World Heritage Sites
- Sundarbans National Park (1987), West Bengal
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.
forms await you in this largest estuarine delta in the world, Sunderbans.
In April and May the flaming red leaves of the Genwa, edge the emerald
islands. The crab like red flowers of the Kankara and the yellow blooms
of Khalsi add to the dazzling display. As you penetrate into the forests
of Sundarbans, this fairyland unfolds its mysterious beauty.
The Sundarbans forest
is home to more than 400 tigers. The Bengal Tigers have adapted themselves
very well to the saline and aqua environs and are extremely good swimmers.
As you enter the adventurous wild land of the Sundarbans you'll be thrilled
to see the Chital Dear and Rhesus Monkey. The aqua fauna of Sundarbans
include variety of fishes, red Fiddler Crabs and Hermit Crabs.
are crocodiles, which can be often seen along the mud banks. Sundarbans
national park is also noted for its conservation of the Ridley Sea Turtle.
There's is a incredible variety of reptiles also found in Sundarbans,
which includes King Cobra, Rock Python and Water Monitor. The endangered
river Terrapin, Batagur Baska is found on the Mechua Beach, while the
Barkind Deer is found only in Holiday Island in Sunderbans.
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.
: 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 is famous as last retrest of Barking Dear in
Piyali : Piyali
is the getaway 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.
On your way to Sundarbans you cannot afford to miss Kaikhali Island, where
nature is so alive and so colourful. An ideal picnic spot.
to Visit Sunderbans National Park
The ideal time to visit the Sundarbans national park is during the months
of September and May. Winter make the time to see the mighty Royal Bengal
Tiger sun-bathing on the river banks.
How to Reach
Air : Getting to the Sunderban National Park is no mean feat. The
closest airport is the Dum Dum Airport in Kolkata, at a distance of 166km
from the Sunderbans.
By Rail : The
nearest railhead, at a distance of 105km, at Canning, is not close either
to this elusive destination. From Canning you have to reach Sonakhali,
from where the adventure takes on another dimension altogether.
By Boat Ride :
You must now take a boat ride that lasts a good six to seven hours, to
Gosaba. This is followed by a rickshaw ride to Pakhirala from where yet
once again a boat ferries you across to Sajnekhali - the base of the Sunderbans
At a distance of 50km
from the Sunderbans National Park, Gosaba is the nearest town. Many travellers
find it more convenient to take a bus from Kolkata to Sonakhali or Basunti
via Babu Ghat. It is also possible to hire your own private boat from
Canning! For the uninitiated, the journey provides the rites of passage
to rural Bengal.
UNESCO Heritage Monuments in India