Royal Bengal Tiger At Sundarban National Park

Sundarban National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. This region is densely covered by mangrove forests and is one of the largest reserves of the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a variety of bird, reptile, and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile.

Sundarban National Park got its name from the local mangrove, sundari trees, which are found in abundance throughout the park.

The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 34 °C and 20 °C respectively. Rainfall is heavy with high humidity as high as 80% as it is close to the Bay of Bengal. The monsoon lasts from mid-June to mid-September. The prevailing wind is from the north and north-east from October to mid-March and southwest prevails from mid-March to September. Storms that sometimes develop into cyclones are common during the month of May and October.

There are 64 plant species in Sundarbans. Some of the more commonly found plants and trees in the park are Genwa, Dhundal, Passur, Garjan, Kankra, Sundari, and Goran.

The Sundarbans forest is home to more than 200 tigers. The Royal Bengal Tigers have developed a unique characteristic of swimming in the saline waters, and are world-famous for their man-eating tendencies.

Apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger, Fishing Cats, Macaques, Wild Boar, Common Grey Mongoose, Fox, Jungle Cat, Flying Fox, Pangolin, Chital, are also found in abundance in the Sundarbans.

Some of the more popular birds found in this region are Open Billed Storks, White Ibis, Water Hens, Coots, Pheasant Tailed Jacanas, Pariah Kites, Brahminy Kites, Marsh Harriers, Swamp Partridges, Red Jungle Fowls, Spotted Doves, Common Mynahs, Jungle Crows, Jungle Babblers, Cotton Teals, Herring Gulls, Caspian Terns, Gray Herons, Brahminy Ducks, Spotted Billed Pelicans, Large Egrets, Night Herons, Common Snipes, Wood Sandpipers, Green Pigeons, Rose Ringed Parakeets, Paradise Flycatchers, Cormorants, Fishing Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Seagulls, Common Kingfishers, Peregrine falcons, Woodpeckers, Whimprels, Black-Tailed Godwits, Little Stints, Eastern Knots, Curlews, Golden Plovers, Pintails, White-Eyed Pochards and Whistling Teals.

Some of the fish and amphibians found in the park are Saw Fish, Butter Fish, Electric Rays, Silver Carp, StarFish, Common Carp, King Crabs, Prawn, Shrimps, Gangetic Dolphins, Skipping Frogs, Common Toads, and Tree Frogs.

The Sundarban National Park has many reptiles, common ones being Olive Ridley Turtles, Sea Snakes, Dog Faced Water Snakes, Green Turtles, Estuarine Crocodiles, Chameleons, King Cobras, Salvator Lizards, Hard Shelled Batgun Terrapins, Russels Vipers, Mouse Ghekos, Monitor Lizards, Curviers, Hawks Bill Turtles, Pythons, Common Kraits, Chequered Killbacks, and rat Snakes.

The endangered species that live within the Sundarbans are Royal Bengal Tiger, Estuarian Crocodile, River Terrapin (Batagur baska), Olive Ridley Turtle, Gangetic Dolphin, Ground Turtle, Hawks Bill Turtle and King Crabs (Horseshoe).

The best and only means of traveling in the park is to hire a boat and float down the various lanes formed by the many flowing rivers. One can travel in any of the local boats or in luxury launches which are operated by the Tourism Department.

Apart from viewing the wildlife from the boat safaris, one can also visit Bhagatpur Crocodile Project which is a crocodile breeding farm (access from Namkhana), Sagar Island, Jambudweep, Sudhanyakali watchtower, Buriidabri Tiger Project, Netidhopani Watchtower, Haliday Island (famous for Barking Deer), Kanak (nesting place of Olive Ridley Turtle), Sajankhali Bird Sanctuary (famous for avian fauna).

Forest lodge and forest rest-houses are available for accommodation at Sajnekhali, Bakkhali, and Piyali.

Lodging facilities are available 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.

The nearest airport is Dum Dum airport at Kolkata which is 112 km away.

The nearest railhead is Canning, 48 km away from the Park.

Nearest Road transportation is available from Kolkata for Namkhana (105 km), Sonakhali (100 km), Raidighi (76 km), Canning (64 km), and Najat (92 km), which are all near the Sunderbans and have access to the riverine waterways.

The nearest town is Gosaba which is 50 km away.

The nearest city is Kolkata which is 112 km away.

The ideal time to visit the park is November to February when the tigers can be seen on the river banks having sunbath.