Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world spread between India and Bangladesh. This forest is a part of the world’s biggest delta formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna. Above 60% of the forest is located in Bangladesh, and this part of the forest is the densest and diverse with flora and fauna. UNESCO was declared as a World Heritage Site in 1997. The total area of the Sundarban is 10000 square kilometer (sq km). Among this area, Bangladesh’s area is about 6,017 square kilometers.
It the habitat of numerous species of animals, adding the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, various types of birds, Chitraa deer, Crocodiles, and snakes. Moreover, great Sundari and Golpata trees are also found in this forest area. Vast honey is collected from honey bees every year from this forest.
The word “Sundarban” exactly means “beautiful forest” or “beautiful woodland” in Bengali. The Sundarbans may have been named after the Sundari trees, which grow in abundance there. Other attainable explanations may be that it has been named after “sea forest” (ancient indigenous). But it is also told that Sundarbans have been called from the Sundari trees.
Geographical Location of Sundarbans
This world largest Mangrove forest tracts extended for about 273.53km along the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal from the estuary of the Hoogly to that of the Meghna and inland up to a distance of 96.54km to 128.72km represents world’s largest and diverse mangrove forest and Bangladesh tract located between 22`31’ and 22`28’N and 88`5’ and 90`28E, lies in the southwest of Bangladesh comprising Khulna, Bhagerhat, Satkhira and Patuakhali districts.
Map of Sundarbans:
Best Time of Year to Visit Sundarbans:
From September to March are the best months to visit Sundarbans, the winters being the most pleasant period in the area. The Summers could be quite hot and send the temperature shooting up, but are an ideal time to visit the wildlife sanctuary. In the monsoon, with full generosity in showers may make traveling a little difficult but the lush green surroundings might just make up for it. Aside from spotting these majestic beasts in their natural habitat, Sundarban National Park also has an abundance of diverse flora and fauna that make visiting the attraction worth it. The climate in and around this area generally follows the pattern of most Indian cities, and thus, it has three distinct seasons, out of which the winters are the most preferred, though all of them have their pros and cons.
Monthly Weather Report in Sundarbans
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Interesting Places of Sundarbans:
The most popular tourist spot of the Sundarbans situated at the Southeastern border of the forest and declared as a wildlife sanctuary. The grassy field of the forest is well-decorated with tigers, deer, pigs, various birds and reptiles. If you want you can move around these spots including a walkover ten kilometers through the open meadow, enjoy the beach, boat cruise through small canals, bird watching and spending some time in the game watchtower.
located on the west bank of the mighty Kunga river also declared as a sanctuary (Sundarbans South), sustains a viable population of tigers, deer, monkeys, pigs, various birds, and reptiles. Trekking is not advisable, but boating through the small creeks is always fascinating. There is a game watchtower at Kewrasuti, three-kilometer off to the Hiron point,
Situated at the eastern bank of the Shibsha River and is about 25km from Nalian Range office. There are two sites of 16th-century ruins, situated apart two kilometers. The Shekhertek temple is still standing nicely, but the Barobari ruins are already depleted.
Its also a sanctuary, located on the western bank of the Malancha River. Keep in mind that the place infested several times with tigers. With some precautions, you can be walking through the jungle and on the beach. There are some small creeks on the western side of the island, where boating is possible. This place is good for watching wildlife and bird, but dense undergrowth and level of tidal fluctuation sometimes deter the adventure tourists.
Its an ideal mangrove forest located fifteen kilometers north of Madarbaria sustains a reasonable tiger and deer numbers. This area faced severe pressure from illegal hunters.
Situated at one and a half kilometer off Madarbaria. Good place for adventure tourists.
Located on the eastern bank of the Kunga river, it keeps the best Kewra groove of the Sundarbans Forest. Both the banks of the Tinkona Channel are blessed with natural lush green Kewra grove and supports the substantive number of birds and animals.
This spot is located besides Passer River, around two hours cruising distance from Mongla, it’s the charming place of birdwatchers. The forest & the forest dwellers live either side of a small canal. The dwellers of the borderline have been paying homage to certain Gods and deities before entering into the forest as protective matters. Banabibi is very widely worshipped as their savior. After staying here you can see the “Banabbi” worship.
In the forested islands of Dimer char, Pokkhir char (Sarankhola range), is a very interesting place for the tourists & birdwatchers where you a chance to see plenty of birds local & migratory. One-third of the bird species are of migratory avian. Here are most of the birds are flesh-eating, few of them are fruit and vegetarian.
A half an hour cruise from Mongla by the bank of Passer River, Karamjal wildlife breeding center being reared by the Forest department, where tourists can see deer, monkey, crocodiles. It’s a very interesting tourist spot for daylong visitors and local tourists.
Herbaria Eco-Tourism Centre has been nicely kept by the forest department on the bank of Passer River. This forest area has a huge diversity of plans 7 wildlife; tourists may have to chance to see “Barking Deer” which is going to be extinct.
Some of the tourists visited the monsoon settlement of Fisherman Dublar Char, outside of the planned tour of the forest department. In the winter, there is a scene of dried fish from the Bay of Bengal, and in the rainy season, you can see catching Hilsha fish. On this island, every year a Rashmella is celebrating on the full moon of Kartik-Agrahayana.
