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The Sundarbans – A firmament of nature

The Sundarbans, largest mangrove forest in the world, is a region of absolute beauty, shrouded with lush green flora, river-riddled marshy region, man-eating tigers and thrill of offbeat adventure. It has the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site & a Biosphere Reserve.

It is adjoined by two of the most densely populated countries in the world –India and Bangladesh , yet it remains far-flung, forbidding and largely desolated by people.

Photos of The Sundarbans - A firmament of nature  1/4 by ANKITA DEY
Mangrove trees – Sundarbans

Why the Sundarbans

The Sundarbans has the largest single population of tigers in the world. It is the star attraction of Royal Bengal tigers. It is a habitat of around 320 magnificent creatures.

Though it is difficult to spot a Royal Bengal Tiger, merely sitting on the deck of your boat as you sail through thick mangrove forests, exploring the hidden secrets of the Sundarbans is an unforgettably awesome experience.

Lets Sail through the Sundarbans ( 1N | 2D itinerary )

How to reach

By Rail:

Local trains regularly run between Canning and Sealdah (South) and take an hour and a half. Local vans are also available from Canning to Godhkhali Jetty, where the boat journey to the The Sundarbans starts from.

By Road:

A well-laid network of roadways connects the Sundarbans to Kolkata, 110 km away.

By Waterway

The waterways are also favorable and can take you to your destination in a very short span of time.

A number of tour companies operate out of Kolkata, and most trips include transport to and from the city. Backpackers (www.tourdesundarbans.com) and Sundarban Tiger Camp (www.sunderbantigercamp.com) are both recommended, and tours with them can be booked online. Expect to pay around Rs4000 to Rs5000 per person for a two-day, one-night trip.

Getting around

The best time to visit the reserve is between November and March. Entry is restricted throughout the monsoon months.

I would suggest take a Houseboat from Kolkata which achors in the middle of the river in the night. It can easily accomodate 10-12 people.

Boats are allowed to sail from 8:30 hrs to 16:00 hrs every day.

There are good chances that you may find Royal Bengal Tiger crossing narrow channels in the night.

Start your trip early morning from Kolkata to Godkhali. It is around 3hrs drive. Godkhali serves as the only path leading to the village of Gosaba.

Gosaba

After reaching Godkhali Ferry Ghat, sail to Gosaba. Gosaba is a beautiful unexplored island in the bay of Bengal ,a very small area having all the basic facility available.

People in the village are very friendly and they enjoy sharing their experience of staying in the midst of thrilling and magnificent creatures.

The place gives you a real and typical flavor of authentic Bengali culture. The only way to explore the village is on a rickshaw. The place is ideal for tourist exposure.

Photos of Gosaba, West Bengal, India 1/1 by ANKITA DEY
 
Sajnekhali
From Gosaba sail to Sajnekhali. It is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger.It is also a heaven for varied species of birds.A Nature Interpretation Centre has been built at Sajnekhali, which is protected by a wired fence. Adjacent to this centre is a crocodile farm, a turtle farm and a pond inhabited by sharks. A number of watchtowers are built throughout Sajnekhali for wildlife viewing.
Photos of Sajnekhali, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India 1/1 by ANKITA DEY

Datta River

Anchor in the middle of the river at night

Sitting at the deck in the midst of the river at the night with sky covered with stars, enjoying the cool breeze and tranquility all around is out of the world experience.

Do Banki

The canopy walk in the morning at Do Banki gives you an opportunity to view wide range of wildlife from a netted enclosure.

Photos of Do Banki, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India 1/1 by ANKITA DEY

The Sundarbans is a mystery…a world ushered by Mother Nature so deep and enchanting that it’s only fair that her secrets are revealed gradually to a visitor.

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