Sundarbans National Park
|Location:||Piyali in West Bengal, India|
|Nearest Accessibility:||Gosaba, about 50 Kms|
|Main Attractions:||Bengal Tiger, Ridley Sea Turtle|
|Total Area:||About 1330.10 Sq Kms|
|Best Time to Visit:||September to May|
Sundarbans National Park is located in World's largest Delta formed by the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghana. The Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary is the world's largest estuarine sanctuary. The Sundarbans is not only a National Park but also a tiger reserve, a World Heritage site and a Biosphere reserve. The name Sundarban has been derived from the Sundari trees that are found in abundance in the Sundarbans National Park. Sundarbans is home to the Royal Bengal tigers along with a sizeable population of spotted deer, wild pigs, monkeys, kingfishers, herons and eagles. The Sundarbans is also known for the Ridley Sea Turtles.
Islands such as Goasaba, Sandeshkali and Basanti form the northern boundary of the Sundarbans whereas on the south lies the Bay of Bengal; the Matla and Bidya Rivers form the eastern boundary and the to the west side of the Sunderbans National Park is the international boundary of Bangladesh.
Flora in Sundarbans National Park
The Sundarbans National Park has a wide variety of plant life too. Inside the Sundarbans there are mangrove scrub, salt water mixed forest, littoral forest, brackish water forest and swamp forest. The large floral population in Sundarbans includes trees like Dhundal, Genwa, Garjan, Passur and Kankara. Besides the above-mentioned trees, the tall and wide Goran trees cover a large part of the Sundarbans. It is interesting to note that twenty-six of the fifty broad mangrove types found in the world thrive in the Sunderbans National Park.
Wildlife in Sundarbans National Park
The Sundarbans National Park is home to a large number of Royal Bengal tigers and also abounds in olive Ridley turtles, salt water crocodiles, Gangetic dolphins, spotted deer, fishing cats, wild boars, monitor lizards, otters, rhesus macaques, snakes, lobsters, numerous varieties of fishes, shrimps, crabs, worms and a host of avian life such as kingfishers, herons, woodpeckers, storks, Brahmin ducks, ibises, arghilahs, water fowl, egrets etc.
More Attractions in Sundarbans
The Sajnakhali sanctuary, known for its rich bird population, is considered a part of the Sunderbans National Park. Some of the bird species in Sajnakhali sanctuary are Kingfisher, Sea Eagle, Plovers, Lap-Wings, Whimbrels, Curfews, occasional Pelican and Sandpipers.
Bhagabatpur is home to a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.
Known as the gateway to Sundarbans, Piyali is about 72 kms from Kolkata by road and is close to Sajnekhali, Netidhopani and Sudhanyakhali by waterways. The Piyali River flows through the green paddy fields and joins river Matla.
How to Reach the Sundarbans National Park
The nearest airport from Sundarbans is Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. Kolkata is about 112 km from Sundarbans.
Canning is nearest railhead, which is about 48 km from Sundarbans.
You can reach Sundarbans by road also. You can get buses from Kolkata for Namkhana (105-kms), Raidighi (76-kms), Sonakhali (100-kms), Najat (92-kms) and Canning (64-kms). All the above mentioned places are near the Sunderbans and have easy access to waterways.
You can easily get to Sundarbans on cruises from places/areas such as Namkhana, Bhagabatpur, Sagar Island -Jambudwip; Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri- Netidhopan-Holiday Island; Sonakhali - Gosaba and Raidighi - Kalas.