Sundarban Mangrove Forest
About Sundarban National Park
Sundarban Mangrove forest location
Know About Sundarban National Park, a collection of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal dispersed throughout Bangladesh and India is renowned for its distinctive mangrove forests. Know About The Biggest Mangrave
World’s largest mangrove forest
What Is Sundarban National Park
There are many rare and globally threatened wildlife species in the Sundarbans forest, which is spread out over 10,000 square kilometres of India and Bangladesh, with 40% of that area located in India. These species include the estuarine crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), Gangetic dolphin (Platinista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). Together with the forest in Bangladesh, the Indian forest, which is separated into the Sundarban Tiger Reserve and 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, is the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers may be found.
Biodiversity In Sundarban National Park
Due to its distinctive biodiversity, the Sundarban delta in India has been a priority area for WWF-India since 1973. Although it is home to more than 4.5 million people, it is also an environmentally fragile and climatically susceptible territory that supports a sizable population of wild tigers and other species. A long-term strategy that can incorporate climate adaptation and conservation strategies as well as shorter-term initiatives like ensuring sustainable livelihoods, access to clean and sustainable energy, and efficient human-wildlife conflict management is needed to secure the future of the Sundarbans, its biodiversity, and its inhabitants.
Where Is Sundarban National Park
The Sundarban forest, which covers an area of around 10,000 sq km, is shared by Bangladesh and India. Of the total forest area, 4,262 km2 are in India and the rest are in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans National Park is made up of the Indian portion of the Sundarbans forest. The national park, which is famous for having the largest mangrove forest in the world, has enough to offer both environment and animal enthusiasts. The entire forest is a magnificent scenery that should be seen and seen at least once in a lifetime because of the dense mangrove forest, the various river channels that crisscross the forest, the stunning estuaries, and the enormous number of Royal Bengal Tigers, and other exotic species. This park, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has its own allure to draw visitors to the area.
The Sundarban national park, which is famous for having the largest mangrove forest in the world, has enough to offer both environment and animal enthusiasts. The entire forest is a magnificent scenery that should be seen and seen at least once in a lifetime because of the dense mangrove forest, the various river channels that crisscross the forest, the stunning estuaries, the enormous number of Royal Bengal Tigers, and other exotic species. This park, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has its own allure to draw visitors to the area.
In West Bengal, an eastern Indian state, the Sundarbans National Park is located on the southern edge of the 24 Paraganas district. The mangrove plant known as Sundari inspired the name of the Sundarbans forest (Heritiera Minor). The Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers combine to form the biggest delta in the world, where the Sundarban forest is situated.
The Indian Sundarbans region is home to the country’s biggest National Park and Tiger reserve, covering around 2585 sq km. The mangrove forest covers around 2,125 sq km of the Sundarbans’ overall 4,262 sq km area, while the remaining space is taken up by the water bodies that dot the 56 islands that make up the forest.
India is fortunate to have a wide variety of plants and animals. Our country is renowned for its amazingly diverse physical landscape, which includes thick woods, ice glaciers, rich valleys, deserts, and palm palms scattered along silvery beaches. India’s remarkable history has inspired numerous authors to write about the country’s illustrious and extensive legacy.
Aside from these, other more stories, like Jakarta and Panchtantra, have focused on India’s fauna. India’s extensive animal habitat has a sombre effect on the surroundings and culture. Government of India has developed several specialised national parks and wildlife refuges where they may live and thrive without impacting humans in order to conserve and safeguard these natural riches.
History Of Sundarban National Park
The Royal Majestic Bengal Tigers call the History of Sundarbans National Park, which is spread over the Sundarban delta in the Indian state of West Bengal, home. This wonderful region spans an area of more than 10,000 square kilometres, including portions of Bangladesh and India. On May 4th, 1984, the Indian government declared The Sundarbans a national park, designating it as the official home of the renowned Royal Bengal Tigers.
250 tigers and a wide range of singing birds, reptiles, and other invertebrates, including crocodiles, are currently found in this exciting land. You are cordially invited to the enchanted kingdom of tiger worship if you choose to learn about the biodiversity of this region rather than only observe tigers.
Sunderbans’ history dates back to the period between 200 and 300 AD. The Sunderbans woods are thought to have been leased to the locals during the Mughal era, who thereafter established towns there. But in the following years, the Portuguese and salt smugglers in the 17th century assaulted those communities. Their ruins are all that is left now, and the most of them may be found at a location named Netidhopani.
