Sunderbans national park is located at the South Eastern tip of the 24 Paraganas district in the state of West Bengal, India. It is a National Park, tiger reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve in the Sundarbans delta. It got its name from one of the mangrove plants known as Sundari (Heritiera Minor). The mangrove forests are a part of the greater Sundarbans and lies in close proximity to the Sundarbans reserve forests in the neighboring republic of Bangladesh. It contains the world’s largest area of mangrove forests. They are constituted by the crisscrossing of 54 small islands along with numerous River Ganges tributaries. Sundarbans National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Southeast Bengal in India, which is formed by three rivers named Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. It is considered as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve (Man and Biosphere Reserve) in 2001.
Sundarbans National Park, the land where entire wildlife embroidered to the perfection, is situated in South 24 Parganas at the most charismatic location of Sundarban delta which is largest delta of the world. The total area of the Indian part of the Sundarban forest, lying within the latitude between 21°13′-22°40′ North and longitude 88°05′-89°06′ East, is about 4,262 sq km, of which 2,125 sq km is occupied by mangrove forest across 56 islands and the balance is under water.
Today this tiger conservation effort in the Sunderban area is really rocking the dense masses with the exemplified glaring of royal tigers in Bengal. It is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area. The forest is called ‘Sunderban’due to the rich growth of Sundari trees.
The mangrove vegetation of Sundarbans has 64 plant species with the capacity to withstand estuarine conditions and saline showering on account of tidal effects. There is mangrove scrub forest, salt water mixed forest, brackish water mixed forest and alluvial grasslands. Due to the dense and huge forest reserve, Sundarbans has also been classified as a World Biosphere Reserve. The crab-like red flowers of the kankra and the yellow flowers of khalsi can be seen. Some of the other commonly found plants and trees in the park are dhundal , passur, garjan, sundari and goran. The forest in the Sunderbans mainly consists of Saline Water Type Mixed Forest, Tidal Swamp Forest, Brackish Water and Palm Forests. In general 64 various species of Flora has been discovered in the deltaic Sunderbans.
The Sundarbans forest is home to more than 400 tigers. This area has a silent charm that manages to amaze one with the simplicity and naturalness of its ecological balance in spite of offering habitat to some of the most dynamic and awe inspiring fauna. it was discovered that the Bangladeshi part of the Sunderbans supports diverse biological resources that includes 150 species of commercially important fishes, 270 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, 35 reptiles and 8 amphibian species. The royal Bengal tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters, and are famous for their man-eating tendencies. Tigers can be seen on the river banks sunbathing between November and February. Apart from the Bengal tiger, Fishing cats, Leopard cats, Macaques, Wild boar, Indian grey mongoose, Fox, Jungle cat, Flying fox, Pangolin, Chital, are also found in abundance in the Sundarbans. Some of the aquatic animals found in the park are sawfish, butter fish, electric rays, silver carp, starfish, common carp, horseshoe crabs, prawn, shrimps, Gangetic dolphins, skipping frogs, common toads and tree frogs.
Summers could be quite hot and send the temperature shooting up, but are an ideal time to visit the wildlife sanctuary. The monsoons with full generosity in showers may make travelling a little difficult but the lush green surroundings might just make up for it. The best time to visit Sunderbans is during winters between December and February.although the park is open for longer from September to March. This is the period when the maximum migratory birds are also present here.
How To Reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Dum Dum Airport Kolkata (166 km), which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail: The nearest railway station is Canning (48 km), regular local trains running between Canning and Kolkata.
By Road: Sundarban National Park is well connected with Kolkata – Basanti High way.
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