Tiger and deer in Sundarban |
the south-western part of Bangladesh, in the district of greater Khulna,
lies the Sundarbans, the beautiful forest. It is a virgin forest which
until recently owed nothing to human endeavour and yet nature has laid
it out with as much care as a planned pleasure ground. 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 the many varieties
of the natural mangrove forest have much to offer to an inquisitive visitor.
land and water meet in many novel fashions, Wildlife presents many a spectacle.
No wonder, you may come across a Royal Bengal Tiger swimming across the
streams or the crocodiles basking on the river banks. With the approach
of the evening herds of deer make for the darking glades where boisterous
monkeys shower Keora leaves from above for sumptuous meal for the former.
For the botanist, the lover of nature, the poet and the painter this land
provides a variety of wonder for which they all crave.
Sundarbans is a cluster of islands with an approximate area of 6000 sq.
km. forming the largest block of littoral forests. It's beauty lies in
its unique natural surrounding. Thousands of meandering streams, creeks,
rivers and estuaries have enhanced its charm. Sundarbans meaning beautiful
forest is the natural habital of the world famous Royal Bengal Tiger,
spotted deer, crocodiles, jungle fowl, wild boar, lizards, theses monkey
and an innumerable variety of beautiful birds. Migratory flock of Siberian
ducks flying over thousands of sail boats loaded with timber, golpatta
(round-leaf), fuel wood, honey, shell and fish further add to the serene
natural beauty of the Sundarbans.
This is indeed a land for
the sportsmen, the anglers and the photographers with its abundance of
game, big and small, crocodile, wild boar, deer, pythons, wild-birds and
above all the Royal Bengal Tiger, cunning, ruthless and yet majestic and
graceful, For the less adventurously inclined, there are ducks and snipes,
herons and coots, yellow-lags and sandpipers. It is also the land for
the ordinary holiday makers who desire to rest or wander around at will
to refresh their mind and feast their eyes with the rich treasure that
nature has so fondly bestowed.
River, trees and bright sky inside Sundarban | General Information
Nearly 2400 sq. miles or 6000 sq. km.
North-Bagerhat, Khulna and Sathkira districts
: South-Bay of Bengal; East-Baleswar (or Haringhata) river, Perojpur,
Barisal district, and West-Raimangal and Hariabhanga rivers which partially
form Bangladesh boundary with West Bengal in India.
Wildlife photography including photography
of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger, wildlife viewing, boating inside the
forest will call recordings, nature study, meeting fishermen, wood-cutters
and honey-collectors, peace and tranquility in the wilderness, seeing
the world's largest mangrove forest and the riverine beauty.
River, trees and bright sky inside
Hiron Point (Nilkamal) for tiger, deer, monkey, crocodiles, birds and
deer, tiger, crocodiles, varieties of birds and monkey, morning and evening
symphony of wild fowls. Vast expanse of grassy meadows running from Katka
to Kachikhali (Tiger Point) provide opportunities for wild tracking.
Tin Kona Island
for tiger and deer.
Dublar Char (Island)
for fishermen. It is a beautiful island where herds of spotted deer are
often seen to graze.
Means of Communication
Water transport is the only means of communication
for visiting the Sundarbans from Khulna or Mongla Port. Private motor
launch, speed boats, country boats as well as mechanised vessel of Mongla
Port Authority might be hired for the purpose. From Dhaka visitors may
travel by air, road or rocket steamer to Khulna - the gateway to the Sundarbans.
Most pleasant journey from Dhaka to Khulna is by Paddle Steamer, Rocket
presenting a picturesque panorama of rural Bangladesh. Day and night-long
coach services by road are also available. The quickest mode is by air
from Dhaka to Jessore and then to Khulna by road.
It varies depending on tides against or in favour in
the river. Usually it takes 6 to 10 hours journey by motor vessel from
Mongla to Hiron Point or Katka.
Deers inside Sundarban
Inside the forest
Hiron Point : Comfortable
three-storied Rest-House of the Mongla Port Authority. Prior booking is
to be made.
: Forest Department Rest-House located here. Prior booking
by Rocket Steamer to Mongla and Khulna
Minimum Journey time is 22 Hours for Mongla and 24 Hours for Khulna from
Prior permission must be obtained through written application from the
Divisional Forest Office, Circuit House Road, Khulna (Phone 20665, 211731)
to visit the Sundarbans. Required entrance fees for visitors, vessel or boat
payable at the relevant forest station/range office.
Trees in Sundarban
Inside Sundarban |
Climate in the Sundarbans is moderate. Air is humid. Full monsoon is
from June to September. The annual rainfall average between 65" and 70".
During ebb-tide the forest becomes bare by 6-7 feet and at high tide (30
miles and hour) the entire territory of the forest floats on water.
Life in Forest
Only means of transportation inside the forest is boat. There is no
road, no trail of a path anywhere. The wood-cutters make temporary dwellings
at the edge of the forest at a height of 8-10 feet for fear of wild animals
others live on boats. In the chandpai region it is fascinating to see the
nomadic fishermen (living with families on boats) catching fish with the
help of trained offers. Exciting activities take place in Dublar Char in the
forest where fishermen from Chittagong gather for four months (mid Oct. to
mid Feb.) to catch and dry fish. But the most daring and exciting of all
activities is presented by the honey-collectors who work in groups for just
two months (April-May) and it is interesting to see how they locate a hive
and then collect honey.
Flora and Fauna
The Sundarbans is endowed by nature with rich flora and fauna. It is a
wonderful place to see or to shoot a Royal Bengal Tiger with Camera if one
has the time to wait in the forest. There are a good number of tigers in the
Sundarbans. Lovely spotted deer are easy to find. Besides there are a wide
variety of wildlife for which the Sundarbans is so famous.
Bird in Sundarabn |
Visit to the Forest
Permission from the Division Forest Officer, Khulna is required to
visit to the forest. Cholera vaccine is to be taken well in advance. Anti-malarial,
anti-diarrhoeal, insectrepellent cream, drinking water, green coconuts,
medical kit, light tropical dress, thick rubber soled boots etc. are to
be carried with the tourist. It will be wise to take the help of an experienced
guide to make the journey fruitful.
Khulna is the third biggest industrial city of the country. It is
a divisional headquarter which serves as a gateway to the seaport of mongla
and the Sundarbans. Khulna is also famous for shrimp processing and newsprint.
This little town is 40 km. south-east
of khulna on the northern fringes of the Sundarbans. It is a district
headquarters, Bagerhat is famous for Shait-gumbad mosque (60-domed) built
in 1459 and shrine of the Muslim mystic Khan Jahan Ali.
Mongla is the second seaport of the country and gateway to the Sundarbans.
It lies 38 km. to the south of Khulna. The port authority has got motor
launches to go to the forest.
Tourist season & Shooting
Best time to visit the Sundarbans is from November to March. Exciting
honey collection season is during April-May. Hunting is prohibited by
law in the country for the preservation of wildlife. Certain species of
birds, however, can be shot with prior permission of the Divisional Forest
Officer, Khulna, (Phone : 20665 & 21173).