A significant portion of these woods were designated as “reserved” under the terms of the Forest Act, 1865 (Act VIII of 1865) in 1875. Following independence, it was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1977, and on May 4, 1984, it became a national park. The Sundarbans were designated as a national park in 1978 and a tiger reserve under Project Tiger in 1973.
Uniqueness Of Sundarbans Forest
The biggest mangrove forest in the world and one of the most ecologically appropriate for all natural ecosystems are found in Sundarbans National Park. The park essentially makes up the majority of Tiger Reserve, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. It was eventually designated as a Ramsar site, a wetland of international significance, by the Indian government. Tigers live in just one mangrove forest in the entire globe. And currently, the park is home to the greatest number of tigers in the whole globe.
Geography of Sundarban Forest
The Sunderban’ distinctive landscape is one of the factors that attracts tourists, among other things. It is a piece of the biggest delta in the world and is where the biggest mangrove forests are found. A staggering diversity of flora and wildlife may be found in its brackish seas, mudflats, and trees. These are what give this location its unique characteristics, combined with the greenery and the mystery that is revealed with each visit. The enormous Sunderban also houses within it rivers, islands and settlements.
Plants: A wide range of flora may be found inside the deep woods of Sunderban National Park. However, the 64 plant species that have been discovered have adapted to live in saline environments and brackish water. A few of the often encountered plant species include the Sundari tree, Golpati, Champa, Dhundul, Genwa, and Hatal. These woodlands are thought to have 78 different types of mangroves. They are crucial to marine creatures’ existence, which makes them incredibly significant. These halophytes appear mysterious from a distance; who knows what the darkness within has to offer. Know More about Sundarban National Park.
Fauna: Wildlife tourism is a significant reason why people travel to the Sunderbans, and for good reason. You have heard that it is home to a diverse range of animals, with the Royal Bengal Tigers having a significant presence. The excitement of tourists is unmatched by tiger sightings. There are other types of birds and creatures that make these mangrove woodlands home, yet the beautiful cat unquestionably deserves all the glory.
Fishing cats, macaques, leopard cats, Indian grey mongoose, wild boar, flying fox, pangolin, and the Royal Bengal Tiger are among the various wildlife that may be found in these places. Rhesus monkeys and chital deer are frequently seen.
The marine life is fairly abundant in Sundarban, which is also well-known for it. Viewers’ reactions to a crocodile relaxing in the afternoon sun while lounging casually on a mudflat range widely. Other aquatic life forms, besides saltwater crocodiles, are red fiddler crabs and hermit crabs. The fact that there are several reptiles living in Sundarban National Park may not be widely known. Water monitors, king cobras, and rock pythons are a few of the more well-known species.
On the Mechau Beach, you may see Batagur Baska river turtles, a species that the IUCN has listed as endangered. They may be recognized by their tiny head, nose that constantly points upward, and carapace coloration of olive brown. A particular mention should also be made of the barking deer, which may be found on Haliday Island.
Rivers: The confluence of the Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers creates the Sundarbans delta. In addition to these three principal rivers, there are three other rivers that combine to form a fascinating network of waterways.
Islands: This area is dotted with a number of islands, some of which are tourist destinations in and of themselves. Among them, Kalash, Henry, and Netidhopani are the most well-known.
Villages: A number of villages, including Pakhiralay, Dayapur, Bali, and Sajnekhali, are adjacent to Sunderban National Park. Tourists enjoy village walks because they give them a chance to see how the locals live traditionally. You may see how honey is traditionally collected when visiting one of these communities.
How to Reach Sundarbans National Park
Visitors who intend to visit Sundarbans National Park may take advantage of guided excursions arranged by regional tour guides. The park has several entrances and is easily reachable from various regions of West Bengal. Visitors must travel to Kolkata, which has a very strong transportation network connecting it to important cities in India and internationally.
The most practical and effective way to go to Sundarbans National Park is always by plane. The closest airport is Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport. It is around 112 kilometres away from the Sundarbans. To charter a motor boat and travel to the Sundarbans region, tourists must proceed to Canning, Basanti, Gosaba, or any other launch station.
Canning and Seadalh are the closest train stations to Sundarbans National Park (South). Regular local trains run often, and the travel time is only 1.5 hours. To go to Canning station, travellers must board the train from Kolkata. From there, shared vehicles are available to transport you to the Sundarbans region’s mainland.
Sundarbans National Park and Kolkata are connected by a well-designed road system. About 110 kilometres. total surface distance. From Sonakhali (100 km), Namkhana (105 km), Canning (64 km), Raidighi (76 km), and Najat (92 km), tourists may easily rent public transportation.
