Sundarbans National Park
This park extends into Bangladesh - for that section see Sundarbans
The Sundarbans are the largest littoral mangrove belt in the world, stretching 80 km (50mi) into the Bangladeshi and Indian hinterland from the coast. The Sundarbans has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The part of the forest within Indian territory is called Sundarbans National Park. The forests aren't just mangrove swamps though — they include some of the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Gangetic plain. The Sundarbans cover an area of 3,850 sq km, of which about one-third is covered in water/marsh areas. Since 1966 the Sundarbans 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. The forest is called 'Sunderban'due to the rich growth of Sundari trees.
Flora and fauna
Royal Bengal Tiger, Saltwater Crocodile, Bull Sharks, Various Primates & Snakes.
- October to February — winter, cold and temperate
- March to May — summer, hot and humid
- June to September — the monsoon season, wet and windy
Monsoon cruises are spectacular.
The Journey from Kolkata to Sunderban
The bus departs from Priya Cinema at Deshapriya Park, Kolkata at 8:30AM in the morning. The tourists board the bus and reaches Sonakhali. The luggages are off-loaded and tourists board the 45 seater boat and cruise through the river till Sunderban Tiger Camp. The river cruise is a real pleasure. There are two such boats and the local staff will constantly attend on you and look after your comforts. The river Hogol and numerous other Estuarine Rivers form 102 Delta islands in the Sunderbans, in which there are human dwellings in 52 islands only, the rest are dense forest, practically impregnable with their rich variety of flora and fauna. The boat cruises through the rivers Hogol, Korotal and Gosaba touching the places like PathorKhali, Chandipur, Mosjid Bari, Aadarsh Vidya Mandir in Durgaduani canal, joining the Gomdi River to the Sunderban Tiger Camp via Shojnekhali, Peechkhali.
Gosaba is the four-river junction area where Karatal, Bidya, Durgaduani and a branch of river Bidya meet. Gosaba is the last rural human habitat after which human habitat is rarity.
Foreigners wishing to visit Sundarbans have to obtain a special permit. This is mandatory as per Government rule. It can now,however be obtained at the Sajnekhali Forest Office(Ecotourism Range) .The originals have to be shown to the forest office on your arrival.
- Sunderban Tiger Camp, 9, Mitter House, 71, Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Second Floor, Kolkata - 700 013, West Bengal, India. Mobile: +91 32935749, +91 9331092632, +91 9831170453, Fax: +91-33-222526078, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://www.sunderbantigercamp.com
- Eastern Sunderban Tours 190 A Harish Mukherjee Road,Kolkata 700026, West Bengal, India. Hand Phone +91 9230653695 E-mail:email@example.com
- Sundarban Hotel & Cruise Enlally C.I.T.Road Kolkata-14 0933 1685497 or 093319=11437.
- Help Tourism, 67A,Kali Temple Road, Sadananda Kuthi 1st Floor, Kalighat. Kolkata- 700 026
West Bengal, India, Tele-Fax;+91-33-24854584, E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org ; http://www.helptourism.com.
Or you can contact (Working Days M-F 10AM-4PM; Sunday & National Holidays closed)
- Tourism Centre, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited, 3/2-BBD Bag(Near Great Eastern Hotel), Kolkata-700 001, Phone:+91-33-2210 3199, 2248 8271.
A permit for maximum 05 days is usually granted which can be further extended subject to the permission of local forest officer.
- Apart from cruising around the tourism zone of National Park, take a village walk. Visit a local school.
- Go on a cycle trip to the local village market. Know more about the unique Mangrove Eco System. *Join a fishing or crab catching expedition on a country boat around the village(you are not allowed to do that inside the Reserve Forest).
- Take a birding walk around the village.
- Join a cooking class,and learn how a local dish is prepared with simple local ingredients.
- Experience a local cultural programme Bonobibi Yatra - a local rural theatre performed by the villagers.
Be sure that you have booked your lodging or trip package through a responsible tourism organisation that shares the tourism benefit with local communities, does not employ child labour, and practices environment-friendly tourism.
- Local Handicraft.
- Organic Brown Rice.
Fresh Sea Fish. Prawn. Lobster. Dry Fish Curry. Cottage Cheese. Pan Cake. Rice Pudding(Bengali dessert).
Filtered or Boiled Water(do not insist on mineral water unless it is a part of your personal medication. Mineral water comes in plastic bottles. Sundarbans is a No-Plastic Zone.) Fresh coconut juice. Fresh watermelon juice. Mango juice.
- Sunder Chital Tourist Lodge, Sajnekhali , belonging to West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.Total 30 double bed rooms,tariff Rs.700/- including breakfast + one meal.Dormitory : Rs.250/- per bed including one meal + breakfast. Though non airconditioned, its jungle ambiance and facing the actual jungle makes one chill to the extreme.it is the only lodge close to Sajnekhali Forest Beat Office and one can get the perfect jungle feeling.
