Myths | Mangroves | Cruise 
The more your canoe sails through the dense expanse of the brackish mangrove water, the deeper you enter into an unknown planet. It's another world where you smell the lives surrounding you, and none of them human. You don't even want to break the heavy, mute spell of the wilderness that seems to be still in the making. The dark-green wall of a colossal jungle is grim and glowing at the same time.
You are in the world's largest mangrove ecosystem – lying in the vast delta on the Bay of Bengal. Here legends interpolate with life, and the power of folklore draws between humans and nature. Here the tiger preys on humans, and human dares tigers for their sheer necessity. The Sundarbans!
The labyrinth of creeks, crooked branches and roots shooting up in the air sucks you into a history that dates back to 200–300 AD. The ruins of a city during the Mughal period bear testimony to it. The British East India Company took it in 1757. This vast freshwater swamp forest has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
Sundarbans have few governments and privet accommodations scattered on different islands. In recent years, some moderate privet accommodation has come up in Dayapur and Balli Island. All accommodations available in this area are located outside the forest boundary, and each of them offers basic amenities. There is no premium or luxury accommodation available in the entire region, and people visiting this far & remote end of Wild Bengal should accept the minimal arrangements available. Most of the tourist accommodation follows rural architecture, which is suitable for the local environment and culture. High-rise, multi-storeyed concrete structures are not built in this part. Most of the islands do not receive any conventional source of electricity from the mainland. The hotels and camps mostly use solar power or use a generator for a specific time. Television is not available in the lodges or the camps, and the cell phone network is very limited in some of the villages only and not throughout the Reserve.
Located close to the Tropic of Cancer, Sundarbans Island experiences hot and humid summer and pleasant winter. May and June is the hottest season when the temperature touches 40 Deg Celsius. The precipitation due to the proximity to the Bay of Bengal is high during July and September. Average rainfall in this delta is recorded between 1600 and 2200mm. The wettest seasons are July and August, which are marked by an intense cyclone locally known as Kal-Baishakkhi. The wind speed can touch as high as 150kms, sometimes causing devastation in the mainland and the surrounding villages. The area is located only 7m above sea level, and thus the lower areas closer to the sea face a risk of being submerged during high tide. The best time in Sundarbans is winter – between October and January when the sky remains clear. The temperature varies between 20 D Celsius during the day and goes down to 8 degrees during the night.

Activities in Sundarbans

Wildlife Cruise in Sundarbans
  • Wildlife Cruise in Sundarbans - With about 4200sq Km, the vast delta of Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve is marked by different landscape features like mudflats, sea beaches, tidal dunes, mangrove swamps, sand shores, tidal creeks and canals, brackish-water and sandy islands. Each of these landscapes has its own unique, diverse ecology and wildlife habitat. The swampy peninsula has a wide variety of mangroves species with a high population of bigger and lesser cats like Bengal Tiger, Fishing Cat etc. MORE

Birding in Sundarbans
  • Birding in Sundarbans - Sundarbans is just not for tigers. The rich mangrove canopy and large uninhabited coastal areas provide a luxurious bird population and make Sundarbans a Birding Hotspot. Among 12 species of Kingfishers found in India, Sundarbans alone has eight of them, including Ruddy Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher Black-capped Kingfisher, Brown-winged Kingfisher. The most critically endangered masked Finfoot and mangrove whistler have been reported from here. At least ten verities of eagle have been recorded in the myriad islands of Sundarbans. Among them, the Grey-headed Fish Eagle, White-bellied Sea Eagle and Pallas's Fish Eagle can make your birding trip an unforgettable one. MORE

Watch Tower in Sundarbans
  • Watch Tower in Sundarbans - Sundarbans Tiger Reserve has mostly inaccessible areas, and it is almost impossible to cover the forests by land. The best way to explore the mangrove forests is by cruising through the creeks and canals and riding on top of a watchtower in strategic locations. The tower gives a panoramic and bird's eye view of large areas and has a better scope to view or study the wildlife movement. The watchtowers also aim to provide vigilance on the mangroves from any human intrusion. There are certain standard features for each of the towers in Sundarbans built and maintained by the West Bengal Forest Department.

