The Sundarbans is a vast mangrove forest region located in the delta of the Padma, Meghna, and Brahmaputra river basins. It spans across India and Bangladesh, covering approximately 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 square miles). This unique and ecologically important area is renowned for its rich biodiversity and serves as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourism in the Sundarbans has gained popularity over the years due to its natural beauty and rich biodiversity, but it also presents challenges in terms of conservation and responsible tourism.
Here are some key aspects of tourism in the Sundarbans:
1. Wildlife Viewing:The Sundarbans is home to the Bengal tiger, and one of the primary attractions for tourists is the chance to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Other wildlife species found in the area include saltwater crocodiles, various species of birds, spotted deer, wild boars, and more. Boat safaris are organized for wildlife enthusiasts to admire Sundarbans and get mesmerised simultaneously.
2. Mangrove Forests: The gorgeous mangrove ecosystem of the Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists can explore the dense mangrove forests and learn about the various plant and animal species that thrive in this environment. The intricate network of waterways makes it an ideal place for boat trips and nature walks.
3. Bird watching: The Sundarbans is a birdwatcher's paradise, with over 300 species of birds recorded in the region. Some of the notable bird species include kingfishers, herons, egrets, and various migratory birds. Bird watching tours are quite popular among tourists, especially for photographers.
4. Cultural Experiences: The Sundarbans region is also home to several indigenous communities, such as the Munda and Oraon tribes in India, and various groups in Bangladesh. Tourists have the opportunity to interact with these communities and learn about their way of life, traditions, and customs. Several accommodation authorities also arrange for evening cultural programs such as fold dances and songs in their respective resorts and lodges.
5. Conservation Efforts: Responsible tourism is essential in the Sundarbans due to its fragile ecosystem. Authorities and tour operators often emphasize the importance of conserving the environment and minimizing human impact. Visitors are encouraged to follow guidelines and respect the local flora and fauna.
6. Boat Safaris: Exploring the Sundarbans almost wholly involves boat tours. These safaris can range from short excursions to multi-day trips. Guides accompany tourists on these boats, providing information about the region's wildlife, natural features, local occupations and even about the possibilities of tiger sightings.
7. Accommodation: There are various eco-friendly resorts, lodges, and guesthouses near the Sundarbans, offering different ranges of comfort. Staying in these accommodations allows tourists to immerse themselves in the natural surroundings and enjoy the cultural programs in the evening.
8. Safety Precautions: The Sundarbans can be a challenging environment due to its remote location and the presence of wild animals. Tourists are advised to take necessary safety precautions and follow the guidelines of experienced guides.
9. Favored Time to Visit:: The ideal time to visit the Sundarbans is during the winter months (November to February) when the weather is more pleasant, and wildlife is more active. It is better to conduct the Sunderbans Tour Package Booking during the winter rather than in summer or monsoon. Tourism in the Sundarbans offers a unique opportunity to experience a pristine natural environment and witness the conservation efforts to protect this fragile ecosystem. However, responsible and sustainable tourism practices are very much crucial to ensure the long-term preservation of this remarkable region.