The moment we plan a short trip from Kolkata we immediately jump to the Sundarbans – a short 1 night 2 days tour – is just what we all need to get the hectic city life out of our system and rejuvenate ourselves.
Now, we all know the facts about the Sundarbans, the UNESCO World Heritage site stamp, the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger, the largest delta in the world – but how do you exactly reach the Sundarbans?
The easiest way is to catch a bus from Kolkata to Godkhali or train from Kolkata to Canning and then a bus to Godkhali.
But even though you’ve visited Sundarbans umpteen number of times and you have enough experience taking the jetty from Godkhali to the other islands, there are probably some facts you did not know about the Sundarbans.
Read on to find out what they are:
Explore The Land Of The Sundaris:
The Sundarbans are named because of the Sundari trees, this we all know. And we also know that the mangroves form the largest prograding delta of the world – with over 10000 sq kms in the area.
But what you may not know is that these Sundari trees have adapted to suit the soil and climate of the area. These trees have evolved to absorb the salt along with the minerals in the water and store the excess salt in the leaves. When the trees shed their leaves they also shed the excess salt from their body.
What a wonderful evolution! How magical it would be if we could carry our own built-in water purifiers – no longer would we need to look for fresh drinking water.
Experience Where Danger Moves With The Endangered:
When you take a Sundarban trip you know that you are entering the animal world – you are entering the territory of the animal kingdom where the survival of the fittest idea rules.
But, do you know that there are a few animals that are a danger to us yet are endangered themselves?
The Royal Bengal Tiger, the King Cobra, the Monitor Lizards all have one thing in common – they are all in the WWF endangered species list. These magnificent animals are not only carnivores and a threat to mankind but it has become such that man has become a greater threat to them.
So, when taking a Sundarban tour, you are not only experiencing the beauty of Nature but also the darkness of Nature.
Spread Your Wings And Fly Away:
The Sundarbans are known for its magnificent variety of flora and fauna – but it is also known for its beautiful variety of birdlife. There are over 300 varieties of birds in the Sundarbans and they all add beauty, color, and music to the cacophony that can be found in the Sundarbans.
The Sundarbans are home to owls, woodpeckers, kingfishers, warblers, orioles, storks, eagles but the most important find of the Sundarbans are the Masked Finfoot. These birds once considered extinct were found nesting in the Sundarbans and through conservation, these birds have gone from extinct to endangered species.
Miniature Sized Godzilla:
The Sundarbans are home to some magnificent creatures – the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Chital deer, the saltwater crocodiles, but the most fascinating animals to exist in these mangroves are the miniature Godzilla lookalikes – the Indian Monitor Lizards.
These fierce-looking reptiles are terrors for snakes, rodents, frogs, fish, and the occasional chickens. But because of their scary looks and snake-like tongues, they are feared by human beings and are more often killed out of fear than for food or sport.
Watch The Dance Of The Dolphins:
A Sundarban tour is not complete without a visit from the Dolphins!
The Irrawadi dolphins are the smaller more round nosed cousin of the bottled nosed dolphins. Mainly residing in estuaries, river mouths and brackish water near coasts – these dolphins have a symbiotic relationship with the fishermen who use traditional methods of fishing. In this fashion, fishermen bang wooden keys into the side of their boats as a signal to the dolphins to push the fish into the nets – and the dolphins oblige by driving schools of fish to the nets. Why? Because they get a share in the prize!!
But with the number of fish dwindling, the capture of dolphins in nets themselves have become the main reason for their endangerment.
The Sundarbans offer a glimpse into the world of beauty and serenity – that can be enjoyed and experienced by one and all. The most important part that a Sundarban trip teaches us is that the world is full of beautiful sceneries and mise-en-scene that is just waiting to be explored if you have the time and spirit of adventure.