Attractions in Sundarbans

  • Netidhopani Watchtower

    The Netidhopani Watchtower is among the most important towers in Sundarbans for a close watch on the mangrove forests and wildlife. On the Bidya Riverbank in the core area of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, Netidhopani is a fascinating place to observe the pristine landscape with rich mangrove forests and the island's wild inhabitants. This is one of the prime tiger sighting destinations in the Sundarban Tiger Reserve.

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  • Do-Banki Watch Tower

    Each of the watchtowers in Sundarbans has its speciality. Do-Banki Watch Tower in Pirkhali Block offers an exciting canopy walk over the mangrove. Here, an elevated fenced corridor above 20ft from the ground allows you to study the dense mangrove forests and wildlife. The network of several tidal creeks fed by Bidya and Gomdi rivers pierced through the mangroves provides an excellent view of a typical Sundarbans habitat.

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  • Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower

    Located very close to Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge on a narrow creek, the Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower is a prime location for enjoying Sundarbans' wild beauty. It is about a 10minutes boat ride on the Gomdi River, followed by a small detour to a creek inside the Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary. Walk inside the fenced path leading to the tower and watch the endless span of the mangroves as far as your eye can reach.

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  • Sajnekhali Watch Tower

    Sajnekhali is one of the three Wild Life Sanctuaries under the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, and with an area of 365sqkm, this is the largest sanctuary in the entire Reserve. Sajnekhali is essentially a bird sanctuary for its large variety of avian species. River Gomdi, Goasaba and Bidya surround the dark green bushy forests of this island. This is the most easily accessed island in the Sundarbans with standard connectivity through ferry with other nearby islands and villages like Sonakhali, Godkhali, Goasaba and Basanti.

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  • Gosaba and Bali Island Village

    The least populated villages in South Bengal before the dense mangrove forests start in Sundarbans Biosphere reserve are Gosaba and Bali. Encircled by major tidal rivers of the Sundarbans Delta – Matla, Bidya and Gomdi Rivers and its distributaries, the island villages of Gosaba remain isolated from the mainland Bengal.

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  • Kalas Island and Watch Tower

    A faraway island in the extreme south of Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve and at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal, the Kalash Island with a pot's shape lies in a serene and timeless wilderness. The untiring murmur of tidal waves and breeze whistling through the dense mangroves under the endless blue sky touching the deep blue sea on the horizon make this island a fairytale destination for you.

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  • Bonney Camp Watch Tower

    Bonney Camp on the southern end of Sundarbans Tiger Project has the tallest watchtower among all towers in the Reserve. At 50ft high, this beautifully built watchtower gives a swiping view of endless mangrove forests in Sundarbans crisscrossed by myriad creeks and canals. River Matla – the main tributary of the delta has spread its arms here before draining itself at the Bay of Bengal, forming many small and medium-size islands in the course. Situated on the Dhuliabhasani island, this is one of the most uninhabited parts of Sundarbans and with significantly less human movement, except for some fishermen venturing into the Bay of Bengal through this river route, the area has retained its original mangrove wilderness.

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Sundarbans Tiger Reserve is located in the furthest south of West Bengal and separated from the mainland by tidal rivers. The vast delta ends at the Bay of Bengal, forming a natural boundary. The Sundarbans is a continuous mangrove forest that stretches to Bangladesh, with the Raimangal River forming the natural international border. The Tiger reserve is under the district of 24 Parganas in West Bengal.
Sundarbans can be reached from Kolkata in a 3hrs drive to Godkhali through Basant Highway. From Godhkhali, you have to cross the river Gomdi to reach Goasaba. From Goasaba, you can take a village cart van to get to the other side of Pakhiralaya Island and cross the river again to reach Sajnekhali, the main entrance of Sundarban.
If you are taking a pre-booked tour in Sundarbans, the motorboat will receive you at Gadkhali road head ferry and take you to your specified island accommodation – usually Balli Dwip Island, Sajnekhali or Dayapur Island.

Location of Sundarbans

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