove vegetation of Sundarbansconsists of 64 plant species with a gifted ability to withstand the estuarine conditions and saline showering on account of tidal effects.

The months of April and May are dazzling and scented due to the flaming red leaves of the Genwa (Excoecariaagallocha) the crab-like red flowers of the Kankra (Bruguieragymnorrhiza) and the yellow flowers of Khalsi (Aegicerascorniculatum). The other commonly found found plants and trees in the Sundarban National Park are Dhundal (or cannonball mangrove, Xylocarpusgranatum), Passur (Xylocarpusmekongensis), Garjan (Rhizophora spp.), Sundari (Heritierafomes) and Goran (Ceriopsdecandra).

Sundarban National Park boasts of a variety of diversified faunal which brings an unequalled ecosystem of this Biosphere Reserve. The national park is home for more than 400 Royal Bengal Tigers. These mighty beasts have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters. Wildlife enthusiasts and photographers come to Sundarban National Park between November and February to admire these powerful beasts sunbathing on the river banks.

The other commonly found animals in Sundarban National Park are Fishing Cats, Leopard Cats, Macaques, Wild Boar, Indian Grey Mongoose, Fox, Jungle Cat, Flying Fox, Pangolin, and Chital.

Many birds also reside in Sundarban National Park which include openbill storks, black-capped kingfishers, black-headed ibis, water hens, coots, pheasant-tailed jacanas, pariah kites, brahminy kite, marsh harriers, swamp partridges, red junglefowl, spotted doves, common mynahs, jungle crows, jungle babblers, cotton teals, herring gulls, Caspian terns, gray herons, common snipes, wood sandpipers, green pigeons, rose ringed parakeets, paradise-flycatchers, cormorants, grey-headed fish eagles, white-bellied sea eagles, seagulls, common kingfishers, peregrine falcons, woodpeckers, whimbrels, black-tailed godwits, little stints, eastern knots, curlews, golden plovers, northern pintails, white-eyed pochards and whistling teals.

Sunderban National Park

Best places to stay in Sundarban National Park

Many hotels and forest lodges and forest rest-houses are available at Sajnekhali, Bakkhali and Piyali to make you feel at home, yet make the wildlife pleasure more rewarding. Here we list some of the lodging facilities in and near Sundarban National Park:

  • Sundarban Tiger Camp on Dayapur Island
  • Sundarbans Jungle Camp on Bali Island
  • Prakrity village resort on Jemspur
  • Sundar Chital Tourist Lodge
  • Vivada Cruises
  • WBTDC Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge
  • United 21 Resort Sundarbans
  • Sunder Cheetal Forest Lodge

How to reach Sundarban National Park?

All three modes of transportation are available to reach Sundarban National Park.

  • By air - The nearest airport is the Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport in Kolkata. One can hire cabs to reach Sundarban which takes around 3 hours to reach.
  • By rail – The nearest Railway station is Sealdah, but no direct train is available to reach Sundarbans.
  • By road – The Sundarbans are well-connected by roads to all major cities in West Bengal. One can take a bus or car till Sonakhali, Godkhali, Namkhana, Canning, Raidighi or Najat and proceed up to Sundarbans through motorboats.
  • Places of Interest in Sundarban National Park

    Sajnekhali:

    This is the main watchtower complex and is best known for the bird sanctuary. While on a safari through river channels and creeks, tigers can be spotted at channel’s sides giving you a closer view that you can capture in your camera lenses. So if you are lucky (Yeah! Luck is an important factor), you can get outstanding glimpses of the royal tigers from different watch towers at different zones like Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Netidhopan, Haldi and a number of other places.

    Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project:

    Bhagabatpur is asaltwater crocodile breeding farm and is easily accessible from Namkhanaand and it is a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world.

    Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary:

    Don’t miss the unforgettable wildlife expedition of having the close encounters with over 200 bird species including, kingfishers, sandpipers, herons, caspian tern, open billed stork, whimbrels, white bellied sea eagles, and many more in the northern portion of Sundarban Reserve. Sajnekhali watchtower offers incredible sight of these winged creatures in the midst of lush greenery and river channels.

    Also don’t forget to enjoy the night safari to Witness the rarest Phytoplanktons (only if you are not Nyctophobia or faint-hearted) to witness some jaw-dropping sights of Phytoplanktons, which might make you skip a heartbeat.

    Take some time to wander around this UNESCO world heritage site and through itsenchanting villagesto get connected with the tribal people of Sundarbans and to know about their culture and experience their lifestyle and culture also, witness the local dance drama cultural programme, ‘Bonbibi Pala’(all this is so interesting and incredible!!).

    There is lot more to do at Sundarbans like catching a blissful sight of beautiful aquatic species on your Sundarban wildlife tour. Now this is something special about Sundarban, It is amongst the few places which offer the astounding sights of dancing dolphins in India. A boat cruise safari takes you to the open area of the river traversing the towering and entwining mangrove forests where the cute dolphins await to offer you an indelible display of somewhat a dancing show.

    Sunderban National Park

    Things to keep in mind

    • You should not step down in the water or at the river bank, as the real enjoyment of visiting the Sundarbans comes from appreciating its pristine, tranquil natural beauty, not in disturbing the wilderness or wildlife. Moreover stepping down can be a great threat to your own life.
    • Keep your shooting equipment ready, hey wait… I am talking about camera! The beauty of Sundarbans is beyond words and you might want to flaunt your photography skills to your friends and family. The place offers a chance to behold and to capture the sights of various bewitching wildlife creatures and lush greenery in your lenses.
    • Plastic is banned in the region, so make sure you don’t litter around also remember that destroying plantations or hurting wildlife species is a serious offence in the region.
    • Don’t make any kind of noise during your boat ride and be paitent.
    • It is advisable to bring plenty of money as there are no ATMs, apart from the State Bank of India at Gosaba.

    So if you are looking for some enthralling adventure, it’s time you head towards Sundarban National Park.