If you like to explore Kolkata and nearby places, you must take a visit to Sundarban. Sundarban, the largest delta abounded with deadly snakes, crocodiles, and the great Royal Bengal Tiger. Sundarban is the biggest mangrove forest in the world. Having a large block of littoral forests, the total area is about 38000sq kilometers. Thousands of meandering streams, creeks, rivers, and estuaries have enhanced its charm. For miles and miles, the lofty treetops form an unbroken canopy, while nearer the ground, works of high and ebb-tide marked on the soil, and tree trunks and many varieties of the natural mangrove forest have much to offer to the inquisitive visitors.
Sundarban is the natural habitat of the world’s famous Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, crocodiles, jungle fowl, wild boar, lizards and much more.
Cheapest mode of traveling to Sundarban is by train from Sealdah to Canning. Canning is the Southernmost station of West Bengal, from there, one can get the autorickshaw (local vehicle) upto Godkhali. It will take hardly two and half hours to reach Sundarbans from Sealdah.
The main tourist point is Hiron Point (Nilkamal) for watching tiger, deer, monkey, crocodiles, birds and of course the splendid natural beauty. Morning and evening symphony of wild fowls, the vast expanse of grassy meadows running from Katka to Kachikhali tiger point provide opportunities for wild tracking. Tin Kona Island is famous for tiger and deer. Dublar Char is a beautiful island where travelers often see herds of spotted deer to graze. Here land and water meet in many novel fashions, while wildlife presents many a spectacle.
No wonder, you may come across Dokhin Roy (Royal Bengal Tiger known as Dokhin Roy) swimming across the streams or the crocodiles basking on the river banks. You can have a lodge situated on the jungle side of the river Matla. On the other side, there is an island having few well-populated villages. Royal Bengal used to swim across these river channels and attack household animals.
Even the surrounding area of the lodge is pretty beautiful and well maintained. The very first place to visit is Pakhiralaya. Most of the boats from Gosaba, Godkhali, and Dhamakhali take a halt here before starting the jungle cruise. The other places to visit are Sajnekhali, Dobanki, Sudhanyakhali. Sajnekhali is basically on the other side of Pakhiralaya. Other than crocodile enclosures, there are shark ponds, turtle hatchery, mangrove interpretation center and Sajnekhali Museum.
There’s a banbibi temple near the jetty, the local goddess of the region worshipped by villagers living in the forest areas. Those who want to enjoy the beauty of Sajnekhali exclusively must stay there overnight. Sajnekhali is essentially a bird lover’s paradise.
There’s a beautiful confluence of 5 rivers. Ichhamati, Durgaduyani, Gumor, Shukna and Banabibidharini. Dobanki is rightly famous for its grand canopy watch tower. The canopy walk is more than a half kilometer long walkway, at a height of 20feet from the ground, covered in a grill and strong net in the form of a canopy for mutual protection of wildlife and men. The watchtower overlooks a sweet water pond frequented by spotted deer, tigers and Brahmini kites. Needless to say that except deer at distance, no wild think it safe to visit the surroundings amidst mostly chaotic tourists.
There too is a nice watchtower, and netted walk, a sweet pond that attracts a lot of wild animals. It offers one the chance to view them from close quarters.
There’s another beautiful forest island named Neta-Dhopani. Associated with the legend of Behula and Lakhindari.