The main form of transportation in the Sundarbans is via water. You may get to the Sundarbans forest and further explore it using just waterways by renting motorboats from the closest ports. The ports at Namkhana, Sagar Island, Sajnekhali, Sonakhali, and Raidighi provide motor launch service for rent.
Best time to visit Sundarbans National Park:
The rare and amazing Sundarbans National Park is renowned for being the world’s largest mangrove forest and the natural habitat of the Royal Bengal Tiger, one of the most ferocious and endangered predators in the wilds of the dense forest, as well as a wide variety of other wild species of different flora and fauna. For those who appreciate nature and animals alike, the estuary of the Sundarbans makes it a special and must-visit wildlife destination in India. The Sundarbans National Park is just as simple to visit as any other Indian tourist site.
If you’re using the train, there are frequent services from Sealdah to Canning. The trip takes the train an hour and a half. At Canning, you may take a private cab or a shared vehicle to get to Godhkhali Jetty, which is where the boat tour to the Sundabans starts.
The roads and canals that connect the Sundarbans National Park to the nearby towns have been meticulously maintained by West Bengal’s tourist agency. The Godkhali port, which serves as the beginning point of the Sundarbans trip, is accessible by air, rail, or road for visitors to the Sundarbans National Park. The only way to go inside the Sundarbans forest is through water, thus from the Godkhali port, you may take a small or large boat to further explore the region’s fauna.
The park has good access to the local cities by roads, trains, and canals, and is also connected to the rest of the globe via airways. Visitors from all over the world come to this forest to take in the stunning scenery and peaceful delta land as well as the chance to see wild creatures. Watercraft that go over the different river channels that split the country into deltas may be used to explore the forest. Even though the park is available all year round for safaris, knowing when to visit Sundarbans National Park can help you organise your trip and make it more exciting and enjoyable.
Since the weather is more favourable during these days than at any other time of the year, the days between the months of October and March are said to be the finest times to visit the Sundarbans National Park. The winter months are ideal for both a relaxing day excursion through the deep forest and improved wildlife sightings as they emerge from the forest and enjoy the sun on the riverbanks.
During your daytime safari, you may enjoy the boat safari in this lovely weather as well as the numerous native dishes that you will be served on the boat. With the exception of the winter, travelling during the other seasons is far less comfortable for the Sundarbans Safari for a variety of reasons.
Due to the extremely hot heat, which is intolerable throughout the day, the summer season is particularly uncomfortable. The worst vacation for you will be if you rent a non-AC boat in the summer since the intense heat waves you will experience on the deck will prevent you from taking in the breathtaking scenery and fantastic fauna. Due to the heavy rains that the Sundarbans experienced during the monsoon season and the consequently high water levels in the rivers that cut through the forest, going on a safari in tiny boats during this time can be quite dangerous.
Visiting Sundarbans During Summer (April to June):
The Sundarbans have exceptionally hot weather from April through June. The humidity is at its highest and the high temperatures, which range from 30 to 42 degrees Celsius, are intense. It is not recommended to visit the Sundarbans during the summer since the heat is so terrible for visitors.
Visiting Sundarbans During Monsoon (July to September):
The Sundarbans see significant rains from July to September during the monsoon season, raising the water level above average and making boat safaris dangerous. Although the rainy season provides the natural flora and wildlife with much-needed reprieve after the summer, this season is also not the best time to explore the Sundarbans.
Visiting Sundarbans During Winter (October to March):
Due to the excellent weather from October to March, this is the ideal season to explore the Sundarbans. The whole duration of the aforementioned time period has excellent weather with moderate temperature ranging from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius, with the exception of a few days of really cold weather. Without any trouble, you may take in the splendour of the untamed forest and the flora and animals of the Sundarbans.
Climate of Sundarbans National Park:
Sundarban suffers extremely high humidity levels as a result of its closeness to the Bay of Bengal. During the monsoon, which lasts from mid-June to mid-September, there is a lot of rain. Fair weather lasts after the monsoons until mid-March.
The water helps to moderate the humid subtropical climate. Daily lows of 2-4°C in the winter increase to about 32°C during the monsoon and a peak of over 43°C in March. At the Jhingakhali meteorological station, the mean annual maximum and minimum temperatures were 34°C and 20°C, respectively.
Due to the proximity of the Bay of Bengal, there is a considerable amount of rain and the humidity ranges from 70 to 80 percent. The average annual precipitation ranges from 1,800 mm in Khulna and 1,920 mm in Jhingakali, both of which are north of the Sundarbans, to 2002 mm at the observatory on the western coastal island of Sagar and 2,790 mm along the coast of Bangladesh. Saline soils are cleansed of their salt during the monsoon, which occurs between mid-June and October.
