Sundarban is the largest mangrove forest in the world. Sundarban tour package is suitable for this forest, generally for 3 days 2 nights tour. One day tour is from Mongla. It is a good place for wildlife visit, cruise and nature lover. Sundarbans is famous for world heritage site. It is home of Royal Bengal tiger. Sundarban tour welcomes all naturalists and cruisers. All information about Sundarban is below.
A vast forest in Bangladesh is Sundarbans in the coastal area of the Bay of Bengal. It is consider as one of the natural wonders on the world. Sundarban is situated in the delta region of Padma, Meghna and Brahmaputra river basins. This forest connects Khulma, Sathkira and Bagerhat districts in Bangladesh. It has South 24 regions and north 24 regions of west Bengal in India.
The world’s largest coastal mangrove forest Sundarbans contains about 10000 (ten thousand) square kilometers. The biggest part of Sundarban with about 6000 (six thousand) square kilometers is in Bangladesh and the smaller part only 4000 square kilometers is in India. Tour operators from Bangladesh and India make tour in Sundarban as Sundarbans tour package.
The UNESCO declared the Sundarbans as world heritage site separately in Bangladesh and India. The Sundarban has a network of marine streams through the mangrove forest. The salinity level is more in the mangroves than freshwater swamp forests.
The flora in Sundarban has characteristic by the abundance of trees as Sundari, Gewa, Goran and Keora everywhere. It is also famous for numerous wildlife species, birds, reptiles, snakes, crocodiles including Royal Bengal tiger. Bengal tiger is endangered. In spite of prohibition to killing or capturing wildlife except fishing, it shows the diagram of loss of all species and declining the forest.
The Sundarbans are under threat of natural and manmade sources, despite preservation work is being. Cyclone Sidr damaged around 40% in 2007. The forest face problem for increased salinity because of rising sea level which reduce freshwater.
Etymology in Sundarban: Sundarbans mean beautiful forest in Bangla language. Sundar is to Beautiful and Bon is to forest. Mangrove species (heritiera fomes ) tree named Sundari that it proves, Sundarban is called after the Sundari tree. People proposed to name the forest as Samudrabon (Samudra is to Sea and Ban is to forest). We can trace back to 200 – 300 AD to know the history. Chanda Sadagar built the ruin of a city in the Baghmara forest block. Mughals leased the forest to nearby people during that period.
Criminals took refuge in the forest. Many were attacked tigers. Many buildings were built by Mughal emperor which taken to control of Portuguese, smugglers and brigands. This was happened in the 17th century. Evidence of this can be seen as ruins on the places scattered everywhere in Sundarban. At first, this area was mapped by the Surveyors in Persian in early 1764 after Mughal emperor Alamgir. After the establishment of the forest in the region of Bengal in British India, it started systematic management in 1860.
When British had no expertise or experience in mangrove forests, they managed locals do entire managements where treasure available.
First forest management jurisdiction got establishment in 1869. A large portion of the mangrove forests was declared to be reserved forests under the forest acts in 1865. The rest part was also done as that in following year. Forest department from Khulna administrated the task. This forest was then a water-logged jungle where tigers were in abundance.
In the Sundarbans has intersection by rivers, canals and creeks which is good for water communication throughout the regions.
Geography of Sundarban:
Southern Bangladesh has the largest delta on the Bay of Bengal that the Sundarban forest shaped by the junction of the rivers- Ganges, Hooghly, Padma, Brahmaputra and Meghna. It floods seasonally in the Sundarbans freshwater swamp forest on the coastal fringe. The total forest area is 10000 square kilometers of which about 6000 square kilometers are in Bangladesh. And 4000 square kilometers in India. In India’s part, about 1700 square kilometers of water body as rivers, canals and creeks.
As world heritage site in 1997, it was inscription. The Sundarbans has connection by network of tidal waterways, flats as mud and small islands with salt-tolerant mangrove forests. There is accessible by boats through the creeks and canals in the Sundarban. It is famous for the royal Bengal tiger, birds, spotted deer, crocodiles and snakes. As the fertile soil here, it has been intensive agriculture use by human for centuries. In addition to, the Sundarbans does a role to acts as a protective barrier for the millions of dwellers in and around Khulna and Mongla. The Sundarbans is known as one of the 7 wonders of nature.
It is a complex ecosystem comprising one in the world. Large part 60 percent is in Bangladesh and 40 percent in India. Everywhere there is natural drainage in the upstream area impeded by embankments.
The measurement was done about 200 years ago to be of about 16000 square kilometers. Erosion by flash of sea water and canals has dwindled about one third of the original size. Salt water and fresh water meet in the Sundarbans. Here it is a very important role in coastal expression and wildlife variety of dwellers.
There are beaches, estuaries, swamps, tidal flats, creeks, dunes and levees. The mangrove vegetation helps to form new lands. The flats display in low tides and submerged high tides. It is a change morphologically in one tidal cycle. Because the tides are so huge that it disappears one third land and reappears every day.
Eco regions in Sundarban:
The Sundarban has two eco regions; one is fresh water swamp forest and second is mangroves. Sundarban fresh water swamp forest is a tropical moist eco region of Bangladesh. There is much salinity behind the Sundarbans mangrove. On the hand, only slightly brackish is in fresh water eco region and becomes rather fresh during the rainy season. 14000 square kilometers of the vast Brahmaputra deltais is in eco regions which in the northern part of Khulna.
