A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sundarbans is located south of Kolkata and spreads over 54 islands and stretches to Bangladesh. Sundarbans is the world's largest delta, which is formed by the merger of three rivers-the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna. The Sundarbans wildlife sanctuary spread over an area of 2,585 square kilometres. The area came under the Project Tiger in 1973 and later the core area of 1,330 square kilometres was declared the national park and world heritage site.
Popular for its tigers, Sundarbans is equally known for its large mangrove forests. The Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a number of wild animals like spotted deer, monkeys, wild pigs, herons, white bellied eagles and kingfishers. According to one estimate the Sundarbans is home to some 270 Royal Bengal Tigers.
Sundarbans is also home to a number of estuarine crocodiles, olive Ridley turtles, Ganges dolphins and fish.
Sundarbans is an ideal place for ornithologists and bird watchers. Sajnekhali is a perfect place to enjoy bird watching. There are a number of water birds in the Sajnekhali bird sanctuary. Some of the birds are Asian openbill stork, greater adjutant stork, black-necked stork, white-collared kingfisher, white ibis, swamp francolin, black-capped kingfisher and brown-winged kingfisher. The area has number of watchtowers, which are ideal points to enjoy bird watching.
Netidhopan is another exciting area in the Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary. The area is famous for barking deer and Olive Ridley Turtles. Kanak is the area where you can watch Olive Ridley Turtles, which is breeding place for turtles.
The rich flora of Sundarbans National Park consists of 64 plant species. The flaming red leaves of the Genwa, yellow flowers of Khalsi and the crab-like red flowers of the Kankra adds to the charm of this national park. The flora of Sundarban National Park includes Dhundal, Garjan, Goran, Passur and Sundari.
Sunderbans National Park houses more than 400 tigers. These resident Royal Bengal Tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters and are famous for as the men hunters.
GOSABA, West Bengal 743370
Apart from exploring Sundarbans National Park rich wildlife, flora and fauna one can also enjoy another way to explore the nearby area of the park enjoying a Boat Safari. Another interesting place to visit is Bhagatpur Crocodile Project, a crocodile breeding center located in the close proximity of the park. For adventure lovers the park provides of angling and fishing activities since there are lots of rivers crossing the park which makes these activities possible in the park premises. Kolkata, the cultural city of India is the place to visit, on your wildlife tour to Sundarbans. There are a number of places in and around Kolkata that you can include in your itinerary.
You can enjoy a boat through Sundarbans outside the sanctuary. However, you require permits to visit the estuarine delta area. Permits can be obtained from the office of Field Director, Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, Port Canning, 24 Parganas. Foreigners can obtain permits from the office of the Forest Department in the Writer's Building in Kolkata.
Summers are hot and winters are cold in the region. Temperature can touch 42°C during summer and can dip to 9.2°C during winter. December to February is the best time to visit Sundarbans.
Kolkata is the nearest airport, which is about 131 kilometres from Sundarbans. Kolkata is also well connected by rail and road with other parts of the country. From Kolkata you can take train to Port Canning, which is the nearest railhead to Sundarbans.
A large number of lodges, resorts and forest rest houses are scattered inside and near the park. Some of them are Sundarban Jungle camp, Sunderban Tiger Camp, Prakrity village resort. The cruise launches MV Chitralekha and MV Sarbajaya also have lodging facilities. All of them provide for excellent accommodation and well cooked food during your stay to make it more enjoyable. Accommodation is also available outside the park at Piyali and Bakkhali