Wildlife of Bengal-Sunderbans
Wildlife of Bengal
Owns the land ruled by 269 Royals. West Bengal’s wild life offers a fascinating diversity of terrain, flora and fauna. It is a delight for nature lovers. It is the home to the World Heritage Site – Sunderbans.
Rediscover the natural treasures.
Ever thought of spending a whole day in the midst of mudclad crocodiles, hopping Cheetals and majestic Royal Bengals! If not, then come to Sunderbans.
A World Heritage Site (awarded by UNESCO in ’97) that evokes the feeling of an animal lover in you. Where after a close encounter with the wild you can spend the adventurous night in the launch under the shooting stars.
Situated on the lower end of the Gangetic West Bengal, 22.00° N – 89.00° E, is this world’s largest delta covered by mangrove forest and vast saline mud flats. A land of 54 tiny islands, crisscrossed by innumerable tributaries of Ganga, that was once infested by Arakanese and Portuguese pirates is now the abode of varied flora & fauna population. An area of 9630 sq. km., where 70 percent is under saline water makes the life of commoners, mostly honey-catchers, prawn-catchers and fishermen, very difficult. This is Sunderbans, the world’s largest estuarine forest.
The undiscovered greenery.
Sunderbans, the place that owes its name to Sundari trees, consist of a large flora population like Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan and Kankra. Apart from these trees, impenetrable Goran trees between 1.8 mtr. & 3.6 mtr. high covers almost the entire region. One of the most remarkable feature of this place is the bayonet like roots of mangrove forests that stick out above the water level.
Nature apart, if you want to feel the essence of spirituality then this is the place to be. A place of Ma Bonobibi (the goddess of the forest) to Shiber Kumir (Lord Shiva’s Crocodile) or from Dakshinaroy (an ogre, the ancestor of all tigers) to Kapil Muni (an incarnation of Vishnu).
The land that is inhabited by Royal Bengal Tigers is not far from Calcutta. You can explore unknown wildlife of Sunderbans that harbour jungle cats, fishing cats, Axis deer, wild boar, Rhesus monkeys, mongooses and the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world.Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds like Heron, Egret, Cormorant, Fishing Eagle, White Bellied Sea Eagle, Seagul, Tern, Kingfisher as well as migratory birds like Whimprel, Black-tailed Godwit, Little Stint, Eastern Knot, Curlew, Sandpiper, Golden Plover, Pintail, White-eyed Pochard and also Whistling teal. Come and discover wide variety of aquatic and reptile life forms that include Olive Ridley sea turtle, hardshelled Batgur Terrapin, Pythons, King cobra, Chequered killback, Monitor and lizards including the Salvator lizards.
The best time to be in wildlife belts of the region is September-March. Although the luxury tours to the Sunderbans carry on the year round, and the monsoon holds its own magic over tourists on the expanse of the Sunderbans, September-March is the most likely time for tiger-sighting.
How to get there.
Come to Sajnekhali by motorboat departing from Canning which is accessible by train and bus services from Calcutta. Cruise along in M.V. Chitrarekha (weekly journey from October to March) for a life time experience. One can also get private boats from Canning, Gosaba and Basanti, Raidighi, Basanti, Namkhana and Najatare are all connected by roadways from Calcutta.