From that point until mid-March, when evapotranspiration outweighs precipitation, the weather is dry. Over half of the Sundarbans may be under water during the monsoon. In February through April, when soil moisture is at its lowest and freshwater flows from upstream are at their lowest, conditions are at their most salinized.
The outlying islands started to erode away between 1983 and 2003 because the yearly sea level increase was 3.14 cm compared to the global average of 2 cm. 40 percent of the Sundarbans would be destroyed by a 25-cm sea level rise, and 75 percent with a 45-cm increase by the end of the twenty-first century (Colette, 2007). Aquifer saltwater intrusion is exacerbated by rising sea levels.
From October through the middle of March, the predominant wind direction is from the north and northeast, while January and February are calm. However, from mid-March to September, there are strong southwesterlies that dominate.
In May and from October to November, storms that are funnelled up the shallow upper Bay of Bengal are common. Sometimes these storms intensify into cyclones that can be accompanied by storm surges up to 7.5 metres high, causing catastrophic loss of life, damage to property, and destruction of forests, as in 1970 and 1991.
Although less severe than in Bangladesh, the consequences of the 2004 tsunami, the mid-year monsoon floods, and Cyclone Sidr in November 2007, were terrible in India.
Over 5,000 people lost their lives as a result of the cyclone’s 220 kph gusts and 6.5 m storm surge, which also damaged or destroyed one million homes, animals, rice crops, forests, and the fishing sector (Bangladesh Forest Department, 2008; Indian Water Portal Blog, 2007). Such storms strikingly highlight the protective role of the coastal forest as well as the Sundarbans’ susceptibility to the consequences of climate change.
Tourist Attractions in and around Sundarbans National Park:
One of the most captivating tourist sites in India’s eastern region is the Sundarbans National Park, an unconquerable realm of Royal Bengal tigers, especially for those who enjoy animals and the outdoors. Here are a few tourist attractions in and near the national park that you might want to see while you’re there.
Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary:
The only location to stroll in the Sundarbans forest is the Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary, which is located on land between the Peechkali and Gomati Rivers. The Sajnekhali bird sanctuary, which is next to the Sundarbans tiger reserve, is home to a wide variety of bird species, including herons, egrets, kingfishers, sandpipers, plovers, whipples, sea eagles, curfews, and others. In this sanctuary, there is also a Mangrove interpretation centre.
The Sajnekhali watchtower, which is strategically located on the Sajnekhali Island to view a significant portion of the forest, is the second most well-known watchtower in the Sundarbans Park after the Sudhanyakhali. In addition to a crocodile park, a museum, and the Bonobibi shrine inside the boundaries of the watch tower property, it is an interesting tourist destination. You may obtain the forest office’s authorization to go to other Sundarbans forest regions here as well.
The Sudhantyakhali watchtower, which is the most well-known in the Sundarbans region, is well positioned in the heart of the tiger reserve area. It is a fantastic location from which to observe the majority of the tiger reserve region. From this watchtower, one can also see several tigers as well as the other local wildlife, including axis deer, crocodiles, and other species. Being a huge watchtower, it can accommodate around 25 people at once so they may take in the beautiful surroundings.
Near the watchtower, a huge area free of any vegetation and a large pond allow for the magnificent sight of tigers and other animals visiting the pond to drink water. Animals may be seen plainly from a distance since there isn’t any foliage.
There are more watchtowers besides the Sajnekhali and Sudhanyakhali that provide breathtaking views of the majestic Bengal tigers, including Netidhopan, Haldi, and others.
Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project:
The unique Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project is a crocodile breeding facility situated in the Sundarbans’ Bhagbatpur region. It is referred to as the world’s largest estuary crocodile’s hatchery. The Namkhanaand is a short distance away from this location.
The Piyali Island, often known as the entrance to the Sundarbans, is located in the Sundarbans 72 kilometres from Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. This location, which was built as a tourist complex to promote tourism in and around the Sundarbans National Park, is adjacent to Sajnekhali. Here, one may enjoy the peace of nature while strolling through the area, enjoying a boat trip, and taking in the village life. The Matla River and Piyali River meet in the middle of the island.
Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuary:
Easily accessible from Namkhana, the Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on a 38 sq km tiny island. The Namkhana Range Office or DFO (South Division) of 24-Parganas can provide you a permit to visit this island. Numerous bird species, including the Black-Capped Kingfisher, Curlew, White-Bellied Sea-Eagle, Tern, and Whimbrel, may be found on Lothian Island.
