The vast swampy delta of the two great Indian rivers, Brahamaputra and the Ganges extends over areas comprising of mangrove forests, swamps and Forest Island all interwoven in a network of small rivers and streams. Sundarbans national park is located at the South Eastern tip of the 24 Paraganas district in the state of West Bengal. Located on the Ganges delta, the name of the park is taken from the Sundari trees, a mangrove tree which has spikes above the ground which facilitate respiration. Sundarbans is the largest estuary mangrove system, and the only one inhabited by tigers. The Sundarbans are a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges,Brahmaputra and Meghna.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Sundarbans area covers 4624 sq km in India alone to incorporate 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. On May 4, 1984 it was declared a National Park.
Travelling to Sundarbans which is a place of incredible natural beauty and mangrove habitat, surely it will bring you close to the nature. Ample of things are there to make your trip memorable. Gliding crosswise the river in the boats takes you to the nature walk as you see varied cultural adventures and close encounter with the tigers has enough to make your eye-catching memories.
The islands are also of great economic importance as a storm barrier, shore stabiliser, nutrient and sediment trap, a source of timber and natural resources, and support a wide variety of aquatic, benthic and terrestrial organisms. They are an excellent example of the ecological processes of monsoon rain flooding, delta formation, tidal influence and plant colonisation.
Mangrove forests are dominant in this national park. If you are visiting Sundarbans National Park during April and May, then you will be able to enjoy the beauty of the flaming red leaves of the Genwa. The lush greenery of the island is punctuated and adorned with this splash of colors from this species of tree. The other typical flora, which are commonly found in this national park are red flowers of the Kankara and the yellow blooms of Khalsi and the important trees like Dhundal, Passur, Goran trees, Garjan and Kankara.
The main attractions of the Sundarbans are the Tiger, of which the delta harbor large reptiles like the Monitor Lizard, Estuarine Crocodile and the Olive Ridley Turtle, for which there is a conservation Programme in the Indian park. The park is also home to Leopard, Indian Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer and Water Buffalo etc.
Due to the geographical constraints of the landscape, it is only possible to travel into the interiors of the forests via boats and ferries through backwaters, hopping from one island to another. In fact, experiencing nature and wildlife though boat rides is unique to this National Park and its main attraction. These boats are available on a half and full day basis, but a boat permit and a guide is a must.
A national park, a tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve in India the Sundarbans National Park is the choice of every tiger lover coming to India for catching the mightiest glimpses of this majestic creature along the Ganges delta of India and Bangladesh.