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Flanked along the Ganga Delta is Sundarban a forest reserve in the West Bengal with the most unique ecology. Sundarban is a biosphere reserve, a national park, and a tiger reserve. This unique reserve was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Sundarban is worldwide famous for housing the largest population of Royal Bengal Tigers. It is also the world’s largest single block of mangrove forest. Due to its unique landscape and vast number of man eating tigers, there are many parts of Sundarban which till date is virgin. During 17th century Sundarban was a famous for being the hideouts for the Persian pirates, salt smuggler, and small groups of Dacoits. At present Sundarban attracts travelers from far and wide with its unique ecology and astounding beaches like Sagardigha. The mangrove forest of Sundarban cannot be ventured on jeep or elephant, the sole option for tourist is to indulge in boat safari.
Established in the 1976 is Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary or Sajnekhali Abhayaranya of Sundarban. Situated in the northern part of Sundarban Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary is one of the three protected areas of Sundarban. It is located at a distance of 130km from Kolkata. The marshy landscape of Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary creates an ideal environment for being the breeding ground for many exotic bird species. There is a watch tower built within the premises of sanctuary which is a vantage point to for bird watching. Visitors can spot birds like kingfishers, plovers, sandpipers, white-bellied sea eagles, and herons from the watch tower of Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary. Apart from a watch tower there is a Mangrove Interpretation Centre in Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary which provides detailed information about the flora and fauna of Sundarban.
Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower of Sundarban National Park is another famous tourist attraction of Sundarban. Overlooking the fresh water pond, Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower is one of the few places where tourists have officially spotted a Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarban. During hot summer days the fresh water pond near Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower attracts many wild animals like spotted deer, crocodiles, and wild boar. The unique location of Sudhanyakhali Watch Tower has made it a must visit destination of Sundarban for observing wild animals in their natural habitat.
Tin Kona Island is another favored tourist destination in Sundarban. Tin Kona Island is famous for its large population of Deers and Royal Bengal Tigers. The name Tin Kona is derived from the native language where the words “Tin” stands for “Three” and “Kona” for “Corners”. The view of water clashing in the rocky edge of Tin Kona Island has mesmerized many travelers leaving them awe-stricken. The surreal vista of natural beauty in Tin Kona Island shows only the zests of Sundarban.
Hiron Point, or as the locals call it Nilkamal, is another vantage point of Sundarban. It is famous for showcasing the unique ecology of Sundarban. Hiron Point is one of the tourist destinations in Sundarban where visitors can find accommodation facility. At the vicinity of Mongla Port, there is a lodge for the tourists visiting Hiron Point.
Dublar Chal is a scenically blessed less trodden island of Sundarban. It is located along the Indo-Bangladesh Boarder. Dublar Chal Island of Sundarban is famous for its serene beaches and sea food. This pictorial Island of Sundarban has its own watch tower.
How to reach Sundarban: The best way to travel to Sundarban is from Kolkata. The distance between Kolkata to Sundarban is 135km. visitors can easily reach Kolkata by boarding a train or flight from any major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Kolkata is also well connected with these cities with the vast State bus network. After reaching Kolkata visitors can easily hire a cab to reach Sundarban.
Best time to reach Sundarban: The best time to visit Sundarban is during winter season from November to February. During this time weather is relatively cooler and pleasant and perfect to relish the unique beauty of Mangrove forest of Sundarban. But if the visitors are looking forward to spot the infamous man eating tiger of Sundarban, then the summer months of April to June are ideal to visit Sundarban. During this time the animals come out of the mangrove forest in search of fresh water.