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Sundarbans National Park

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Sundarbans National ParkThe holy Ganga journeys down the Himalayas and flows along India’s 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 world’s largest estuarine forests that constitute 80% of India’s 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

The 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 In Sundarbans

  • The Sajnakhali 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.
  • Netidhopani
    At Netidhopani, the ruins of a 400 year old temple and legends lend mystery to the atmosphere.
  • Bhagabatpur
    Bhagabatpur is famous for having a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.
  • Kanak
    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 over here.
  • Kaikhali
    On your way to Sundarbans you cannot afford to miss Kaikhali Island, where nature is so alive and so colourful. An ideal picnic spot.



How to Reach
  • Air
    The nearest airport is Kolkatta, at 112-kms.
  • Sundarbans National Park
  • Rail
    Canning is nearest railhead, at a distance of 48-kms.
  • Road
    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.
  • Waterways
    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.

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