Spans over around 10,000 sq km of area, the Sundarbans forest is shared between the two countries, India and Bangladesh. Around 4,262 km sq of the total forest area is in India and the remaining part is in Bangladesh. The Indian part of the Sundarbans forest constitutes the Sundarbans National Park. Known for the biggest mangrove forest in the world, the national park has everything to entice nature lovers as well as wildlife lovers. From dense mangrove forest to the numerous river channels crisscrossing the forest and the beautiful estuaries along with a large number of Royal Bengal Tiger and other wild animals, these all together make the entire forest into an amazing landscape to be visited and viewed at least once in life. Declared as a UNESCO heritage site, this park has its own charm to attract tourists at this place.
The Sundarbans national park is situated at the South Eastern periphery of the 24 Paraganas district in West Bengal, an eastern state in India. The name of the Sundarbans forest has been drawn from a mangrove plant known as Sundari (Heritiera Minor). The forest of the Sundarbans is located in the world's largest delta, which is formed by three rivers named Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Around 2585 sq km of the Indian Sundarbans region is occupied as the National Park and make it the largest National Park and Tiger reserve in India. Around 2,125 sq km of total area of 4,262 sq km of the Sundarbans is occupied by the mangrove forest and the rest area is occupied by the water bodies across the 56 islands that constitute the forest.
The Sundarban forest is the largest mangrove forest in the world so undoubtedly the mangrove tree is the prime fauna of this region. This tree has a unique ability to stand and stay alive in the inundated land for a long time. The spikes of this tree rise up from their roots which help in respiration and support the Mangrove Plants. An exquisite variety of mangrove tree, one of a special kind, named 'Sundari' is found in abundance here, which also is the reason of naming the forest as Sundarbans. More than 300 species of plants are found in the entire Sundarbans region.
The Royal Bengal Tigers, at the apex of the food chain, are ruling the Sundarbans National Park with their massive population that crosses 400 counts. Here in the Sundarbans, the royal Bengal tigers have developed an exceptional attribute of swimming in the salty water, and also are infamous for their man-eating penchant. However, tigers are the prime focus for the tourists here, but apart from this beautiful striped beast, there are various other fauna enrich the park with their grace and also attract wildlife lovers equally. The other fauna attractions which are in abundance in Sundarbans are Fishing cats, Leopard, Macaques, Wild boar, Wild Buffaloes, Rhinoceros, Indian mongoose, Jungle cat, Fox, Flying fox, Pangolin, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Hog Deer, Chital along with the saltwater crocodiles and various species of snakes.
Along with the animals, the park also boasts of its richness in avifauna. The exotic birds commonly found here are openbill storks, black-capped kingfishers, black-headed ibis, coots, water hens, pheasant-tailed jacanas, brahminy kite, pariah kites, 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.
The climate in Sunderbans forest is generally soothing and pleasant with the temperature ranging from the 20 degree Celsius to 48 degree Celsius. As the region is in the proximity of the Bay of Bengal, the humidity is fairly high around 80% and also sees heavy rainfall. During the summer season, which stays from March to May, the climate is hot and humid. The monsoon season starts from mid-May and lasts till mid-September. During this time period, the atmosphere is humid and windy. Being located near the sea, the area often sees storms during May and October which even turns into the cyclones. From October to February is the winter season and the climate is comparatively cold.
The Sundarbans National Park, an invincible kingdom of Royal Bengal tigers, is one of the most riveted tourism destinations in the eastern belt of India, especially for the wildlife and nature lovers. Here are few tourist destinations in and around the national park, which you can consider to visit while visiting the Sundarbans National Park.
The Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary which is situated on a land between the Peechkali and Gomati Rivers, and the only place in the Sundarbans forest to take a walk. Located alongside the Sundarbans tiger reserve, the Sajnekhali bird sanctuary is the home to a myriad of bird species like herons, egrets, Kingfisher, Sandpipers, Plovers, Whimbrels, Sea Eagle, Curfews and others. Also, there is a Mangrove interpretation center located inside this sanctuary.
