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Kolkata Surrounding Packages

THT 046: Sunderbans - A World Heritage Site


General Information
Rediscover the natural treasures – Ever thought of spending a whole day in the midst of mudclad crocodiles, hopping Cheetals and majestic Royal Bengals! If not, then come to Sunderbans.

A World Heritage Site (awarded by UNESCO in ’97) that evokes the feeling of an animal lover in you. Where after a close encounter with the wild you can spend the adventurous night in the launch under the shooting stars.

Situated on the lower end of the Gangetic West Bengal, 22.00° N – 89.00° E, is this world’s largest delta covered by mangrove forest and vast saline mud flats. A land of 54 tiny islands, crisscrossed by innumerable tributaries of Ganga, which was once infested by Arakanese and Portuguese pirates, is now the abode of varied flora & fauna population. An area of 9630 sq. km., where 70 percent is under saline water makes the life of commoners, mostly honey-catchers, prawn-catchers and fishermen, very difficult. This is Sunderbans, the world’s largest estuarine forest.

The undiscovered greenery – Sunderbans, the place that owes its name to Sundari trees, consist of a large flora population like Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan and Kankra. Apart from these trees, impenetrable Goran trees between 1.8 mtr. & 3.6 mtr. High covers almost the entire region. One of the most remarkable features of this place is the bayonet like roots of mangrove forests that stick out above the water level.

Nature apart, if you want to feel the essence of spirituality then this is the place to be. A place of Ma Bonobibi (the goddess of the forest) to Shiber Kumir (Lord Shiva’s Crocodile) or from Dakshinaroy (an ogre, the ancestor of all tigers) to Kapil Muni (an incarnation of Vishnu).

A land ruled by 269 Royals; the land that is inhabited by Royal Bengal Tigers is not far from Kolkata. You can explore unknown wildlife of Sunderbans that harbour jungle cats, fishing cats, Axis deer, wild boar, Rhesus monkeys, mongooses and the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.

Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds like Heron, Egret, Cormorant, Fishing Eagle, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Seagul, Tern, Kingfisher as well as migratory birds like Whimprel, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Eastern Knot, Curlew, Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Pintail, White-eyed Pochard and also Whistling teal. Come and discover wide variety of aquatic and reptile life forms that include Olive Ridley sea turtle, hardshelled Batgur Terrapin, Pythons, King cobra, Chequered killback, Monitor and lizards including the Salvator lizards.

Best Season
The best time to be in wildlife belts of the region is September-March. Although the luxury tours to the Sunderbans carry on the year round, and the monsoon holds its own magic over tourists on the expanse of the Sunderbans, September-March is the most likely time for tiger-sighting.
How to get there

Come to Sajnekhali by motorboat departing from Canning which is accessible by train and bus services from Kolkata. Cruise along in M.V. Chitrarekha (weekly journey from October to March) for a life time experience. One can also get private boats from Canning, Gosaba and Basanti, Raidighi, Basanti, Namkhana and Najatare are all connected by roadways from Kolkata.

The tour packages for Sunderbans include customized tours of this famous wildlife sanctuary, which is home to the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger. Lying in the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges and Brahmaputra, Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal is the largest estuarine sanctuary in the world, and home to a wide variety of thriving as well as endangered wildlife species. Touristplacesinindia offers customized Sunderbans tour packages that include comfortable hotels stays and visits to all the major tourist attractions in and around the Sunderbans.

The vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp at the Sunderbans are home to a rich and diverse variety of flora and fauna that thrive in estuarine conditions. A national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is the only ecological habitat of the tiger of its kind in India, and excepting Bangladesh, in the world. Flaunting the largest concentration of wild tigers in the world, these forests are also inhabited by numerous aquatic and semi-aquatic animals, which are among the prime wildlife sightings that tour packages to Sunderbans provide.

You can spot an amazing variety of wild animals with the Sunderbans tour packages, including the spotted deer, monkeys, wild pigs, herons, white bellied eagles, kingfishers and even the royal Bengal tiger, if luck prevails. The reserve is home to diverse aquatic and reptile life forms including the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtle, Green Turtle, Hawk's Bill Turtle, hard shelled Batgur Terrapin, King cobra, Pythons, Chequered killback, Estuarine Crocodile, Monitor and lizards like the Salvator lizard. These tour packages for Sunderbans can also allow you spot a number of Trans-Himalayan migratory birds that frequent the region.

The Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary located between Peechkali and Gomti Rivers, is part of the Sunderbans National Park and one of the major tourist attractions of the park. Home to numerous species of birds like ospreys, grey herons, spotted-billed pelicans, white ibis, eagles, kingfishers, falcons, herring gulls, Caspian terns and open-billed herons, the sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers. Tour packages for Sunderbans also include visit to the Mangrove Interpretation Centre, which educates visitors about the conservation requirements of the forests.

The Halliday Island and Lotian Island Sanctuaries, the watchtower in Netidhopani and the beaches at Kanak where you can spot Olive Ridley turtles are some other tourist spots worth visit on Sunderban tours. You can also visit the white sand beach at Frazerganj, the beach resort of Bakkhali and the beach at Ganga Sagar which present excellent opportunities for a relaxed getaway. The picturesque island of Kaikhali, with its lush green jungles and abundance of plants and flowers is one of the well known picnic spots you can head to for a family picnic. The small town of Piyali, on the way to Sunderbans, is known for its scenic beauty and makes for an excellent destination on a Sunderban trip.

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