Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The silent Sunderbans of Calcutta, West Bengal

Sunderbans image credit: Samim Akhter(Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
 This nature’ lap is not touched by even a small accent of city life and so is an ideal place for a nature lover to be. Sunderbans is a part of world’s largest delta encompassed by vast saline mud flat and thick mangrove forests. Sunderbans name may have been derived from these Sundari (mangrove) forests meaning beautiful forests. But this nature’s bounty is also the reserve of ferocious tigers; royal Bengal tigers. It is said that these tigers are capable of swimming in water too. Only brave, adventurous wayfarers can make it to this wonderful destination.

Lying near to Calcutta, Sunderbans, sprawling over an area of about 10,000sq.km was formed from the super confluence of Padma, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. River Padma is a major tributary of river Ganges. Major part of flora being the mangrove trees, the fauna of this region mainly comprises of tigers, deer and monkeys. Some less known wildlife are also spotted here.

A boat cruise in Sunderbans would acquaint you with its flora and fauna. Major inhabitants of this river, crocodiles and alligators floating in waters are spotted very rare. Also, tigers coming to drink water on its banks can be spotted, but beware, they can swim and they are man-eaters too. Several fishermen have been attacked by them while on fishing. The glimpse of rustic mud walled homes, fishermen spreading their nets would reflect the traditional countryside. Bengal tourism has expanded the tourist activities here and has boarded big cruisers decked with modern amenities.
Green billed Malcoha; Image credit: by M.a.a.Diyan at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/), GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

It’s a really different experience on the earth’s interiors where silence is broken only by the chirping of birds.The Sajnekhali bird sanctuary in Sunderbans is another attraction where various species of birds are nestled. There is a watch tower from where birding can be done for bird-lovers. Billed pelican, Caspian tern, Paradise flycatcher are all well adapted to this habitat. Some migrating birds also are seen here during winter that adds color to the lush green forests, Sunderbans. The breeding farm of crocodiles,The Bhagatpur Crocodile Project is also nearby.

Deer image credit: By Ashiqur Rahman (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons


Sunderbans, the largest mangrove ecosystem in the world was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and was honored as a Biosphere Reserve. The sight of the entangled mangrove roots with their reflections in green waters, birds flying over the silent horizon together with the towering green foliage of Sundari trees all would get cherished in your memories forever after your Sunderbans holidays.

Related posts in Hubpages:

1. Tourist's delight; Sunderbans in West Bengal 
2. Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Borivali, Mumbai; Animal life and monuments


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