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Sunderbans National Park: A Wonderful Wildlife Destination

Located on the mouth of the Ganges and jutting into the parts of the neighboring country of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, the Sunderbans are a part of the world's largest delta formed by the mighty rivers -- Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.

The national park by the same name located in the Sunderbans on the Indian side, the Sunderabans National Park, is the biggest Tiger Reserve and national park in India. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sunderbans is a pretty vast region covering 4264 square km in India only.

The Sunderbans is also the world's biggest estuarine forest and sliced by hundreds of creeks, besides tributaries. This world-famed wildlife destination is one of the most incredible and alluring tourist places and a natural heaven of the highest order that one may come across anywhere in the world.

Besides the Royal Bengal Tigers for which the national park is much famed for, the Sunderbans is also home to Gangetic dolphin, fishing cat, little porpoise, jungle cat, Indian fox, wild pig, spotted deer, rhesus monkey, and Indian flying fox, apart from pangolin.

Sunderbans is also a bird watchers' paradise. White-bellied sea eagle, Kingfisher, egret … these are just some of the many interesting and colorful species of birds that one may come across here. Numerous rare migratory birds also visit this region in large numbers, especially during the winters.

The Sunderbans National Park is also home to several types of turtles and is much renowned for the widely publicized preservation of the Ridley Sea Turtle. A large species of reptiles are also found in the wilds of the Sunderbans.

The national park is also a haven of sorts for the biggest of the estuarine crocodiles. In fact, there's a unique hatchery and a sanctuary for these crocodiles called Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project located inside the Sunderbans.

However, the USP of the Sunderbans National Park remains the tigers. Presently, the park has nearly 400 Royal Bengal Tigers. These majestic creatures of the wild feel at home inside the Sunderabans and they have pretty well adapted themselves to the saline and aqua surroundings of the forest reserve. Much interestingly, they are rather good at swimming and could be seen swimming with ease in the waters bodies of the Sunderabna.

Other Attractions In Sundarbans

The Sajnakhali Sanctuary :The Sajnakhali sanctuary, famous for its rich avian population, is regarded as a part of the Sunderbans National Park. The kingdom of birds at Sajnekhati enchants your eyes. The most sought after sights by a bird watcher are seven colourful species of Kingfisher, white bellied Sea Eagle, Plovers, Lap-Wings, Curfews, Whimbrels, Sandpipers and occasional Pelican.

Netidhopani : At Netidhopani, the ruins of a 400 year old temple and legends lend mystery to the atmosphere.
Tiger in Sunderbans National Park
Bhagabatpur : Bhagabatpur is famous for having a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.

Kanak : Kanak is the nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtles.

Haliday Island : Haliday island is famous as last retrest of Barking Dear in India.

Piyali : Piyali is the gatway to Sundarbans, 72-kms from Kolkatta by road and close to Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali, Netidhopani through waterways. A small river Piyali flows through the green paddy fields and mingles with river Matla. Picturesque Piyali delta makes an ideal romantic holiday destination. A beautiful tourist complex with accommodation and recreation facilities is also situated over here.

Kaikhali :
On your way to Sundarbans you cannot afford to miss Kaikhali Island, where nature is so alive and so colourful. An ideal picnic spot.

Best Time to Visit Sunderbans National Park

The ideal time to visit the Sundarbans national park is during the months of September and May. Winter make the time to see the mighty Royal Bengal Tiger sun-bathing on the river banks.

How to Get there

Air : The nearest airport is Kolkatta, at 112-kms.

Rail : Canning is nearest railhead, at a distance of 48-kms.

Road : Road transportation is available from Kolkatta for Namkhana (105-kms), Sonakhali (100-kms), Raidighi (76-kms), Canning (64-kms), and Najat (92-kms), which are all near the Sunderbans and have access to the riverine waterways leading to it.

Waterways : Sundarbans are accessible only by riverrine waterways. Motor launch facilitiy are available from Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project- Sagar Island -Jambudwip; from Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali-Buridabri- Netidhopan-Holiday Island; from Sonakhali - Gosaba; from Raidighi - Kalas.

When to Visit

The period between December and February is considered the best time to visit the Sunderbans.
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