- Sunderban Tiger Camp, Dayapur Island, National Park East Range. City Office: 9, Mitter House, 71, Ganesh Chandra Avenue, Second Floor, Kolkata - 700 013, West Bengal, India. Mobile: +91 32935749, +91 9331092632, +91 9831170453, Fax: +91-33-222526078, Email: email@example.com, . Sunderban Tiger Camp is the only Star Classified Government Approved Luxury Forest Resort in West Bengal, India. The Resort lies amidst a sprawling 9 acres of forestland just opposite Sajnekhali Tiger Reserve Forest, in the heart of Indian Sunderbans. As a boutique resort they provide conference facilities and accommodations include tents, huts, and cottages, with air-conditioned units available, all with attached baths. Meals served buffet-style with vegetarian options. Sightseeing tours by boat.
The locally constructed accommodations provide all the best amenities one could need. Simple furnishings enhance the rustic appeal. Harmonious, are the natural interiors with large beds, much space, spacious verandah, 24 hour electricity and running water and the home service only a moment away. The cozy rooms will simply lullaby you to a peaceful slumber after a spine tingling ride through the river and the creeks. The rooms have attached clean bathrooms with running cold water and hot water on request, and very well sanitized. In short, the whole arrangement is an ideal retreat for rest and recreation.
- Sundarbans Jungle Camp, Bali Island, National Park-West Range, Phones: Camp-+91-3218-214940, Help Tourism:+91-33-24550917,24854584, Tele-Fax:+91-33-24854584, Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com, .
A Community Tourism initiative of Help Tourism 1.Accommodation and your host: This is a Community Tourism Partnership project at Bali Island named Sundarbans Jungle Camp, initiated by Help Tourism. 06 ethnic cottages(04 Three-bedded+02 Four-bedded) that respect local rural architecture and constructed with local materials. Spotless rooms with modern bath. Large dining. A fishing deck. Surrounded by lush green village gardens, trees, pond-over looking the sanctuary on the bank of river Gumdi. Powered by pollution-free solar energy with powerful generator back up(battery can be charged).Safe drinking water and clean, local food. The people of Bali village are your host. They are the transformed conservationists and gainfully involved in the camp. They will take you around the forest or on a cruise through the creeks or help you have authentic encounters with the people of Sundarbans. They will tell you the story of tigers, birds, flora. They are the people who know the address of each and every turn of the river, and every creek.
2.Cruises: The Camp has 02 powerful 6 cylinder boats and One 2 cylinder boat for short and long cruise.The sarengs (Pilots) are experienced. Both the boats are as good and comfortable with Cabins and modern toilets. Life jackets that meet international norms of quality and coastal safety are provided during cruise and country boat ride.
3.The food: Local dishes which you donot get normally in the restaurants of a city,are served here- specially and tastefully cooked for you by the trained local chef. Much variety is not possible owing to the remoteness of the area, yet best possible food is provided under strict hygienic supervision. Vegetables come from the organic gardens of the village, fresh fish and crab from the rivers and ponds, chicken from the village farms and fresh honey from the honey collectors' houses.
4.The Activities: Help Tourism does not operate Tiger tours and discourages any form of Tiger shows. For those who consider Tiger sighting a must for their trip are discouraged to join their cruise safaris as Tiger sighting cannot be guaranteed in such a vast, remote and difficult terrain where visitors hardly have any opportunity to walk on the forested lands or mud flats.The camp welcomes all those who are keen on its Natural History tour for a great learning experience and a mutual education.The project and tour is extremely environmentally-sensitive and has strong conservation and benefit sharing pledge.
5.The Trip: 02 nights/03 days or longer trips are arranged.All inclusive trip on Jungle Plan. Logistics are very simple. The trip starts from Kolkata and ends at Kolkata. Pick up from and drop back at your doorsteps.Small,responsible,and private tours are encouraged. There is no compulsory fixed departure dates. Visitors can decide dates of their own choice. Sundarbans remains open 365 days a year.
One can avail regular package tours to Sunderbans on board Marine Vessels conducted by WEST BENGAL TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION LTD ( 1 night 2 days / 2 nights 3 days ) covering various tiger projects of Sunderban. For details one can contact their office at Tourism Centre 3/2 B B D Bag (E)Kolkata - 1 Phone 22437260 / 22488271/ 22103199, email : firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 22485168.
The Sundarbans is the only place in the world where Tigers still actively hunt humans for food and usually between 50 and 80 locals are mauled per year. The Royal Bengal Tiger is extremely dangerous in the Sundarbans, but most visitors need not worry since wildlife tours and accommodation that is provided by state government will never put you in harms way; however if you are interested in private tour (by hiring a small machine boat or so), do it at your own risk! The Sundarbans is also home to a population of Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and Bullsharks are found throughout the estuaries, so swimming is not advised anywhere.
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