Saturday

Sundarban, the exceptional gift of God.

Beautiful Sundarban
The Sundarbans delta, the wonder of nature literally means beautiful forest, is a combined forest in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. It is the largest mangrove forest in the world. The Sunderbans gets its name due to the abundant presence of the ‘Sundari’ trees. There are a lots of ‘Sundari’ trees in Sundarban. 

Sundarban, the largest mangrove forest in the world is the heaven for all the professional and non-professional photographers. Green, beauty and adventures place for the local and foreign tourists. Enrich Treasure Island of the biodiversity. Future for the thousands of depending inhabitants and new dreams for the honey hunters.     

The total area (including water) of this imaging mangrove forest was estimated at 6,526 square miles (16,902 km2).  Now it has reduced about 1/3 of the original size. Today the area of Sundarban is 4,143 km² (including exposed sandbars: 42 km²) and the remaining water area of 1,874 km² encompasses rivers, small streams and canals. Sundarban covered 4% total area of Bangladesh and 40% total forest of Bangladesh.

About 32,400 hectares of the Sundarban have been declared as three wildlife sanctuaries in 1977 under the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act, 1974. These are Sundarban West (9,069 ha), Sundarban South (17,878 ha), and Sundarban East (5,439 ha) named Kotka-Kachikhali Tiger point, Hironpoint and Manderbaria.


In 1999 Sundarban was declared World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Tiger is the King creature of Sundarban
King of Sundarban
A total 245 genera and 334 plant species have been recorded. Since 1966 the Sundarban have been a wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. It is one of the final remaining strongholds for the endangered Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris). A study in 1991 has revealed that the Bangladeshi part of the forest supports diverse biological resources including at least 150 species of commercially important fishes, 270 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, 35 reptiles and 8 amphibian species. 

Every year a large number of tourists and visitors come to Bangladesh from all over the world to see the beauty, nature and creature in Sundarban. Many scientist, geologist and discoverer also come here to research and discover new lives in Sundarban.



There are a huge number of observable places in Sundarban. These are Hiron Point: Hiron point also known as Nilkamal, is the main attractive place in Sundarban for all tourists and visitors. It is a beautiful spot and great for spotting tigers and other wildlife. Visitors can also enjoy the beauty of wild nature and dotted deer’s walking and running all around the Hiron point. The visitors can get a comfortable stay here in the three-storied Rest House of the Mongla Port Authority with prior booking.

Sundarban, largest mangrove forest of the world
Sundarban, largest mangrove forest of the world
Tin Kona Island: Tin Kona Island, literally means three cornered Island, is another popular spot for wildlife spotting in Sundarbans. This Island is renowned for tiger, crocodile, birds and deer, where travelers can come across the real wildlife.  It has an enchanting, but wild beauty merged with wild forests and estuaries. The visiting time of the Island is from 9am to 5pm. Many tourists from all over the world visit this Island just to have some relief from the busy life and to get ideal resting place, merged with the wild beauty of forests and natures’ blessings.


Katka: It is calm and cool silent sea beach in the world located in the heart of Sundarban. It is also a base for safaris, and good spot to see tigers and for bird-watching.

Green view of Sundarban
Green view of Sundarban
You may be heard about Kotka Beach. But you can’t imagine how beautiful it is without visiting the beach. Moreover, it is built by nature and cared by nature. When you will be standing beside the beach then the Bay of Bengal will be in front of you and behind you there is the largest mangrove forest of the world. Just imagine the scenery! Be careful there also about the king of Sundarban “Royal Bengal Tiger”.


Dublar Char Island:  It is located at the southern boarder of the Sundarban facing the Bay of Bengal is famous for her beautiful scenic spots.  A (dry) fish processing factory has recently been established in Dublar Char.  Water vessel like launch, cabin cruiser, speedboat, etc. can be used to reach the island from Mongla/Khulna. This island is famous for Rash Mela and holy bath, a Hindu festival that carries rituals since 200 years back. A three-day long yearly ritual is a highly thrilling event for the tourists of both home and abroad. Every single year more than fifty thousand visitors visit this beautiful Island.
Beautiful birds seen from Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower, Sundarban
Beautiful birds seen from Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower
Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower: Sudhanyakhali Watchtower is situated at Sundarban National Park in West Bengal state of India. The tower is 45 minutes away, in to the forest from Sajnekhali spot. The path to the watch tower has been enclosed on both sides and the top with a steel wired fence. Most of the tigers are sighted from this tower. In addition, tourists can also spot wildlife like axis deer and crocodiles from this tower. From the top of the watch tower, the dense mangrove trees and almost all the 84 species of plants which include rare trees like Sundari, Hetal, Garjan and Garan can be seen.

In a word the wild beauty with its flora and fauna can be thoroughly enjoyed from the Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower.

Sajnekhali Watch Tower: This is the first point on the tour of Sundarban National Park and the paradise for bird’s lover and photographer. Sajnekhali Watch Tower is the most popular and the most visited Watch Tower at Sundarban which is built at a height and it can hold 20 visitors at a time. Yow can see here houses, a museum, a Bonbibi Temple and a crocodile park within its premises. Here you can see lots of colorful birds such as Kingfisher, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Plovers, Lap-Wings, Curfews, whimprel, Sandpipers and Pelicans etc.

The Head Office of the Forest Department is also located in Sajnekhali and it is the place to get authorize to enter the Sundarban Tiger Reserve is issued.

