The Sundarban National Park, in the Indian state of West Bengal, is a one-of-a-kind and fascinating wilderness known as the “Mangrove Forest of the Sundarbans.” It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most biodiverse places.
The Royal Bengal Tiger, as well as other rare and endangered animals, make Sundarban National Park a must-see destination for wildlife aficionados, environment lovers, and adventure seekers. In this blog, we’ll look at the Sundarban National Park’s beauty, ecology, and animals to see why it’s such a special place.
Biodiversity and Ecology:
The Sundarban National Park is known for its unique and diverse ecosystem. The park has an area of around 10,000 square kilometres, with mangrove forests covering a substantial portion of it. These mangroves are the world’s biggest contiguous mangrove forests, forming a complex network of rivers, creeks, and estuaries impacted by the tides of the Bay of Bengal.
The Sundarban National Park is a biodiversity hotspot due to its diverse flora and wildlife. Sundari (Heritiera fomes), Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), and Keora (Sonneratia apetala) dominate the mangrove forests, which are suited to salty and brackish water conditions. Several kinds of fish, crabs, and mollusks use these mangroves as habitat and nesting grounds.
The Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), the park’s most famous and elegant resident, is one of the Sundarban National Park’s key attractions. According to the most recent census, the Sundarban mangroves remain the final base of this endangered species, home to around 96 tigers.
Sundarbans tigers are noted for their unusual adaption to the mangrove habitat, such as their ability to swim in salty waters and attraction for hunting in deep mangrove thickets.Apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Sundarban National Park is also home to other rare and endangered species such as the Indian Python, Saltwater Crocodile, Indian Rhinoceros, Fishing Cat, Spotted Deer, and Estuarine Crocodile.
The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 300 species of birds, including the globally threatened Masked Finfoot, Mangrove Pitta, and the White-bellied Sea Eagle.
Exploring the Sundarban National Park:
Exploring the Sundarbans National Park by boat with guided excursions to see its mangroves, streams, and estuaries is an exciting adventure. Boat trips through the thick mangroves provide exciting possibilities to view animals.
Though uncommon, the opportunity to see the critically endangered Royal Bengal Tiger is a highlight of the trip, delivering a spectacular encounter in its native environment. Hiking, birding, and photography are all available at the park for nature lovers.
Another distinctive feature of visiting the Sundarbans is the opportunity to engage with the local inhabitants that live in and around the park. For millennia, the indigenous “Mawlas” or “Bhagat” people has lived in peace with the mangroves, and learning about their culture, lifestyle, and traditional wisdom adds a cultural layer to the visit.
The park, however, faces issues such as habitat degradation, human-tiger conflict, and poaching, and conservation activities are critical for the future of the Royal Bengal Tiger and the fragile mangrove ecology. Despite these obstacles, touring the Sundarbans National Park provides an exciting experience, a chance to see unusual animals, and a chance to learn from the indigenous inhabitants that live in this biodiverse region.
Conservation and Challenges:
Due to habitat degradation, human-tiger conflict, and poaching, the Sundarbans National Park has problems in maintaining the critically endangered Royal Bengal Tiger. Conservation initiatives such as monitoring, anti-poaching measures, community involvement, and research are critical.
Another difficulty is protecting the fragile mangrove ecology, which is under threat from climate change, sea level rise, deforestation, pollution, and irresponsible fishing practises. Important conservation strategies include mangrove restoration, ecotourism, and sustainable livelihood opportunities for local residents.
If you are planning to visit the Sundarban National Park, here are some important points to keep in mind:
Permits: Visitors need to obtain permits from the Forest Department of West Bengal to enter the Sundarban National Park. These permits can be obtained from the designated offices and are required for both day visits and overnight stays.
Guided Tours: All visits to the Sundarban National Park are required to be accompanied by trained guides. These guides are knowledgeable about the park’s flora, fauna, and safety measures, and ensure that visitors have a safe and informative experience.
Safety: Sundarban National Park is a wild and remote area, and visitors need to be cautious and follow safety guidelines. Avoid venturing into restricted areas, follow the instructions of the guides, and take precautions against mosquitoes, snakes, and other wildlife.
Responsible Tourism: It is important to practice responsible tourism when visiting the Sundarban National Park. Respect the forest and its wildlife, do not litter or disturb the animals, and follow the park’s rules and regulations. Opt for eco-friendly accommodations and support local communities through responsible tourism practices.
Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit the Sundarban National Park is from September to March. When the weather is pleasant and the chances of wildlife sightings are higher.
Entry fees: Sundarbans National Park tickets are INR 60 for Indians and INR 200 for international tourists.
Private Boat Safari: A one-day private boat safari begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 or 5:30 p.m. This costs INR 950 per person, with an extra INR 600 for an overnight stay.
How to reach
Reaching Sundarban National Park requires a combination of transportation modes. Here are the steps to reach the park:
By Air: The nearest airport to Sundarban National Park is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata, which is well connected to major cities in India and abroad. From Kolkata, you can take a domestic flight to Cooch Behar or Bagdogra Airport, which are the nearest airports to Sundarban National Park.
By Train: The nearest railway station to Sundarban National Park is Canning Railway Station, which is well connected to Kolkata and other major cities in India. From Canning, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Sundarban National Park.
By Road: Sundarban National Park is well connected by road from Kolkata and other nearby cities. You can hire a taxi or take a bus from Kolkata to reach the park. The park is approximately 100 kilometers away from Kolkata The journey takes around 3-4 hours depending on the route and traffic.
By Waterways: Sundarban National Park can also be reached by waterways. You can take a ferry or boat from Kolkata or other nearby towns such as Godkhali or Namkhana to reach the park. The waterways offer a scenic and unique mode of transportation to Sundarban National Park, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the rivers and mangroves along the way.
It is advisable to plan your trip in advance and make necessary bookings for transportation, permits. Accommodations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey to Sundarban National Park. Also, keep in mind the weather conditions and best time to visit. Which is from September to March, for a rewarding experience.
Why sunderban is so famous?
The Sundarbans is vital for globally threatened species such as the. Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges and Irawadi dolphins, estuary crocodiles, and the severely endangered unique river terrapin (Batagur baska). Panthera tigris tigris has no other mangrove habitat in the world.
What is the location of Sundarban National Park?
District 24 South Parganas West Bengal India
Nearest City Kolkata
What is the Timing of Sundarban National Park?
Sunderban is open on Monday to Friday between 8.00 AM to 6.00PM and on Saturday 10.00 AM to 4.00PM
How many Tigers are present in Sundarban National Park?
The most recent 2020-21 census indicated that the park is home to an estimated 96 tigers. Marking an important milestone in tiger conservation efforts.
What types of animal live in Sundarban?
Bengal Tiger, Saltwater Crocodile, Indian Python, Spotted Deer, Estuarine Crocodile, Fishing Cat. This is not an entire list, as the Sundarbans National Park is home. A variety of different animals, reptiles, birds, and fish, all of which contribute to the park’s rich biodiversity.
Which trees are associated with the Sundarbans?
The Sundari is the major mangrove tree species in India and Bangladesh’s Sundarbans. It is a species of mangrove in the Malvaceae family, scientifically known as Heritiera fomes. The Sundari tree may reach a height of 60 feet and a circumference of six feet.
Plan your visit to this enchanted wilderness and get ready for an unforgettable experience!