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Sundarbans National Park complete detail – updated

Sundarbans National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Sundarbans National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Sundarbans National Park. How to Reach Sundarbans National Park. The average altitude of 7.5 m of the park constitutes 54 small islands and is crisscrossed by several tributaries of the Ganges. The Sundarbans National Park is also composed of the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world.
Total area of the park is 1330.10 Km2. Sundarbans National Park was established in the year of 1984. The main attractions of the Sunderbans are the Tiger, of which the delta harbor large reptiles like the Monitor Lizard, Estuarine Crocodile and the Olive Ridley Turtle, for which there is a conservation Programme in the Indian park. The core area is free from all human disturbances like collection of wood, honey, fishing and other forest products…………….
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Sundarbans National Park is a beautiful place, located in the North & South 24-Paraganas district of the state of West Bengal. Sundarbans is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve.

Sundarbans National Park was established in the year of 1984. Total area of the park is 1330.10 Km2. Sundarbans National Park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year of 1987.

It is part of the Sundarban on the Ganges Delta, and adjacent to the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. The delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal Tiger.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

The park area is divided into two ranges. Each range is further sub-divided into beats. The park also has floating watch stations and camps to protect the property from poachers. The Sundarbans are a part of the world’s largest delta formed by the rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.

The park got its name from one of the mangrove plants known as Sundari (Heritiera Minor). The name Sundarban can be literally translated as “beautiful forest” in the Bengali language (Shundor, “beautiful” and bon, “forest”).

The main attractions of the Sunderbans are the Tiger, of which the delta harbor large reptiles like the Monitor Lizard, Estuarine Crocodile and the Olive Ridley Turtle, for which there is a conservation Programme in the Indian park. The park is also home to Leopard, Indian Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer and Water Buffalo etc.

The average altitude of 7.5 m of the park constitutes 54 small islands and is crisscrossed by several tributaries of the Ganges. The Sundarbans National Park is also composed of the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world.

The core area is free from all human disturbances like collection of wood, honey, fishing and other forest products. Forest offices and camps are located at several important parts of the park. Anti-poaching camps are managed by two to three knowledgeable laborers under supervision of concerned beat guard/Forester/Range officer.

Habitat of wildlife is maintained through eco-conservation, eco-development, training, education and research. Ten Forest Protection Committees and 14 Eco-development Committees have been formed in the fringe of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve to help in this regard.

The Mangrove Interpretation Center is established at Sainekhali to make the local people and tourists aware of the importance of conservation of nature in general and specially the mangrove ecosystems.

The Directorate of Forest is responsible for the administration and management of Sundarban. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Wildlife & Bio-Diversity & ex-officio Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal is the senior most executive officer looking over the administration of the park.

The Chief Conservator of Forests (South) & Director, Sundarban Biosphere Reserve is the administrative head of the park at the local level and is assisted by a Deputy Field Director and an Assistant Field Director.

Controlling man eating tigers is another major activity. The number of casualties has been reduced from 40 to 10 per year. The reduction in number of casualties is a result of strict control over the movement of the people inside the tiger reserve, alternative income generation and awareness building among people.

It is also believed that due to use of human masks and electric human dummies the tigers will stay away from the people. Straying of tigers into nearby villages is prevented through measures such as nylon net fencing and solar illumination of villages. The youths of the villages are given training in controlling the straying of tigers into the villages.

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History

The land that acted as a shelter for the refugees in 13th century is today declared as a World Heritage Center and is the most renowned place for tiger conservation under the Tiger Project.

Sundarbans was first notified as protected forest on 7 December 1878. Much of this was subsequently leased out by the government for purposes of cultivation, but the boundaries of the remaining protected forests were fixed under Notification No. 4457-For, dated 9 April 1926. Protected forests remaining in the Basirhat Division of the district were declared reserved forests on 9 August 1928 and those remaining in Namkhana Division on 29 May 1943.

The area of Sundarbans is established as a Tiger Reserve in the year of 1973. It was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year of 1977.

Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a National Park in the year of 1984.  In the year of 1987, Sundarbans was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The park receives financial aid from the State Government as well as the MOEF under various Plan and Non-Plan Budgets. Additional funding is received under the Project Tiger from the Central Government. In 2001, a grant of US$20,000 was received as a preparatory assistance for promotion between India and Bangladesh from the World Heritage Fund.

The area congested with dense mangroves and swampy islands, being fitted for the tiger inhabitants and so the introduction of tiger project took place in the year 2004 as a scientific research project.

To continue the project in a more progressive way, the Save the Tiger Fund and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service generously donated funds to support the initial phase of research and to collect data on tiger ecology. It is estimated that there are now 400 Royal Bengal tigers and about 30,000 spotted deer in the area.

Geography

Sundarbans National Park is located in the North & South 24-Paraganas district of the state of West Bengal. Sundarbans is also a Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve. Total area of the park is 1330.10 Km2.

It is part of the Sundarban on the Ganges Delta, and adjacent to the Sundarbans Reserve Forest in Bangladesh. The delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal Tiger.

The park area is divided into two ranges. Each range is further sub-divided into beats. The park also has floating watch stations and camps to protect the property from poachers.

Sundarban is a vast area covering 4262 square km in India alone, with a larger portion in Bangladesh. 2585 sq. km of the Indian Sundarban forms the largest Tiger Reserve and National Park in India. The total area of the Indian part of the Sundarban forest, lying within the latitude between 21°13′-22°40′ North and longitude 88°05′-89°06′ East, is about 4,262 sq. km, of which 2,125 sq. km is occupied by mangrove forest across 56 islands and the balance is under water.

