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Come on the land and give a blow to the adventurous self in you and have a journey amid the wild at Sunderbans. Sprawling over an area of 10,000 sq km, the Sunderbans stand at the point where the land meets the sea at the southern tip of the Indian state of West Bengal. Comprising both land and water and have its legs in two countries namely India and Bangladesh, in delta of the Ganges. The forests in the Sunderbans claims to be the largest of its kind in the entire world.
The Sundarbans National Park was honored with the status of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve in the year 1973 and with a status of a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. On May 4, 1984 it was then honored with a status of a National Park. The literal meaning of the word Sunderban is ‘beautiful forest’, aptly stated as its name.
The Sundarbans claims to be the largest littoral mangrove belt in the world, which stretches to about 80 km into the Bangladeshi and Indian vicinity from the coast. The Sundarbans has also been honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The part of the forest that falls in the Indian Territory is known as the Sundarbans National Park.
This Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, a Tiger Reserve as well as a Biosphere Reserve stands at the division of Barisall. Densely snowed under the lush green mangrove forests, the Sunderbans stands to be the one of the largest tiger reserves for the Bengal tigers. The forests area covers the mangrove swamps along with the sands of the mighty jungles. The forest area of the Sunderbans is sprawled over an area of around 3,850 sq km. Sunderbans turned into a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1966 and it is estimated that it houses around 400 Royal Bengal Tigers and around 30,000 deer have been spotted in the area. It is believed that the forest is called Sunderban for the fact that it has Sundari trees in abundance.
The area of the Sunderbans that has been sprawled on the land of India covers around 4,264 sq km of area. This is truly a paradise for the birdwatchers and nature lovers as the inhabitant’s list includes the endangered species such as Masked Finfoot, Mangrove Pitta and the Mangrove Whistler.
It also forms a part of the largest delta in the world which is formed by the convergence of the three mighty rivers such as the Ganges, Bhramputra and Meghna. The Sunderbans incorporates colossal area with hundreds of streams passing through it; this is undoubtedly one of the most alluring places still existing on earth, indeed to say that it is truly an untouched paradise. Being located on the lower end of the Gangetic West Bengal, it also forms the largest estuarine forest in the world.
The flora in the Sunderbans includes Sundari trees, Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan and Kankra. Apart from these trees, inpenetrable Goran trees between 1.8 m and 3.6 m high covers almost the entire region. A number of rare or endangered species live in the park, including tigers, aquatic mammals, birds and reptiles. The aqua fauna of Sunderbans include a variety of fishes, red fiddler crabs and hermit crabs, crocodiles etc.
Apart from the abundant nature, Sunderbans stand as the place of spiritual essence as it is considered as the place of Ma Bonobibi (the goddess of the forest) and Shiber Kumir (Lord Shivas Crocodile) along with Dakshinaroy (an ogre, the ancestor of all tigers) and Kapil Muni (an incarnation of Vishnu).
Sprawling over 133,010 ha, the estimated in different regions is about 55% forest land and 45% wetlands in the form of tidal tributaries, streams, canals and cosmic estuarine mouths of the river. Out of the total area, about 66% is the mangrove forest area, which is estimated to fall in the area of Bangladesh, with the remaining area, which estimates to about 34% falls in India. The climate in the Sunderbans is moderate with high humidity. The best time to visit the place is during the months from September to November.
Other excursions from the Sunderbans are SajneKhali, Piyaly, Kanak, Holiday Island, Netidhopani, Bhagatpur Crocodile Project and Gosaba.