It ends at the Bay of Bengal spreading sections into west Bengal state. The Sundarban forest is under a great threat of extinction due to large population and their personal uses. Hundred years of habitation and exploitation have received a great toll at eco region and biodiversity. There are protected areas here. According to Champion and Seth the fresh water swamp forest has Heritiera minior, Xylocarpus molluccensis, Bruguiera cojugata etc. The Sundarbans mangrove Eco region makes fringe of the delta which is the world’s largest mangrove ecosystem.
The local name of the tree Heritiera fomes is Sundari. Sundari means beauty. Trees in this forest have thick canopy and undergrowth is mangrove seedlings. Bedsides Sundari trees, there are more plants and trees. One of the trees and plants is Nypa fruticans palms which you can see at the bank of the canals. It is very popular here. This forest differs from other non deltaic coastal mangrove forests.
In 1903, It was recorded by David Pra in on a total 245 genera and 334 plant species. Flora is characterization by the abundance of Sundari (Heritiera), Gewa(Excoecaria), Goran( Ceriops) and Keora (Sonneratia). The Sundari (Heritiera) plays an important role with its name that the forest is after the name of this tree. These trees yield a hard wood for making house, furniture, boats and other things. Keora tree (Sonneratia Apetala) is an indicator species planting in mud banks for wildlife, specially for deer. The various plants and trees exist in Sundarban that form natural atmosphere.
The Sundarbans provide a unique ecosystem and rich wildlife habitat in the world. According to the census in 2015 in Bangladesh and 2011 in India, the Sundarbans have about 180 royal Bengal tigers, 106 in Bangladesh and 74 in India. Yet it becomes difficult to see in Bangladesh. Time to time, it decreases the number of animals. While adventure journey in this forest it may be easier to see tiger. Authority does not allow to do adventure tour. In 1991, a study in Indian part of Sundarban revealed various resources that 150 species of fish, 270 species of birds, 42 species of mammals, 35 species of reptiles and 8 of amphibians. The mangrove forest retains a good place of wildlife.
Sundarban forest is important habitat for the royal Bengal tiger, small wild cats, jungle cats, fishing cats and leopard. About 30,000 spotted deer live here.
Reptiles and fish:
There are several types of turtle, sea snake, dog faced water snake, crocodile, chameleon, king cobra, rusell viper, house gecko, monitor lizard, pythons, common krait, green vine snake, checkered keel back, rat snake etc.
Endangered and extinct species:
These are royal Bengal tiger, crocodile, northern river terrapins, sea turtles, Gangetic dolpin, hawksbill sea turtle and king crab.
Climate change impact:
Wave motion, micro tidal cycles, cyclone and erosion affect during the monsoon.
The zoology society of London found in a study that the coastal area was retreating up to 200 meters in a year. Agriculture activities and shrimp cultivation destroyed the mangroves in three decades from 1975 to 2010. Loss of the mangrove forest will result in biological shield against cyclones and tsunamis. Natural hazards are cyclone and Sidr damaged 40 percent.
In the economical sector of Southwestern region in Bangladesh Sundarban is only one. It gives wood, honey, fish etc. Sundarban offers aesthetic attraction to native tourists and foreign tourists as well. Forest receives big amount revenue from foreign tourists.
The low lying agricultural lands are water logging and summer crops are in deep water rice and floating water rice. In winter season, the land becomes dry where there are no crops. Sometimes, farmers who have irrigation facility, grow crops.
Protection: In Bangladesh part, there are two forest divisions which have four administration ranges. They run in Khulna. Sundarban National Park A part of Sundarban is as national park. It was declaration as the core area of Sundarban.
Sundarban west wildlife sanctuary: UNESCO declared as world heritage site. This region supports mangroves trees.
Sundarban East wildlife sanctuary: This part dominates the flora.
Sundarban south wildlife sanctuary: This is evidently the greatest seasonal variation.
Frequently asked questions are below with answers.
- Is there any Sundarban tour blog in Bangla?
- Yes, our Bangla blog is Orient Tourism Channel
- Are their package tours to Sundarban?
- Yes, there are package tours as 3 days 2 nights, one day tour and 6 days Sundarban tour. You can choose starting from Dhaka or Khulna.
- Is it safe to visit Sundarban?
- Yes, it is fully safe because of forest armed guard accompanied with tourists.
- How to go to Khulna for Sundarban tour?
- By air, bus, train, launch and reserved car, you have to go to either Mongla or Khulna. But you can not visit Sundarban at arrival or by yourself. As it is a cruise by launch of minimum 10 passengers, you have to make a personal tour or join in a group tour. You should book the tour earlier at Tour Company. There is scheduled beforehand by taking permission.
- How long does it takes from Dhaka to Khulna?
- By any road transport, it takes about 8/9 hours.
- How much is tour price?
- For Bangladeshi, it costs less and for foreigner it costs more because of foreigners entry fee is high according to the government charges. The price depends from where tourists will start the tour and service category as AC or non AC accommodation. Price starts from 5,500 BDT for Bangladeshi and $ 180 for foreigners according to the number of passengers.
- Which package tour is good?
- For budget tour and short time, one day tour is good. But it will give a short idea. Most used tour is 3 days 2 nights. Besides, tourists can customize the tour as 2 days, honey hunting tour and documentary tour. Group tour is always cheaper than personal and customized tour.
- What can be seen in Sundarban tour?
- Spotted deer, rhesus macaque, dolphin, crocodiles and birds.
It is the best cruise and nature tour in Bangladesh. Sundarban tour for relax with government approved guide and operator reviewed by trip advisor and guide book. You can do it in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has much popular for this tour. There is Eco cottage, guest house and hotel in Khulna.
In India, it is also possible to visit Sundarban. It is small area. But there is protection and development for tourism.