holy Ganga journeys down the Himalayas and flows along Indias
vast monotonous plains into the state of West Bengal. Towards the
southern tip of the state, the land and the Bay of Bengal break out
into a lively welcoming fandango to form a fresco of tangled
mangrove swamps the Sunderbans. The Sunderbans are spread out
over an area of 16,500sq km in the prostrate delta towards the mouth
of the Ganga, and form the worlds largest estuarine forests
that constitute 80% of Indias total mangrove swamps. A World
Heritage Site, the Sunderbans are also amongst the richest biosphere
reserves in the subcontinent.
The silt deposit islands
on the Sunderbans Delta are connected to the mainland through a
labyrinthine waterway system, with some islands being practically
impenetrable. This has turned out to be a boon in disguise because
the ecology of the area and these fecund marshlands, wired in thick
foliage, are able to support an astonishing variety of plant and
animal life. Twenty-six of the fifty broad mangrove types found in
the world, thrive in the Sunderbans. In order to preserve this
clearly unique biosphere, the area between River Hooghly and the
River Teulia was declared a National Park in the year 1984. The
protected reserve covers a stretch of 1,330sq km, and also
constitutes the core zone of the National Park.History
vast swampy delta of the two great Indian rivers, Brahamaputra and
the Ganges extends over areas comprising of mangrove forests, swamps
and forest island all interwoven in a network of small rivers and
streams. The Sundarbans National Park, home of the Royal Bengal
Tiger, covering an area of approximately 1330.10-sq-kms and the
largest mangrove forest in the world, form the core of this area.
The Sundarban region has got its name from Sundari trees, once found
in abundance here.
The Ganges and the Brahmaputra form
this alluvial archipelago of 54 islands watered by the Bay of
Bengal. The islands Goasaba, Sandeshkali and Basanti form the
northern boundary of the Sundarbans; on the south is the sea; to the
west side of the Sunderbans park is the Matla and Bidya Rivers and
to the east is the international boundary of Bangladesh.Attractions
How to Reach
- The Sajnakhali Sanctuary
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.
At Netidhopani, the ruins of a 400
year old temple and legends lend mystery to the atmosphere.
Bhagabatpur is famous for having a
hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.
Kanak is the nesting place of the Olive
Ridley Turtles. Haliday Island : Haliday island is famous as
last retrest of Barking Dear in India. 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. A beautiful tourist complex
with accommodation and recreation facilities is also situated
On your way to Sundarbans you cannot
afford to miss Kaikhali Island, where nature is so alive and so
colourful. An ideal picnic spot.
The nearest airport is Kolkatta, at 112-kms.
Canning is nearest railhead, at a distance
Road transportation is available from
Kolkatta for Namkhana (105-kms), Sonakhali (100-kms), Raidighi
(76-kms), Canning (64-kms), and Najat (92-kms), which are all
near the Sunderbans and have access to the riverine waterways
leading to it.
Sundarbans are accessible only by
riverrine waterways. Motor launch facilitiy are available from
Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project- Sagar Island
-Jambudwip; from Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri-
Netidhopan-Holiday Island; from Sonakhali - Gosaba; from
Raidighi - Kalas.