Kotka is one of the areas of the scenic image of the Sundarban. It is the best place to watch deer. And wherever there is food, the tigers in the hope of eating. If you are lucky enough, you can see tigers here. Kotka is150 km away from Khulna city and 100 kilometers south of Mongla.
Best Things to Do in Sundarbans:
Sundarbans is a very big forest with so many things to do. So, before visiting the forest, you must know where need to go and what you need to do. Here is a list of 08 best experience you must have in Sundarbans for the ultimate experience of the largest mangrove forest on earth.
Morning boat ride on the narrow canals:
Hundreds of creeks and canals are spread across Sundarbans, which are the life-line of the greatest mangrove forest on earth. Early morning, all the animals and birds come to these narrow creeks and canals to drink water and catch prays. A ride on a soundless row-boat on these narrow creeks and canals early in the morning could be rewarding. This should provide the best experience in the forest.
Walk inside the forest:
There is a trail from Kochikhali to Kota, which goes through the jungle, open field and Jamtola sea beach. This 10 km long trail will provide you a wonderful experience to discover the forest. Walking on this trail, you’ll have a first-hand intimate experience of the biggest mangrove forest on earth. You need to be sure to wear covered shoes on this trail to protect your feet from spiky trees and
Seat quietly on a watchtower in the evening:
There is a watchtower in Kotka for overlooking an open field with sweet water tanks for the animals. Animals come here in the evening to drink water. If your seat quietly on this watchtower in the evening, you can spot many wild animals here. The panoramic view of the forest from this watchtower is stunning. This is an experience you must not miss while visiting the mangrove forest.
Visit Jamtola Beach:
In Bangladesh, there are a lot of beaches. Among these beaches, Jamtola beaches in Sundarbans are exceptions. Because of the remoteness of the beach, bo many people can come here. Located big inside the Bay of Bengal, Jamtola Beach is the cleanest, nicest, and quietest. While visiting the forest, you spend some moment on Jamtola beach which would definitely be a highlight of your Sundarbon excursion.
Enjoy the nighty sky and sound of nature:
While visiting Bangladesh part of Sundarbans which consists of more than 60% of the forest spread between India & Bangladesh, you’ll spend the nights on a houseboat which will be parked on the rivers in different parts of the forest each night. On these nights, you need to sit quietly on the open deck of the boat for viewing the sky. From this, you can see millions of stars in the whole galaxy on good weather and listen to the sound of nature which is tranquilizing. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
It is the only place in the world where the Ganges river Dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins are found. These dolphins are among the world’s most endangered mammals, Dhanmari, Chandpai Dudmukhi areas of eastern Sundarbans has been declared sanctuary for these dolphins. While visiting the mangrove forest, stop by on one of these places and watch dolphins jumping from the water. It will be a great experience.
Visit a wildlife sanctuary:
Sundarbans has several wildlife sanctuaries, among which Kotka Wildlife Sanctuary is the most accessible. On these sanctuaries, you can watch lots of deer, monkeys, crocodiles, and other animals. Visiting one of these wildlife sanctuaries at Sundarbans could be rewarding and a must thing to do while visiting the forest.
Fauna of Sundarban
The Sundarbans serve up a unique ecosystem and a rich wildlife habitat. The Sundarbans have about 180 tigers according to the 2015 tiger census in Bangladesh and the 2011 tiger census in India. Among them 106 in Bangladesh and 74 in India. The previous approximate calculation, based on counting unique pugmarks, was much higher. Recently counts have used camera traps, an improved methodology that yields more accurate results. Every year up to 50 people were died by the tiger attacks are frequent in the Sundarbans.
Without Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris Tigris) there is much more wildlife there. Basically, mangroves are a transition from the marine to freshwater and terrestrial systems. It maintains a detracting habitat for abundant species of small fish, crabs, shrimps, and other crustaceans that adapt to feed and shelter, and reproduce among the tangled mass of ancestry, recognized as pneumatophores, which grow upward from the anaerobic mud to get the supply of oxygen. There are also found in plenty the Sundarbans fishing cats, macaques, wild boars, common grey mongooses, foxes, jungle cats, flying foxes, pangolins, and spotted deer.
In1991 a study has disclosed that the Indian part of the Sundarbans supports diverse biological resources including at least 150 species of commercially important fish, 270 species of birds, 42 mammals, around 35 reptiles and about 8 amphibian species, although new ones are being discovered. It presents an image of a significant proportion of the species present in Bangladesh. Here 30% of the reptiles, 37% the birds and 34% of the mammals and includes many species which are now extinct elsewhere in the country. Two amphibians, 14 reptiles, 25 saves, and five mammals are endangered.
The Sundarbans is a pleasing wintering area for migrant water birds and is an area coachable for watching and studying avifauna.
Sundarbans National Park
The Sundarban National Park is a National Park in West Bengal, India. It’ also a Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve. It is a major part of the Sundarbans on the Ganges Delta, and adjoining to the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. This delta is sluggishly covered by mangrove forests and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also sheltered to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. The present Sundarbans National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. It was declared as a National Park On 4 May 1984.