Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sundarbans National Park – West Bengal



Sundarbans National ParkWest Bengal
A World Heritage Site

 The Sundarbans National Park, is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the largest mangrove forest in the world. . The literal meaning of Sundarban is "beautiful forest" in the Bengali language and also has got its name from Sundari trees, found in abundance here. Sundarbans is one of the World’s largest delta region and  estuarine forest.


Sundarbans is paradise for wild life with greenish dense forest adventures, with meandering rivers, springs, creeks and beautiful estuaries, this place is ruled by the unique natural beauty of its surroundings.  Enthusiastic photographers, who likes to have the real panoramic region as the canvas, must come over to Sundarbans.
One who likes nature in its wildest forms, Sundarbans is the prime location which is not to be missed. Sundarbans offers a very extra ordinary view and a wild journey for a life time to recall.
It is also the perfect place for the holiday makers, who desire to rest or roam around at will, to refresh their mind and feast their eyes with the rich treasure that nature has so fondly bestowed…


Location 
   Sunderbans is situated on the lower end of the Gangetic West Bengal, just south of Kolkata. Sunderban covers an area of 4262 sq. kms., where 70 percent is under saline water. Sunderbans is a vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp forming the lower part of the Ganges Delta, extending about 260 km along the Bay of Bengal. Sunderbans spreads over 54 islands and two countries (West Bengal and Bangladesh)

Best Season:   November to February
This is the ideal season, where the tigers can be seen on the river banks sunbathing.

Route Map:
View Larger Map


How to reach:
By air: The nearest airport is Kolkata International Airport (112 km) having link with all major domestic and International airports.

By rail: The nearest railhead is at Canning, 48 kms away. The nearest town is Gosaba, 50 kms away. 

Road: Above mentioned embarkation points from Kolkata are: Namkhana (105 km), Sonakhali (100 km), Raidighi (76 km), Canning (64 km), Najat (92 km). 
from where Motor launch services are available for Sundarbans, 

The best and only means of travelling the park is to hire a boat and float down the various lanes formed by the many flowing rivers. You can travel in any of the local boats or in luxury launches namely M.V. Chitrarekha and M.V. Madhukar, which are operated by the tourism department.

Prime Attractions of Sundarbans:

 Sundarbans:
The destination is absolutely calm, quite and beautiful. The only way of seeing sunderbans is on boats. The mangrove forest is the home for various species including the royal bengal tiger. One can also be able to meet with the local tribals there. It's a combination of delta, estuary and wildlife.




Sundarbans Tiger Reserve:
This is situated in a village called Piyali, in the southern part of West Bengal state in India.Project Tiger was implemented in 1973 and later the Sundarban Tiger Reserve was demarcated over 2,585-sq. km. The core area of 1,330 sq.km has been declared a National park and has been chosen as a world heritage site. The 1980 census put the population of tiger in this reserve close to 400.

 Netidhopani :  At Netidhopani, the ruins of a 400 year old temple and legends lend mystery to the atmosphere.
  The Sajnakhali Bird Sanctuary :
The Sajnakhali sanctuary, famous for its rich avian population, is regarded as a part of the Sunderbans National Park. The kingdom of birds at Sajnekhati enchants your eyes. The most sought after sights by a bird watcher are seven colourful species of Kingfisher, white-bellied Sea Eagle, Plovers, Lap-Wings, Curfews, Whimbrels, Sandpipers and occasional Pelican. 

Ganga Sagar (Kapil Muni Ashram):
Ganga Sagar is a  religiously important tirth and   also has an exceptionally good beach for the tourists. Situated on an island in the Sunderbans, it holds the charms of a completely unspoilt beach on the estuary of the mighty Ganga. It can be approached from Kolkata either by road and then by vessel, or by luxury vessels taken from Kolkata.  


Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project:  
This is a crocodile breeding farm. This place is accessible through Namkhana.. Bhagabatput is a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world.

Piyali
Piyali is the gatway to Sundarbans, 72-kms from Kolkatta by road and close to Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Netidhopani through waterways. A small river Piyali flows through the green paddy fields and mingles with river Matla. Picturesque Piyali delta makes an ideal romantic holiday destination.

Kaikhali :     On your way to Sunderbans you cannot afford to miss Kaikhali Island, where nature is so alive and so colorful. An ideal picnic spot.

Kanak
Kanak is one of the nesting beaches of Olive Ridley Turtles in Sunderban. The turtles migrate to the shallow coastal waters from a long distance to breed. The turtles are believed to travel upriver as far as 100 km from the sea mouth into the Sunderban.

Holiday Island
The last habitat of the Barking Deer in India is the Holiday island thronged by the tourists every year

 Flora & Fauna
The variety of the forests that exist in Sunderban include mangrove scrub, littoral forest, saltwater mixed forest, brackish water mixed forest and swamp forest.The flora includes genwa, dhundal, passur, garjan and kankra. The goran trees, whose average height varies between 1.8 metres and 3.6 metres, cover almost the entire region.
Besides the tiger, you can have a look at the Gangetic dolphin, little porpoise, fishing cat, Indian fox, jungle cat, small Indian civet, common grey mongoose, spotted deer, wild pig, Indian flying fox, rhesus monkey and pangolin.

 Frazerganj: It is a  white sand beach  is entirely different from the other beaches. It can be accessed from Kolkata, and is a three hours drive. The destination is also famous for the migratory birds.  

Bakkhali:   A wellknown beach resort, close to Frazerganj.It’s a bird-watchers’ paradise, where you can spot casuarinas and Red Fiddle Carbs.

Mayadwip: The nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtles. 


Other tourist attractions:
Nilkamal known also as Hiron Point watching vociferous wild animals and natural beauty. Katka is another place where wind animals mare freely and also good for bird watching. Vast area of verdant valleys starting from Katka to tiger point in Kachikhali provides opportunities for adventurous wild trekking. Tin Kona Island is well known for deer and wild tiger and Dublar Char Island for fishermen. It is a beautiful island where flocks of spotted deer are frequently seen to graze.


Food and Accommodation:
Cuisine:  Indian, Continental and Bengali.
The hotels and forest lodges in Sunderbans are an ideal option for the adventure lovers. Apart from accommodation and food, the Wild Safari arrangement is the element that lures the tourists in the lodges/hotels here in Sunderbans. These Hotels offers you the thrill of staying in camps amongst the wilds of the forest
The Hotels in Sunderbans are the following:

Also Forest rest houses are available at Piyali, Sajnekhali and Bakkhali. Sundarbans Jungle Camp on Bali Island also offers lodging facilities.The cruise launches MV Chitralekha and MV Sarbajaya also have lodging facility.

Wildlife destinations in India:


Travel tips:
Sunderbans is approximately 5 hours away from Kolkata which includes 3 hours of road journey and 2 hours of boat ride. Do carry sunscreen to avoid tanning. A camera & binoculars is must.

Happy Travelling….!


1 comment:

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