The Sundarbans National Park is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. The Sundarbans National Park has the title of being the largest delta in the world. It is spread over 10,200 square kilometres of Mangrove Forest land.
Part of the national park also falls in Bangladesh. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987 and it has been in existence since the 1900s.
The Sundarbans National Park is located in West Bengal in the famous Sundarbans region. The park is massive and is home to a variety of animal and plant species.
The Sundarbans National Park has grown to be one of the top spots for excursions and safaris in West Bengal and in India. The famous White Bengal Tiger can be spotted at the Sundarbans National Park. The park has the biggest mangrove forest and delta in the Ganges.
- Timings: 8 am to 6 pm on Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, Sunday closed.
Best Season To Visit
It is best to visit in the winter season. The weather is excellent and apart from seeing the animals, you can also spot a few migratory birds.
5 Reasons to Visit the Sundarbans National Park
1. Boat Safari
A boat safari is something that every tourist who comes to the Sundarbans National Park has to experience. Boat rides begin from 8 am and go on till 4 pm.
During the peak season boating is extended to 6 pm. Post that time, no boats are allowed to enter the Sundarbans National Park. Watch the birds, enjoy nature and, if you’re lucky, you might just about spot a Bengal Tiger or a migratory bird.
2. Check out the Fauna
The amazing weather, wide open spaces and the creation of a natural habitat are reasons why you’ll be able to spot a variety of animals at the national park.
From the Bengal tiger to bears, deer and a variety of mammals, to reptiles like alligators and snakes as well as birds, you can see them all at this amazing national park. If you go near the water at the Sundarbans, you might even spot Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and electric rays.
3. Get The Best View of The Park From the Netidhopani Watchtower
The Netidhopani Watchtower is one place at the park you should not miss out on visiting. It is strategically located to offer tourists with stunning views of the entire Sundarbans National Park. From certain angles of the towers, you may even get to view Bengal tigers.
4. Bird Watching
If you visit the national park in the months of January and February, you might be lucky enough to spot migratory birds. Each year, due to favourable climatic conditions, thousands of birds from far away places fly for miles to get to the Sundarbans National Park.
At the park, you can spot eastern knots, Caspian terns, marsh harriers, wood sandpipers and plenty of other birds species.
5. For a Much Needed Break
The Sundarbans National Park is vast and it spreads over thousands of kilometres away. At the park, there are various islands, rivers and open spaces that are ideal for spending time in nature’s company.
The park is an awesome place for that much-needed break you crave, away from the city.
Accommodation is available at government lodges and there a few resorts located nearby for those who want to spend a few days at the Sundarbans National Park.
Tips when planning a trip to Sundarbans National Park
- Foreign Tourist need a permit to enter the park. They can get one at the Forest Department at Sajnekhali or the West Bengal Tourism. A valid passport is needed for the permit.
- Entry to the park is Rs. 60 for Indians and Rs. 200 for foreigners.
- Always book a guide, the park is huge and access to all parts are not allowed. Guides know the best places to see and what places are restricted.
- Boat cruises cost Rs. 400 a boat. You can book a boat at the Sajnekhali.
- Carry cash with you, there are a lack of ATMs in and near the national park.
- The Sundarbans National Park is a no plastic zone, so carrying plastic and polythene bags are
- Carry light snacks, incase you get hungry along the way, there are no stalls inside the park. Don’t litter and use the bins provided to throw waste.
- Staying within the Sundarbans National Park/Tiger reserve area is permitted only from sunrise to sunset – don’t stay past 6 pm.
How to reach Sundarbans National Park from Kolkata
By Car: Sundarbans National Park to Kolkata is about 98 kilometres away. You can hire a private cab from Kolkata to get to the park. Taxi fare per kilometre ranges from Rs. 15 to 140, depending on the type of vehicle you take. Some drivers may agree on a pre-decided negotiated fee.
You can have a lot of fun and excitement at the Sundarbans National Park, especially if you love the outdoors and exploring wildlife and nature. For the best experience, it is best to book an organised tour.
You can book one in Kolkata at the Tourism Office, there are private operators that conduct tours as well.