Sunderban National Park (STR) Tiger Reserve (1330.1 Kms)
Any, Wildlife Sanctuary, National Park, Tiger Reserve
|Best Time to Visit
Any, October, November, December, January, February, March
The Sundarban National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal, India. It is part of the Sundarban on the Ganges Delta, and adjacent to the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. The delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile. The present Sundarban National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. On 4 May 1984 it was declared a National Park.
There are seven main rivers and innumerable watercourses forming a network of channels at this estuarine delta. All the rivers have a southward course towards the sea. The eco-geography of this area is totally dependent on the tidal effect of two flow tides and two ebb tides occurring within 24 hours with a tidal range of 3–5 m and up to 8 m in normal spring tide, inundating the whole of Sunderban in varying depths. The tidal action deposits silts back on the channels and raising the bed, it forms new islands and creeks contributing to uncertain geomorphology. There is a great natural depression called "Swatch of No Ground" in the Bay of Bengal between 21°00' to 21°22' latitude where, the depth of water changes suddenly from 20 m to 500 m. This mysterious depression pushes back the silts towards south and/or further east to form new islands.
The Sunderban mudflats are found at the estuary and on the deltaic islands where low velocity of river and tidal current occurs. The flats are exposed in low tides and submerged in high tides, thus being changed morphologically even in one tidal cycle. The interior parts of the mudflats are the right environment for mangroves.
There are a number of mudflats outside the Sundarbans National Park is a mudflat that have the potential to be tourist spots in the Sundarbans. One can visit them and enjoy the beauty of the place during low tide. If one is lucky, one can see Sea Anemones, Horseshoe crab (Nearing extinction)and small octopus.
The only means of travelling the park is to by boat, down the various lanes formed by the many flowing rivers. Local boats or vessels operated by the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation, namely M.V. Chitrarekha and M.V. Sarbajaya.
Apart from viewing the wildlife from boat safaris, visitors also visit the Bhagatpur Crocodile Project, a crocodile breeding farm, Sagar Island, Jambudweep, Sudhanyakali watchtower, Buriidabri Tiger Project, Netidhopani Watchtower, Haliday Island, Kanak, and Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary.