Sunderban is one of the world’s greatest estuarine forests and delta situated at the lower end of Gangetic-West Bengal. The jungle is covered with mangrove forests and salty mud flats. The history of the land says that it was once infested by Arakanese and Portuguese pirates and constituted as much as fifty-four small islands. The tributaries of the great Ganga used to flow through the heart of the jungle with a pattern, which is still unknown to the historians.
However, Sunderbans National Park is now abundant with flora and fauna and has become the most desired tourist destination in India. There are innumerable-rivers flowing through the eco-system of Sunderban and it is impossible to count them at once at the drop of a hat. The river Muriganga flows over the western part of the Sunderbans while Harinbhahga and Raimangal flow over the eastern part of Sunderbans. Other important rivers flowing through Sunderbans include gosaba, Saptamukhi, and Thakurain Matla.
You may have visited many wildlife sanctuaries and parks where roads, jeeps & guides are available to provide a semblance of control. However, distinctively, in Sunderbans the tourists will find themselves holding their breaths and touring the entire jungle on their own. As you may proceed deeper into the dense forests of Sunderbans, you will develop a state of alertness instinctively. You will develop vigilance and alertness as the speed- boats glide through the brooks and streamlets, bordering the primeval mangrove forest. As you penetrate deeper into the dense undergrowth of Sunderbans, you will witness the most unimaginable dangers that a jungle could ever possess.
Importance of Sunderban National Park
Sunderban is a unique flat, where there are no boundaries to differentiate the fresh water from the saline. Nevertheless, if you are lucky you may experience a saltwater alligator resting in the muddy water taking sunbath. You may also get a snap of the Deer running in the forests. However, most importantly, this natural vegetation is the home of the infamous Royal Bengal Tiger. The population of these fabulous animals has decreased in the years and the Sunderban has done a remarkable job to protect and inhabit the Sunderban Tigers. The local authorities are also taking some adequate measures to conserve this incredible species.
There are numerous watchtowers for the tourists to get a sight of these tigers. You may get the opportunity to witness the presence of a regal beast without creating problems for anyone. These watchtowers are placed strategically at Sunderban Tiger Reserve so as to cover all parts of the jungle so that the visitors could get the best view of the animals while being safe. The fact that, “a thrill could only be experienced first-hand” is inevitable. In addition, luckily from these watchtowers your eyes can easily reach the sights of the Royal Bengal Tigers.
Best time to visit Sunderban Delta
An absolute time to visit this beautiful jungle is between October and March. However, never forget to carry suitable clothes to this place as the region is very humid and the probability of rainfall is always high. The heaviest rainfall is during the monsoon that may stretch from May end to mid October.
As the sanctuary is a network of tributaries you can explore the jungle only through a speed boat. However, it is accessible from Calcutta via road, road, water and air. The nearest transport flats include the Kolkata airport and Canning rail station. However, after boat exploration, road transport facilities are preferred the most. Ramkhana, Sonakhali, and Najat are the places from where Sunderban is just a couple of hours away having connection to all riverine creeks.
Lodging in Sunderbans
Most of the lodging facilities here are owned by the West Bengal Tourist Association. They pledge to provide world class tourist facilities to the visitors. Benfish Sajnekhali apartment is one such tourist lodge that provides basic modern accommodation facilities to the visitors.