Delhi Bird Delhi Bird Leica
     
DelhiBird Pix delhibirdpix
Share your recent pictures with the Delhibird community.
Sign Up to get started
RECENT UPLOADS
Blue-fronted Redstart
Blue-fronted Redstart
-Satyendra Sharma
 
   
Crested Bunting
Crested Bunting
-Satyendra Sharma
 
   
 
Wallpaper Wallpapers
Wallpaper of the Month
Wallpaper
 
 
Home >> Hotspots >> Sunderbans
 

Sunderbans

Jul 28, 2005 at 06:31 AM
 
Sunderbans, a World Natural Heritage Site
 
The Sunderbans is the largest single tract of mangrove forest in the world and lies in the delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra. 4,260 square kilometers of the Sunderbans is in India and a larger portion is in Bangladesh. 2585 sq. kms of the Indian Sunderbans forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India.  The estuarine forest supports a unique eco-system containing 127 species of Euryhaline fish and 1,287 animal species comprising 873 invertebrates, one species of Hemichordata, and 413 species of vertebrates.  The most famous denizen of the Sunderbans is of course the “Royal Bengal Tiger”, but the Sunderbans also supports a wide variety of birds and 230 species have been recorded in the area that falls under Sunderbans Tiger Reserve.

While the majority of the species of birds affecting the littoral mangrove forest and the adjoining areas are resident, a fair number of migrants add to the diversity in winter. The area supports some biome restricted mangrove specialists like the Masked Finfoot, Mangrove Whistler and Mangrove Pitta and a fair number of globally threatened species like Lesser Adjutant Stork, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, and Grey-headed Lapwing. White-bellied Sea Eagle also nest in the mangroves.  The eco-system supports nine species of kingfishers, perhaps one of the best collections of this group anywhere in India including the threatened Brown-winged Kingfisher.

The Sunderbans are a maze of islands surrounded by endless stretches of water. Rich tidal creeks that provide diverse habitats such as channel sands, inter-tidal mudflats, mangroves, connect these islands and all movement in the area is by water transport. 70% of Sunderbans is under saline water and dry land is at a premium. Where it exists, it is often impenetrable and inhospitable

Key to birding the Sunderbans is overcoming the geographic and physical hurdles. Though only a 130 kms from Kolkata city, Sajnekhali, the established tourist/visitor destination takes 5 - 6 hours to reach through a combination of road and water transport. Movement being essentially restricted to the confines of a motorized vessel means that there is very little conventional bird watching, more observations from water.. The fringes of Sunderbans play host to many local endemics and the visitor is well advised to spend time on land outside the core area before venturing into the heart of the National Park. Once inside the Park, the only access to land is at the Sajnekhali compound and the various watchtowers you can visit.

But most of all, what the visitor remembers of Sunderbans is the size and scale of the area, the wild vastness of which is foreboding and intense. The best time to visit is between: November to February.

How to reach: Sunderbans is accessed from Kolkata by traveling either towards the south east or the south west. The south west route takes one through Diamond Harbour to Kakdwip and Namkhana. You can take a boat from these places or from Gangadharpur and visit The Lothian Island and surrounding areas.

The south eastern route is more popular. You drive 86 kms through wetlands and agricultural land to reach Sonakhali. You can take a three hour boat ride from Sonakhali jetty to Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge or cross over to Basanti. From Basanti you can take an auto-rickshaw ride to Gadkhali (11kms). At Gadkhali take the ferry to cross the Bidya river to arrive at Gosaba. A cycle rickshaw ride will take you to Pakhiralaya in half hour. Sajnekhali is across the water from Pakhiralaya.

Where to stay: Accommodation is at Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge and new resorts at Gosaba and Bali Islands. Help Tourism's Bali Jungle Camp can accommodate twelve visitors in four cottages, is well appointed, and comfortable. The Jungle Camp arranges ex-Kolkata round trips and travel within the delta. The Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge is very basic and in need of serious renovation. Visitors often stay on board vessels. Make sure you know what you are getting before you choose that alternative.

Contact: W.B. Tourism Development Corp. Ltd. at (033) 2248-8286 or 2248-7302 or the Tourism Centre at (033) 2248-5917/5168 for enquiry's or bookings. Help Tourism can be reached at www.helptourism.com or at (033) 2455-0917 or 2485-4584.
Website references: www.kolkatabirds.com
 
TOP
 
Search
 
Events
Sunday Walk
Share your recent pictures with the delhibird community.
Ranthambore Trip
Share your recent pictures with the delhibird community.
 
 
delhibird group
Dadri - Posted by Anand Arya
Share your recent pictures with the delhibird community.
Dadri - Posted by Anand Arya
Share your recent pictures with the delhibird community.
Dadri - Posted by Anand Arya
Share your recent pictures with the delhibird community.
Dadri - Posted by Anand Arya
Share your recent pictures with the delhibird community.
 
 
 
LEICA V-LUX 20 LEICA ULTRAVID 42 Leica