Sunderbans Tiger Reserve (Timings, Entry Fee, Safari Online Booking, How to Reach)
Located in the state of West Bengal, the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve was established in the year of 1973. Spread across an area of 2585 sq. km, the Sundarban was declared as the National Park in the year of 1984. Within this, the core area is 1330.12 sq. km. Previously the part of the then 24-Parganas Division, the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve was created in the year of 1973. Sundarbans is spread across the land area 1600 sq. km. and water body of approximately 985 sq. km.
Sunderbans the world’s largest delta and mangrove swamp which is created by the union of three rivers namely the Ganga, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna is nothing less than a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts offering exotic flora and rare wildlife. It is the largest estuarine sanctuary in the world.
Flora @ Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
The main kinds of forests in the area are Tidal swamp forests, Saline water type mixed forests, brackish water type mixed forests and palm swamp type. Some of the main species grown here are Excoecaria sp., Avicennia sp., Rhizophora sp., Xylocarpus sp., Heritiera sp., Ceriops sp., Phoenix sp., Sonneratia sp., Bruguiera sp. etc.
Fauna @ Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
Along with tigers, the reserve has various other animals such as spotted deer, wild pigs, monkeys, Fishing Cat, Porcupines, Rhesus macaque etc. The rich fauna at the reserve also have Estuarine Crocodile, River Terrapin, Gangetic Dolphin, Ground Turtle, Hawks Bill Turtle, King Crabs, Snubfin dolphin, River Terrapin, marine turtles such as Olive Ridley, Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, etc. There are close to six species of Shark and Ray as well.
King cobra, the common cobra, Banded krait, Russells Viper along with the Python, Chequered Kil-Back, Dhaman , Green Whip Snake also inhabit the Sunderbans.
The area boasts of around 248 species of birds as well. Some of them are Herons, Egrets, Darters, Seagulls, Teal, Partridges, Wild Geese, Cormorants, Storks, Green Pigeons, Sand Pipers, Large and Small Spoonbills, Ducks, etc.
Best time to visit Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
The best time to visit the reserve is during the months of December to February.
It is open for tourists from the month of October to March. The entry of the visitors into the park is allowed between 7 am to 5 pm. Tourists are required to take permission from office of the Field Director, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve for entering estuarine delta area. For a boat trip through Sundarbans, one doesn’t require any permit.
Reaching Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
- By air: The nearest airport is at Kolkata which is approximately 166 km away.
- By rail: The nearest railhead is at Canning which is at a distance of 48 km. There are trains from Kolkata to Canning.
- By road: The nearest town to the reserve is Gosaba which is 50 km away. Kolkata is connected to Namkhana, Raidighi, Sonakhali and Najat via road. One requires to travel via waterways from here to the Sundarbans.
- By waterways: Tourists can opt from the various motor boats available at Namkhana, Sonakhali, Raidighi and Najat.
Accommodation @ Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
Tourists have various options of accommodation facilities to choose from. Some of these are Sunderban Mangrove Retreat, Sundarbans Field Camp, Sunderban Chital Tourist Lodge, Sundarbans Jungle Camp, Sunderban Tiger Camp, etc.