The park is surrounded by a buffer zone of 885 square kilometers. This also mainly consists of mangrove forests.

The average altitude of 7.5 m of the park constitutes 54 small islands and is crisscrossed by several tributaries of the Ganges. The Sundarbans National Park is also composed of the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world.

The vast swampy delta of the two great Indian rivers, Brahmaputra and the Ganges stretches over areas consisting of mangrove forests, swamps and Forest Island all knotted in a network of small rivers and streams.

Sundarbans National Park is located in World’s largest Delta formed by the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghana. The Sundarbans Wildlife Sanctuary is the world’s largest estuarine sanctuary.

The whole Sundarbans area is intersected by an intricate network of interconnecting waterways, of which the larger channels are often a mile or more in width and run in a north-south direction.

Waterways in the tiger reserve are maintained largely by the diurnal tidal flow, the average rise and fall being about 2.15 m on the coast and up to 5.68 m on Sagar Island. Tidal waves are a regular phenomenon and may be up to 75 m high.

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The land is constantly being changed, molded and shaped by the action of the tides, with erosion processes more prominent along estuaries and deposition processes along the banks of inner estuarine waterways influenced by the accelerated discharge of silt from seawater.

About half of the Sundarbans is under water and the rest of the landscape is characterized by low-lying alluvial islands and mud banks, with sandy beaches and dunes along the coast. As with the rest of the Bengal Plain, alluvial deposits are Geologically very recent and deep, sediment of just the last few million years being as much as 1,000 m thick. The subsoil consists of alternate layers of clay and sand, gradually changing into shales and sandstone. The soil is clayey loam down to a depth of 1.1-1.4 m and thereafter stiff black clay. It is alkaline due to an excess of sodium chloride.

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 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.

Average Rainfall – 175 cm
Temperature – Min. 2° C, Max. 38° C

Dominant flora

Genwa, Kankra, Khalsi, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan, Sundari, Goran, Kankara etc.

Dominant fauna

Mammals Royal Bengal Tiger, Leopard Cats, Chital, Macaques, Wild Boar, Fox, Jungle Cat, Flying Fox, Pangolin, Indian Grey Mongoose, Fishing Cats etc.

Birds Common Kingfishers, Peregrine falcons, Woodpeckers, Jungle Babblers, Cotton Teals, Herring Gulls, Caspian Terns, Gray Herons, Green Pigeons, Rose Ringed Parakeets, Paradise Flycatchers, Cormorants, Fishing Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Brahminy Ducks, Spotted Billed Pelicans, Large Egrets, Night Herons, Open Billed Storks, White Ibis, Water Hens, Coots, Pheasant Tailed Jacanas, Common Snipes, Wood Sandpipers, Pariah Kites, Brahminy Kites, Marsh Harriers, Swamp Partridges, Red Jungle Fowls, Spotted Doves, Common Mynahs, Jungle Crows etc.

Reptiles King Cobras, Russels Vipers, Mouse Ghekos, Monitor Lizards, Curviers, Hawks Bill Turtles, Estuarine Crocodiles, Chameleons, Dog Faced Water Snakes, Green Turtles, Pythons, Common Kraits, Rat Snakes, Olive Ridley Turtles, Sea Snakes, Salvator Lizards, Hard Shelled Batgun Terrapins etc.

Aqua-fauna – Shrimps, Common Carp, Crabs, Saw Fish, Electric Rays, Silver Carp, Star Fish, Prawn, Skipping Frogs, Common Toads, Butterfly Fish, Gangetic Dolphins, Tree Frogs etc.

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Other Attractions

Sajnekhali

Bhagbatpur Crocodile Project

Piyali Island

Hiran Point

Halliday Island

Tin Kona Island

Lothian Island Bird Sanctuary

Best time to visit

The best time of the year to visit the Sundarbans National Park is between the months of November to March.

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Kolkata airport, about 140 Km from the Sundarbans National Park. Kolkata airport is well connected by road network to Sundarbans National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Canning railway station, about 30 Km from the Sundarbans National Park. Canning railway station is well connected by road network to Sundarbans National Park.

By Road Sundarbans National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Sundarbans National Park at frequent intervals.

Accommodations

Forest lodges and forest rest-houses are available at Sajnekhali, Bakkhali and Piyali for accommodation. Lodging facilities are also available at Sunderban Tiger Camp on Dayapur Island, a resort overlooking the national park, and at Sundarbans Jungle Camp on Bali Island run by Help Tourism Group with collaboration with local communities and members of Bali Nature and Wildlife Conservation Society.

Useful Contacts

Tourism Centre, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited, 3/2-BBD Bag (Near Great Eastern Hotel), Kolkata. Phone – +91 33 2210 3199, +91 33 2248 8271.

Other National Parks in West Bengal. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows……..
S. No. Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area(km²)
1 Gorumara National Park West Bengal 1992 79.45
2 Buxa National Park West Bengal 1992 117.10
3 Neora Valley National Park West Bengal 1986 159.89
4 Singalila National Park West Bengal 1986 78.60
5 Jaldapara National Park West Bengal 2014 216.51

About Vijay Choudhary

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One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing Vijay. Do u stay in Kolkata. Please share your contact details.

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