Sundarbans National Park
This park extends into Bangladesh - for that section see Sundarbans
The Sundarbans are the largest littoral mangrove belt in the world, stretching 80 km (50mi) into the Bangladeshi and Indian hinterland from the coast. The Sundarbans has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The part of the forest within Indian territory is called Sundarbans National Park. The forests aren't just mangrove swamps though — they include some of the last remaining stands of the mighty jungles which once covered the Gangetic plain. The Sundarbans cover an area of 38,500 sq km, of which about one-third is covered in water/marsh areas. Since 1966 the Sundarbans have been a wildlife sanctuary, and it is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area.
Flora and fauna
Royal Bengal Tiger, Saltwater Crocodile, Various Primates, Leopard, King Cobra, Indian Cobra.
Monsoon cruises are spectacular.
Foreigners wishing to visit Sundarbans have to obtain a special permit. This is mandatory as per Government rule. It can,however be processed in advance for which copies of passport and visa documents will be required.The originals have to be shown to the forest office on your arrival or before departure from Kolkata after the Sundarbans trip.You may kindly post/fax across the photo copies to: Help Tourism 67A,Kali Temple Road Sadananda Kuthi 1st Floor, Kalighat. Kolkata- 700 026 West Bengal. India. Tele-Fax;+91-33-24854584 E.Mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Or you can contact(Working Days:Monday to Friday. 10.00 A.M to 4.00 P.M.Sunday & National Holiday closed) Tourism Centre West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited 3/2-BBD Bag(Near Great Eastern Hotel) Kolkata-700 001 Phone:+91-33-2210 3199, 2248 8271
A permit for maximum 05 days is usually granted which can be further extended subject to the permission of local forest officer.
Apart from cruising around the tourism zone of National Park, take a village walk. Visit a local school.Go on a cycle trip to the local village market.Know more about the unique Mangrove Eco System. Join a fishing or crab catching expedition on a country boat around the village(you are not allowed to do that inside the Reserve Forest). Take a birding walk around the village. Join a cooking class,and learn how a local dish is prepared with simple local ingredients. Experience a local cultural programme'Bonobibi Yatra"-a local rural theatre performed by the villagers. Be sure that you have booked your lodging or trip package through a responsible tourism organisation that shares the tourism benefit with local communities, does not employ child labour, and practices environment-friendly tourism.
Local Handicraft. Honey. Organic Brown Rice.
Fresh Sea Fish. Prawn. Lobster. Dry Fish Curry. Cottage Cheese. Pan Cake. Rice Pudding(Bengali dessert).
Filtered or Boiled Water(donot insist on mineral water unless it is a part of your personal medication. Mineral water comes in plastic bottles. Sundarbans is a No-Plastic Zone.)Fresh coconut juice. Fresh watermelon juice. Mango juice.
A Community Tourism initiative of Help Tourism 1.Accomodation and your host: This is a Community Tourism Partnership project at Bali Island named Sundarbans Jungle Camp, initiated by Help Tourism, and supported by Wild Wide Fund For Nature-India (WWF-West Bengal Office, Sundarbans Tiger Project,Bali Eco Development Committee & Association for Conservation and Tourism(ACT). 06 ethnic cottages(04 Three-bedded+02 Four-bedded) that respect local rural architecture and constructed with local materials. Spotless rooms with modern bath. Large dining. A fishing deck. Surrounded by lush green village gardens, trees, pond-over looking the sanctuary on the bank of river Gumdi. Powered by pollution-free solar energy with powerful generator back up(battery can be charged).Safe drinking water and clean, local food. The people of Bali village are your host. They are the transformed conservationists and gainfully involved in the camp. They will take you around the forest or on a cruise through the creeks or help you have authentic encounters with the people of Sundarbans. They will tell you the story of tigers, birds, flora. They are the people who know the address of each and every turn of the river, and every creek.
2.Cruises: The Camp has 02 powerful 6 cylinder boats and One 2 cylinder boat for short and long cruise.The sarengs (Pilots) are experienced. Both the boats are as good and comfortable with Cabins and modern toilets. Life jackets that meet international norms of quality and coastal safety are provided during cruise and country boat ride.
3.The food: Local dishes which you donot get normally in the restaurants of a city,are served here- specially and tastefully cooked for you by the trained local chef. Much variety is not possible owing to the remoteness of the area, yet best possible food is provided under strict hygienic supervision. Vegetables come from the organic gardens of the village, fresh fish and crab from the rivers and ponds, chicken from the village farms and fresh honey from the honey collectors' houses.
4.The Activities: Help Tourism does not operate Tiger tours and discourages any form of Tiger shows. For those who consider Tiger sighting a must for their trip are discouraged to join their cruise safaris as Tiger sighting cannot be guaranteed in such a vast, remote and difficult terrain where visitors hardly have any opportunity to walk on the forested lands or mud flats.The camp welcomes all those who are keen on its Natural History tour for a great learning experience and a mutual education.The project and tour is extremely environmentally-sensitive and has strong conservation and benefit sharing pledge.
5.The Trip: 02 nights/03 days or longer trips are arranged.All inclusive trip on Jungle Plan. Logistics are very simple. The trip starts from Kolkata and ends at Kolkata. Pick up from and drop back at your doorsteps.Small,responsible,and private tours are encouraged. There is no compulsory fixed departure dates. Visitors can decide dates of their own choice. Sundarbans remains open 365 days a year.
The Sundarbans is the only place in the world where Tigers still actively hunt humans for food and usually between 50 and 80 locals are mauled per year. The Royal Bengal Tiger is extremely dangerous in the Sundarbans, but most visitors need not worry since wildlife tours and accomodation will never put you in harms way. The Sundarbans is also home to a population of Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) and Bullsharks are found throughout the estuaries, so swimming is not advised anywhere.