Birds of Sundarban (Sajnekhali Pakiralaya), Sundarban
Birds of Sundarban (Sajnekhali Pakiralaya)
Sajnekhali Pakiralaya: It is also located at Sajnekhali in Sundarban.  It is regarded as a part of the Sundarban National Park and is essentially a bird watcher's paradise. Due to popular and favorable climatic conditions at the park, it creates an ideal environment for the native as well as migratory birds of a numerous variety.

Some of the most popular birds found in Sundarban are – Various types of Kingfishers, Open Billed Storks, White Bellied Sea Eagles, White Ibis, Golden Plovers, Eastern Knots, Curlews, Pintails, Grey Plover, Caspian Plover, Water Hens, Coots, Pheasant Tailed Jacanas, Pariah Kites, Brahminy Kites, Marsh Harriers, Swamp Partridges, Red Jungle Fowls, Spotted Doves, Common Mynahs, Jungle Crows, Jungle Babblers, Caspian Terns, Gray Herons, Brahminy Ducks, Spotted Billed Pelicans, Large Egrets, Night Herons, Cotton Teals, Herring Gulls, Common Snipes, Wood Sandpipers, Green Pigeons, Rose Ringed Parakeets, Paradise Flycatchers, Cormorants, Fishing Eagles, Seaguls, Peregrine falcons, different kinds of Woodpeckers, Whimprels, Black-Tailed Godwits, Little Stints, White Eyed Pochards and Whistling Teals etc.

The best time to visit Sajnekhali Pakiralaya from July to September.

Do Banki Watch Tower: Do Banki Watch Tower presents one with a unique experience of watching wildlife from its Canopy Walk. This is the third point on the tour of Sundarban National Park. This canopy walk is about half a kilometer long and at a height of about 20 ft from the ground. There is also a sweet water pond and Chital deer’s as well as Brahmini Kites are very often sighted here apart from the tigers. There are a lot of cheetal (spotted-deer) here. A captive breeding program for the deer also takes place here from time to time. It is a very thrilling experience which brings back tourists for repeat-walks. Traveling to the Sundarban would be incomplete without this Canopy Walk.


Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project: The Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project in the Sundarban is an attractive place to the tourists and it is also the home to numerous crocodiles varying in their age. This is a crocodile breeding farm and a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world. This place is accessible through Namkhana.

Buridabri:  Buridabri is a Tiger project area in Sundarban situated at riverside. It is a nature’s trail and famous for the watch tower; from where fortunate tourists can get a glimpse of the strolling Royal Bengal Tigers.

Netidhopani: Netidhopani situated at Sundarban is a famous tourist destination.  Popularity reasons for this place are there is a houses ruin of a 400 year old temple. Every year a huge number of tourists travel to the Sunderbans to visit this temple for worshipping.

Kanak: Kanak is a prominent place in Sundarban to all kind of travelers for the presence of the rare Olive Ridley Tortoise. This is mainly thriving in shallow waters and beaches. During the breeding season of the Ridley turtles, the turtles approach this place from distant areas.

Piyali: Piyali is the gatway to Sundarbans located 72-kms from Kolkatta by road and close to Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, and Netidhopani through waterways. A small river Piyali flows through the green paddy fields and mingles with river Matla in West Bengal state in India. Picturesque Piyali delta makes an ideal affectionate holiday destination. A beautiful tourist complex with accommodation and recreation facilities is also situated in Piyali Island. The riverside of Piyali is an ideal location for nature enthusiasts. Tourists from all over the world enjoy boating in Piyali River very much as they can witness the rich flora and fauna from the boats. It is also a relaxation place for the tourists who visit Sundarban.

The mangroves of Sundarban are not only serving as a tourist attraction, that also serving various important environmental functions in the region. It provides a conductive environment for the existence of various creatures that attach themselves to the roots of the mangroves in Sundarban and it also avoid being swept away by the tides.

The Sundarbans is not just an environmental asset or an ecological treasure-trove; it is an area of immense geo-political importance as well. Therefore, if the land of this region gets submerged, then further complexities will arise. If the Sundarbans falls prey to the ill-effects of climate change or by the people, it will lead to the growth of subsidiary issues including loss of biodiversity of the region, complete inundation of the land and related problems in the surrounding regions.

Mighty Aila destroy Sundarban
Mighty Aila destroy Sundarban
On 25th May, 2009 Sundarban was damaged by Aila (tropical cyclone of wind speed 120 km/hr). We have to remember that, if Sundarban not been there, lots of lives could be dead within a few seconds. Sundarban protected us from Aila by damaging herself. But for a bit of interest we are jeopardizing the future of our environment. And surroundings by robbing and cutting trees, killing beast and lives hunting deer’s and tigers. The Sundarbans also faces the impending threat of being completely destroyed due to the ravaging effects of climate change.

This is the time to act. It’s late to trace back our steps, but it’s not too late to mend our ways. We must alter our lifestyles if we seek to change the destiny of the Sundarban. We have to leave our bad mentality about destroying the nature. We should to work together to ensure the stability of nature as well as Sundarban. Initially, the people of that particular region need to be sensitized about the issue.  

If you decide to visit this exceptional forest you have to go but you can't go there alone. There are lots of travel and tourism agents who can help you to go to Sundarban. Some of these are given bellow. Hope that it will be helpful for you.