However, since there are no tigers on this island, it is a favoured destination for those who enjoy the outdoors since they can stroll through the mangrove-dominated flora without worrying about coming across a tiger. There are several venomous and non-poisonous snakes on this island, along with wild boar, fishing cats, spotted deer, jackals, crocodiles, even genetic dolphins. This island offers a magnificent view of the sunset.
Chulkati & Dhulivasani:
In the Sundarbans, the forest of Chulkati and Dhulivasani, which is next to Kalas Island, is well-known for its variety of species. It provides wonderful views of nature, similar to those seen in the Sundarbans, thanks to the numerous rivers that traverse a 462 sq km region. You can get a full view of the surrounding flora and animals from a 53-foot-high watchtower that is tucked away in the Ramganga range of the Sundarbans forest. You will also see deer, wild boar, monkeys, water monitor lizards, and different bird species in addition to the tiger.
The Hiran point, which is situated at the southern edge of the Sundarbans, is encircled by lovely water features on three sides and provides you with a fantastic perspective of the area.
A popular tourist destination and well-known for being the home of the barking deer is the Halliday Island, which is also situated on the southern border of the Sundarbans.
Holiday Island Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Holiday Wildlife Sanctuary, one of three wildlife sanctuaries that contribute to the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, is situated on Holiday Island and has a total area of 6 square kilometers. The Holiday Island, which is home to spotted deer, barking deer, and other species, is situated on the bank of the Malta River. On this Island, there are sporadic sightings of regal Bengal tigers.
Tin Kona Island:
The Sundarbans National Park’s magnificent Tin Kona Island is the ideal location to see tigers and deer in their natural habitat.
Boat Safari In Sundarban National Park:
Sundarbans Can Only Be Explored By Boat On A Boat Safari. There Are Several Boats To Choose From. Non-Ac And Ac Boats. Additionally, Boats Are Equipped With Adequate Restroom And Change Facilities. On The Boats, Delectable Bengali Dishes Are Provided.
You May Reserve A Sundarbans Jungle Safari Online And Experience The Unique Method To See Tigers From A Boat. Few Entries Are Available Online, And Reservations May Be Made For The Rest Offline Jungle Safari And Boats.
Sundarban At A Glance
- The Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh is located next to Sundarban National Park, which is a section of the Ganges Delta’s Sundarbans.
- the delta created by the confluence of the Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. In addition to these three, three additional rivers make up the fascinating delta network of waterways. More information on Sundarban National Park
- There are 54 little islands in the park.
- The Park is 7.5 metres above sea level on average.
- In the area around the park, the average lowest and maximum temperatures are 20°C and 48°C, respectively.
- The delta is one of the biggest refuge for Bengal Tigers and is heavily covered with mangrove forests.
- About 1355 kilometres are covered by the Sundarban National Park.
- The woodlands of Sundarbans National Park are home to a wide variety of plants and animals.
- In these woods, there are thought to be 78 different kinds of mangrove. Plants like the Sundari tree, Golpati, Champa, Dhundul, Genwa, and Hatal are some of the most popular species.
- It is quite challenging for plants to survive in brackish and saline water. There are still roughly 64 species of plants that have figured out how to endure in these circumstances.
- Numerous bird, reptile, and invertebrate species live there as well, including saltwater crocodiles.
- The current Sundarban National Park was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1977 and the central portion of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973.
- It was designated a national park on May 4th, 1984. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and has been a Ramsar site since 2019.
- Since 1989, it has been regarded as a member of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (Man and Biosphere Reserve).
- The Sundari tree gave the region of Sundarban its name.
- There are more than 400 tigers living in the Sundarban jungle.
- The Royal Bengal tigers are renowned for their propensity for man-eating and have an unusual trait of swimming in saltwater.
- Between November and February, tigers can be observed relaxing on the banks of rivers.
- In addition to the Bengal tiger, the Sundarbans is also home to a large number of foxes, jungle cats, flying foxes, macaques, wild Boers, Indian grey mongooses, fishing cats, leopard cats, and macaques.
- The park is home to a variety of aquatic creatures, including sawfish, butterfish, electric rays, silver carp, starfish, common carp, etc.
- On the Mechau Beach, you may see Batagur Baska river turtles, a species that the IUCN has listed as endangered.
- The marshy habitat of the Sundarban is ideal for a variety of reptiles, including estuarine crocodiles, chameleons, monitor lizards, turtles, and others.
- A recent economic evaluation determined that the Sundarbans national park generates flow benefits valued at 12.8 billion (about 50,000 per hectare of land) yearly.
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