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Sundarbans Tiger Reserve Tourism And Travel Guide
16° C / 60.8° F
October to February
3 to 5 Days
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (170 kms)
Canning Station (48 kms)
Sundarbans in West Bengal is one of the world’s largest mangrove forests situated on the Ganges delta of Bay of Bengal. The forest is spread across India and Bangladesh and is the natural habitat of several wild animals including the world famous Royal Bengal Tiger and Gangetic Dophins. It is blessed with a unique biodiversity and rich flora and fauna. It makes Sundarbans an extremely lucrative tourism hub. Here is a snippet of a travel guide to see in Sundarbans Tiger Reserve.
How to Reach
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is the nearest airport to Sundarbans and is located about 120 km from Godkhali Port, which is the starting point of the Sundarabans safari. From the airport, taxis help to transfer tourists to Godkhali which is a 3 hour journey by road.
The closest railway station to Sundarbans is Canning where all trains traveling from Kolkata stop and the biggest railhead is Sealdah Railway Station in Kolkata. For tourists coming from outside Kolkata will reach Howrah and then take a taxi to reach Sealdah before taking the connecting train to Canning. From here tourists need to take public transportation to reach Godkhali where they will board boats to reach Sundarbans.
Sundarbans has good road connectivity with surrounding areas and Kolkata. From the capital city, tourists can take trains or buses to reach Godkhali. If traveling by trains and buses they will have to stop at Canning and then heard towards Godkhali. Those traveling by private taxis or cars can move directly towards Godkhali.
Exploring the villages and interiors by foot is recommended as there aren’t too many modes of transportations available here. The major mode of commute is for traveling to different areas in Sundarbans is waterways. Boats are extremely popular here.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Summer (March to May):
Sundarban summers are extremely hot, humid and sultry like rest of the plains in Bengal. Temperatures range between 35°C and 42°C and the closeness to the Bay of Bengal and rivers make Sundarbans extremely humid and uncomfortable. The heat makes the tigers hide behind shades, which also makes it difficult to spot them hence these months are not recommended for sightseeing or for exploring the area.
Monsoon (June to October):
Monsoon brings much needed respite from the humid and hot summers of the Sundarbans. It is refreshing and rejuvenating. Temperatures dip considerably and the monsoon months witness heavy and torrential showers. While the weather may be pleasant, a trip to Sundarbans is not recommended because the chief mode of transportation is waterways and it is not safe to travel by boat during rainy season.
Winter (November to February):
Monsoon bids goodbye by October and slowly the temperatures start dipping. Weather improves, skies clear up, and the park becomes accessible once again. The trees are in full bloom which is extremely appealing. The river is safe enough to go boating and exploring the areas. The climate is perfect for the tourists and the season also makes it easier to spot wild animals.
Things to Do
Spot Royal Bengal Tiger:
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about Sundarbans are the world famous Royal Bengal Tigers. The most obvious thing to do while in the area is go on sightseeing trip to try and spot one of these in action. They are renowned for their notorious activities and Sundarbans gives an opportunity to tourists to see them up close. Unlike most national parks and sanctuaries there are no jeep or elephant safaris available here. Tourists have to take a boat ride to go tiger spotting.
Birding in Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary:
Tigers are not the only thing to see in Sundarbans. Apart from wild animals, it is also a home to several species of birds. It is a joy to spot them in these beautiful natural surroundings. Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary has been drawing bird enthusiasts from different parts of the country. White bellied sea eagles, open billed storks, herons and kingfishers are commonly found here.
Visiting Ganga Sagar Mela in Sagar Island:
After Kumbh Mela, the Sagar Mela is the biggest religious fair held and celebrated in the country in different places across West Bengal along River Ganga. It draws pilgrims from all over the country and is celebrated with much fervor. It is celebrated in the month of January so if you happen to be in the region during this time make sure to pay a visit.
Visiting Bhagalpur Crocodile Project:
Sundarban rivers have large number of crocodiles and during boat rides one can often find them basking in the sun on the river banks. Bhagalpur breeds saltwater crocodiles and the beautiful natural surroundings make it a must visit destination during your stay in Sundarbans.
What to Eat
Sundarbans does not have any luxurious or fine dining facilities. It is nestled in the lap of nature and has a raw beauty which is extremely soothing and charming. The camps and lodges cook up delicious and authentic local dishes. The fish and seafood dishes are a must try during your stay.