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Sunderbans the world’s largest delta (Page 1)

Sunderbans a World Heritage Site
Places of interest
Flora and Fauna
History of the Sundarbans
Human settlements
Vanishing Sunderbans delta
How to get Sunderbans
Contacts and accommodations
Noxious fumes in Sunderbans environment
Rs 200 crore grant for the Sunderbans
Google Map

Sunderbans a World Heritage Site


 Sunderbans is a World Heritage Site awarded by UNESCO in 1997 is the world’s largest delta covered by mangrove forest and vast saline mud flats.  Sunderbans, the world’s largest estuarine forest is a land of 54 tiny islands, crisscrossed by innumerable tributaries of River Ganga (गगां) Sunderbans spread in an area of 9630 sq. km., where 70 percent is under saline water. Sunderbans was established as a National Park on May 4, 1984. It had earlier been designated as a Tiger Reserve in December 1973.

  Sunderbans, the place of a large flora population, the land that is inhabited by Royal Bengal Tigers is very near to Kolkata, West Bengal. Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds and unknown wildlife of the world. The Sunderbans Tiger Project was started in 1974 and has an area of 2585 sq. kms. The core area is 1330 sq. kms and is a national forest and UNESCO world heritage site. Sunderbans is home to the largest number of wild tigers in the world.


 Sunderbans is situated on the lower end of the Gangetic West Bengal, 22.00° N – 89.00° E, at an altitude 0-10 m above sea level and just south of Kolkata. Sunderban covers an area of 4262 sq. kms., where 70 percent is under saline water. Sunderbans is a vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp forming the lower part of the Ganges Delta, extending about 160 miles (260 km) along the Bay of Bengal from the Hooghly River Estuary (India) to the Meghna River Estuary in Bangladesh. Sunderbans spreads over 54 islands and two countries (West Bengal and Bangladesh) and is part of the world's largest delta region.

 The Sunderbans are a part of the world's largest delta formed by the rivers River Ganga , Brahmaputra River and Meghna. The whole tract reaches inland for 60-80 miles (100-130 km). A network of estuaries, tidal rivers, and creeks intersected by numerous channels, it encloses flat, marshy islands covered with dense forests.

  Places of interest

 Sajnekhali:  The Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary is situated on the confluence of Matla and Gumdi within the buffer zone that extends over an area of 885 sq km. Here you can have a  wide variety of birds, the most popular among them being the spotted billed pelican, cotton teal, herring gull, Caspian tern, grey heron, large egret, night heron, open-billed stork, white ibis, common kingfisher, brahmini kite and paradise flycatcher. A rare winter migrant, Asian dowitcher, can also be found here.

  Among the birds of prey are osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Pallas's fish eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus), white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), grey-headed fishing eagle (Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), Oriental hobby (Falco severus), northern eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and brown fish owl.

  Tiger Reserve:  Project Tiger was implemented in 1973 and later the Sundarban Tiger Reserve was demarcated over 2,585-sq. km. The core area of 1,330 sq.km has been declared a National park and has been chosen as a world heritage site. The 1980 census put the population of tiger in this reserve close to 400. The reserve has a tiger population of 287 (in 1984 census). The only mangrove species, the tiger here has adapted well to its habitat.

 Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project   This is a crocodile breeding farm. Tours are organized by the WBTDC. This place is accessible through Namkhana. Both the West Bengal Tourism Department and the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation organize conducted tours to the Sundarbans by their launches. Bhagabatput is a hatchery of the largest estuarine crocodile in the world.

  Netidhopani: The ruins of a 400-year-old temple and legends lend mystery to the atmosphere.

  Haliday Island: Last retreat of the Barking Deer.

  Kanak: Nesting place of Olive Ridley Turtles.

  Piyali: It is 72 kms from Kolkata and is a gateway to the Sunderban. It is being developed as a tourist complex.

 Bakkhali: A well known beach resort, close to Frazerganj. It’s a bird- watchers’ paradise, where you can spot casuarinas and Red Fiddle Carbs.

  Ganga Sagar (Kapil Muni Ashram): Ganga Sagar is a religiously important tirth and   also has an exceptionally good beach for the tourists. Situated on an island in the Sunderbans, it holds the charms of a completely unspoilt beach on the Frazerganj: It is a  white sand beach  is entirely different from the other beaches. It can be accessed from Kolkata, and is a three hours drive. The destination is also famous for the migratory birds.

 Mayadwip: The nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtles

   Flora and Fauna


The flora and fauna of Sunderbans are the major attractions. Sunderbans consist of a large flora population like Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan and Kankra. Impenetrable Goran trees covers almost the entire region. Here the bayonet like roots of mangrove forests that stick out above the water level.

  In Sunderbans you can explore unknown wildlife as jungle cats, fishing cats, Axis deer, wild boar, Rhesus monkeys, mongooses and the largest estuarine crocodiles in the world. Sunderbans is the breeding ground of immense variety of birds.

  A wide variety of aquatic and reptile life forms that include Olive Ridley sea turtle, hardshelled Batgur Terrapin, Pythons, King cobra, Chequered killback, Monitor and lizards including the Salvator lizards are found in Sunderbans.


 Waterways: Approximate time taken between various points are :
1. From Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project (2.5 hours) Sagar Island (2.5 hours) Jambudwip (3.5 hours)
2. From Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali (40 minutes) Buridabri (Tiger Project Area) (5 hours) Netidhopari (3.5 hours) Holiday Island (3 hours)
3. From Sonakhali - Gosaba (1 hour)
4. From Raidighi - Kalas (5 hours)

  Bengal Tiger

  Royal Bengal Tiger in Sundarban Tiger Reserve

  Spotted dear

    A group of spotted deer.

To measure the effect of climate change on the flora and fauna of Sundarbans, the Zoological Survey of India has set up monitoring bases inside the mangrove forests.

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