Nestled near the Bay of Bengal and formed as a result of the ‘mega confluence’ of rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Mohana, Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the entire world ! This unique ecosystem is teeming with wildlife and unique plants as well as animal species, and has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO!
Split into the two neighboring countries – India and Bangladesh, Sundarbans spreads across more than 1000 sq. km, of which about 40% lies within the territory of India. Sundarbans is also the largest national park in India !
This ever beautiful forest gets its name from a mangrove tree Heritiera fomes which is called ‘Sundri’ that is commonly seen here.
This unique ecosystem is home to more than 300 species of birds, 30 plus mammalian species and more than 25 species of reptiles- amphibians !
Exploring the dense network of water channels of the delta in motorized boats is itself a unique experience ! There are a few observation towers (watch towers) on some of the islands, where one can get down from the boat to view the adjoining region. Some designated parts also have specially constructed ‘canopy walks’.
How to reach –
Kolkata serves as the nearest airport and railway station which is well connected to most of the mega cities. Gadkhali – the entry point to Sundarbans is located about 100 km (3 hrs by road) from Kolkata. From Gadkhali, it takes about one to one and a half hours to reach Sundarbans.