Sundarbans, an extraordinary eco-tourism tourist destination, is world’s largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest. This forest is spread between India and Bangladesh where 60 percent of the total forest is located in Bangladesh. If you want to experience the true tinge of mangrove forest, then you must have to visit the Bangladeshi part of Sundarbans.
This amazing mangrove forest is located in the south-western part of Bangladesh. Sundarbans lies on the delta formed by copulating three rivers- the Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra in the Bay of Bengal. Sundarbans comprises of numerous trees and wildlife, agriculturally used lands, closed and open mangrove forests, barren lands, mudflats and so forth. This mangrove forest is treated as a showpiece of natural history.
Sundarbans got its name for its famous tree named ‘Sundari’. Hereafter, forest is being called as ‘Ban’ in Bengali Language. This is how; this mangrove forest is named as ‘Sundarbans’. This forest is a center of economic activities also. Extraction of timber, collection of honey and fishing are some main sources of livelihood of the local people of this mangrove area.
This forest ensures habitats for 290 species of birds, 120 species of fishes, 50 species of reptiles, 42 species of mammals and 8 species of amphibian. You can find spotted deer, salt water crocodiles and the famous Royal Bengal Tigers here. You can have a beautiful experience of mangrove forest and fresh water swamp forest when you will visit this wondering mangrove forest.
Topmost Tourist Destinations of Sundarbans
Katka is considered as one of the best tourist attractions of Sundarbans. Katka is located on the southeast corner of Sundarbans. You can enjoy panoramic view of the forest and the wildlife from 40 feet high watchtower. As this is located at the deep forest, you can see spotted deer, different types of bird and Royal Bengal Tigers as well.
If you are an adventure lover then you must have to visit Kochikhali of Sundarbans. This place is located 14km to the east of Katka. So it is very obvious that, you can find very deep forest here. You will find a sea beach in Kochikhali as this dense forest is facing the Bay of Bengal. Wandering Kochikhali Khal (canal) is little bit risky because you can discover the glimpse of dawning crocodiles, lizards, wild boar, spotted deer and sometimes Royal Bengal Tigers.
Hiron Point, also known as Nilkamal, is another topmost tourist attraction of Sundarbans. This is the headquarters of South Wildlife Sanctuary. This place is famous for the presence of different types of birds. This is an elegant destination to see Royal Bengal Tigers and other rare species. Along with these species, you can find here monkey, otter, snakes, crocodiles and so forth.
Dublar Char is one of the most visited tourist destinations of Sundarbans. This is located on the south-west of Katka and south-east of Hiron Point. This place is famous for fishing and dry fish processing activities. You can enjoy the charming natural beauty of the area as well as the fishing activities of the local people. This place is also famous for a festival called Raash Mela. Thousands of people come to join this festival from different locations of Bangladesh. This festival is celebrated in a certain period that is, three days in every year.
Jamtola Beach is the cleanest and most beautiful sea beach of Bangladesh. This sea beach is lonesome for its location. This is located at the remote area of the deep forest of Sundarbans, beside the Bay of Bengal. If you can reach this place, it will be a super exciting and unforgettable memory of your life. For its remote location, most of the people avoid this destination. So there you can’t get any beach chair or other beach facilities. But at the end of the deep jungle, when you will reach the sea beach, you can enjoy the amazing beauty of nature.
Karamjal is a ranger station in the deep forest which is famous for deer and other rare species breeding activities. You can find the deer breeding and rare species raring center from which you can see numerous precious species of Sundarbans.
This is a less popular tourist destination in Sundarbans. As this is a calm and quite area of the deep forest, the probability of seeing Royal Bengal Tigers is very high in this place. So adventure lover travellers should have a visit to Mandarbaria.
Tin Kona Island
This is a small island with triangle shape. The vivid sceneries of this island will melt your heart. You can find spotted deer, monkeys, lots of birds and some other wildlife in this island.
What to Do in Sundarbans
In order to make your journey as an unforgettable experience, you have so many things to do here in the vast mangrove forest. The following tips will definitely help you in this case-
- In morning, hire a soundless row-boat and start boat riding throughout the creeks and canals of the vast jungle. Morning is the best time to explore the lifeline of the forest because almost all animals and birds come to drink water from the canals and creeks or to catch their morning hunt at this time. So you can easily see them. Just you have to assure to be silent and not to frighten the wildlife.
- Walking inside the forest will make your journey memorable. You will find some open field inside the deep forest, sea beach at Jamtola and trails from Katka to Kochikhali. Be sure to wear covered shoes to protect yourself from sharp grasses and spiky trees.
- Watching dolphins will be one of the most exciting parts of your entire tour. Sundarbans is the unique and sole place on the earth where you can see Ganges rivers dolphins and Irrawaddy dolphins. You have to stop at a certain place of dolphins’ sanctuary and see the dolphins leaping out of water.
- If you want to see the animals from a very close view, you have to sit on the watchtowers at the dusk. There are some sweet water tanks near the watchtowers from where animals drink water at the dusk. So sit quietly on the watchtowers and keep patience. It will be a great experience to see the animals and enjoy the panoramic view of the mangrove forest.
How to Go to Sundarbans
To visit Sundarbans, you have to reach Khulna first. From Dhaka, you can go Khulna by bus, train, steamer or by air. There are plenty of AC and non-AC bus from Gabtoly and Sayedabaad for Khulna. You can travel by train if you have enough time and you want to make your journey relaxed. Travelling by steamer will make your journey memorable. It is obvious that, it will take more than 20 hours to reach Khulna, but you can enjoy the panoramic beauty of countryside that will definitely melt your heart. Hence, if you have less time then you can go by air. In this case you have to reach Jashore Airport from Dhaka and then you will have to hire a car for Khulna. This is quite expensive way to reach Khulna.
From Khulna you will find water transport which is the sole way to reach Sundarbans. You can reach to Sundarbans by small launches or personal motor boats or speedboats. But personal motor boats and speedboats are quite risky for less security.
Where to Stay in Sundarbans
You will find some modest rest houses and resorts in Sundarbans at an affordable price. Never expect high quality luxurious hotels here, because it is a remote area and deep jungle. As this is an eco-sensitive area, you will find all modest rest houses here.
You will get plenty of mouth-watering local dishes from these guest houses and resorts. Fresh fish and crabs are the main food attractions among the tourists.
Some Information You Must Know about Sundarbans
- You must have to seek permission from Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) from Khulna, through written application. This formality is mandatory before starting your tour to Sundarbans.
- You can’t kill any animal of Sundarbans. This is highly prohibited and if you do so you will be penalized.
- You are requested to carry some important supplies such as, anti-malarial and anti-diarrheal medicines, insect repellent creams, match box, torch light, power bank, light clothes, necessary amount of cash, drinking water, first aid box, thick rubber soled shoes and whatever you think necessary for you.
- Best time to travel Sundarbans is from November to March.
- Try to go in a small group for more safety.
- Must take an experienced tour guide to make your tour memorable because if you choose wrong person as a tour guide, it may lose your valuable time and money.