The Second most famous watchtower in the Sundarbans Park after the Sudhanyakhali, the Sajnekhali watchtower strategically placed on the Sajnekhali Island to view a large part of the forest. It is a fascinating tourist place which also has a crocodile park, a museum and the Bonobibi temple inside the premises of the watch tower land. Here, you will also get the permit to visit other areas of the Sundarbans forest issued by the forest office.
Most famous watchtower in the Sundarbans area, the Sudhantyakhali watchtower is strategically placed in the center of the tiger reserve zone. It is an amazing place from where one can view most of the tiger reserve area and can also spot a large number of tigers from this watchtower along with the other existing wildlife of the area such as axis deer, crocodiles and other species. Being a large watchtower, it can host around 25 persons at a time to let them enjoy the enchanting view around. There is a large land devoid of any vegetation and a big pond nearby the watchtower due to which you can get an amazing sight of tigers and other animals who visit at the pond to drink water. Due to the no vegetation, animals can be seen clearly from afar.
Along with the Sajnekhali and Sudhanyakhali watch towers, there are other watch towers such as Netidhopan, Haldi and others from where one can get the wonderful sight of the royal Bengal tigers.
One of a kind, Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project is a crocodile breeding farm located in the Bhagbatpur area of the Sundarbans. It is known as the hatchery of the world's largest estuarine crocodile. This place can easily be reached from the Namkhanaand.
Known as the gateway to the Sundarbans, the Piyali Island is situated in the Sundarbans at a distance of 72 km from Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. This place is in the close proximity to Sajnekhali and developed as the tourist complex to enhance the tourism activity in and around the Sundarbans National Park. Here, one can savor the tranquility amidst nature by taking a walk in the surroundings and one can also enjoy the boat ride and view the village life. The Piyali River flows amid the island to converge with the Matla River.
The Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuary is located on a small island of having 38 sq km of area and easily accessible from Namkhana. You can obtain a permit to enter this island from DFO (South Division) of 24-Parganas or from the Namkhana Range Office. The Lothian Island is famous for being home to various bird species such as Black-Capped Kingfisher, Curlew, White-Bellied Sea-Eagle, Tern and Whimbrel. However, there is no tiger in this island thus making this island a favorite place for nature lovers as they can walk amid the greenery which largely consists of mangrove trees without any fear of the tiger. The faunas of this island consist of wild boar, fishing cat, spotted deer, jackal, crocodile, genetic dolphin and plenty of poisons and non-poisonous snakes. The sunset view is magnificent from this island.
The forest of Chulkati and Dhulivasani is located adjacent to the Kalas Island and a famous stop by in the Sundarbans for its diverse wildlife. With various rivers crisscrossing an area of around 462 sq km, it offers you some extraordinary view of nature like the Sundarbans. A 53-feet high watchtower which is located deep in the Ramganga range in the Sundarbans forest will provide you a complete view of flora and fauna around the tower. Apart from the tiger, you will get the sight of deer, wild boar, monkey, water monitor lizard and various species of bird.
The Hiran point which is located at the southern periphery of the Sundarbans is surrounded by beautiful water bodies from three sides and offers you a great view around.
The Halliday Island, which is also located on the southern side of the Sundarbans is an attractive tourist spot and widely known for being home to the barking deer.
Located in the Haliday Island, the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 6 sq km and is one among the three Wildlife Sanctuaries which enrich the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve. The Haliday Island is located on the bank of Matla river and home to spotted deer, barking deer and other animals. The sight of the royal Bengal tigers is found occasionally on this Island.
This is a spectacular Island in the Sundarbans National Park and a perfect place to spot tigers and deer in the wilderness of the Tin Kona Island.
Sundarbans National Park, an Indian territory of Sundarbans forest, is located at the southeastern edge of West Bengal, an eastern state of India. The nearest city to the Sundarbans Park is Kolkata which is well connected with the park by roadways, waterways and railways. Furthermore, Kolkata is the capital of West Bengal and a metro city so it is well connected with the big cities of India by Road, Water, Rail and Air as well as the international airport of Kolkata is well connected to all the popular cities of the world with a direct or connecting flight.
Thus, tourists planning to visit Sunderbans National Park can easily reach Kolkata from any corner of India and abroad, and then make arrangements to reach the Sunderbans National Park. Here is the detail information on how you can reach Sundarbans from Kolkata-