Sundarban is the largest deltaic region of the world and encompasses over hundreds of islands (105), with a maze of innumerable rivers, rivulets, and creeks. The name 'Sundarban' means "beautiful forest" and it is believed to be derived from a mangrove tree species 'Sundari' (Heritiera fomes). The Indian Sundarban is the southernmost part of the estuarine delta formed by the River Ganges and Brahmaputra, bordering the Bay of Bengal .It is located little south of the Tropic of Cancer between the latitudes 21'51' and 22'31'N, and longitudes 88'10' and 89'51'E, mainly in the coastal districts of West Bengal, i.e. South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas (Arbesi Block only).The Dampier-Hodges line separates the Sundarban from the rest of West Bengal. There are villages in the fringe area all along the northern boundary of the Tiger Reserve. On the eastern boundary lies Bangladesh separated by the rivers Kalindi, Raimangal, and Harinbhanga. On the western boundary lies the territorial division of 24-Parganas south and towards the south lays the Bay of Bengal.
Some of the most famous natural landmarks in the world have something in common: they’re located just far enough away that many travelers never make it there. The Sundarbans National Park in South Asia is one such destination, but it has several things going for it that make it worth your time to investigate. Here are four of the best reasons why you should book your next tour to Sundarbans now!
The Sundarbans is a world-famous mangrove forest located in Bangladesh. This natural wonder is home to a variety of plant and animal life, including the Royal Bengal Tiger. Visitors can take part in safaris, nature walks, and other activities that allow them to get up close and personal with this unique ecosystem. The Sundarbans is the perfect destination for your next tour. Home to Bengal tigers, snakes, deer, monkeys, otters and more—it's unlike any place you've ever seen before. There are several things you can do here—take part in nature walks or go on a tiger safari through the majestic wetlands. And if all you want to do is sit back and enjoy the views from one of the many campsites overlooking some of the most beautiful scenery around? You're welcome too! 5 Things To Do In Sundarbans
There are many great places to stay in Sundarbans National Park, depending on your budget and preferences. For those on a tight budget, there are a few hostels and guesthouses in the area. For those looking for a bit more comfort, there are several hotels and resorts to choose from. And for those wanting to really experience all that Sundarbans has to offer, there are even a few luxury lodges available. No matter where you stay, you're sure to have an amazing experience in this incredible place.
The best time to visit Sundarbans National Park is between October and March. This is when the weather is cool and dry, and the animals are active. If you want to see tigers, this is also the best time to go, as they are most active in the mornings and evenings. Keep in mind that December and January can be very crowded, so plan your trip accordingly. Also, bear sightings are more common during this time of year. For those looking for a less-crowded experience, we recommend visiting outside of these months. You'll get to enjoy cooler temperatures and a quieter experience overall. Plus there's no risk of running into crowds at the beautiful waterfalls like there will be during peak season!
Banbibi is the most celebrated demigod of both the Hindu and Muslim inhabitants of Sundarban, and she is the guardian spirit of the mangrove delta. The narratives of Banbibi are found in several texts named as the ‘Banbibir Jahuranama’ and ‘Banbibir Keramati’. Renowned poets Bayanuddin and Munshi Mohammad Khater were the writer of the verses. These texts consist of two major episodes, her battle with Dakshin Rai and the narrative of Dukhe. According to the verses, Banbibi is the daughter of Berahim and Golalbibi; Shah Jungli is her brother. Golalbibi left her daughter in the forest after that, Banbibi was brought up by a doe. She is mounting on a tiger and posses a pet crocodile named Seko. Red Jungle fowl is offered to Banbibi to please her. In every camps of Sundarban Tiger Reserve there is a shrine of Maa Banbibi to protect and safeguard the people. Banbibi is also known as Bandurga or Bandevi in colloquial language.
The etymology of Dakshin Rai is ‘King of the South’. He is regarded as the overall ruler of the Sundarbans; who rules over beasts, demons and ghost-spirits (Begho) of the mangrove. He is the son of Danda Baksha and mother Narayani. His father was the ruler of the entire Sundarbans. He is depicted with large whiskers with slender body and a shiny-yellow tinge, which is decorated with tiger-like stripes. Drool drips from both sides of his mouth and he has a six-meter-long tail. Rai is appeased with animal sacrifices. He also likes music and attracts musicians. A shrine of Dakshin Rai is located near a railway station named Dhapdhapi in Sealdaha- South lines. Inhabitants of the Sundarbans pray to Dakshin Rai before venturing into the mangroves for their livelihood. Aboriginals bind a mask with the face of Dakshin Rai to the back of their heads, so as to confuse or scare an approaching tiger and ward off its attack. According to the Banbibir Jahuranama Dakshin Rai is defeated by the divine power of Banbibi and Shah Jungli and took shelter to Bara Khan Ghazi (aka Ghazi Pir).
Dukhe is a mythical character described in the Banbibir Jahuranama. Once upon a time there lived two Mouley (Honey collector) brothers called Dhona (Dhanai) and Mona (Manai) in Sundarbans. Dhona wanted to go for an expedition with a naval fleet to collect honey and wax from the dense mangrove of the eighteen tides (Beng. Aatharo Bhatir Desh). Opposed by his brother Mona, Dhona took a local shepherd boy Dukhe to go.Betrayed by Dhona in Kendokhali Char, Dukhe was attacked by Dakshin Rai. Dukhe started chanting of Maa Banbibi. Dukhe was protected by Banbibi and her brother Shah Jungli from Dakshin Rai. Rai took refuge to Ghazi Pir who somehow convinced Banbibi that, Rai will not harm her devotee Dukhe. Ghazi gave Dukhe seven carts of precious items, while Rai presented him a good amount of wax and honey. Seko, the pet crocodile of Banbibi dropped him to his village. Later, Dhona married his daughter Champa to Dukhe, and he became the chief (Chaudhury) of the village. Dukhe propounded the stories and popularized the worship of Maa Banbibi in Sundarbans. It is believed that the idol of a small boy in the lap of Maa Banbibi is Dukhe.
According to the legends Ghazi Pir aka Bara Khan Ghazi was a Muslim saint of Sundarban. Defeated after the battle with Banbibi, Dakshin Rai fled and took refuge to Ghazi Pir in the forest. Banbibi and Shah Jungli followed Dakshin Rai to chase. Finally,
Ghazi was somehow able to convince Banbibi not to harm Dakshin Rai. In return, Ghazi Pir gave Dukhe seven carts full of precious items. He is also worshiped by the local inhabitants of Sundarban with great devotion.
Mangrove ecosystem is a very specialized environment occurring in between the terrestrial habitat and the sea in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. Sundarban is the largest delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal. Tide- dominated funnel-shaped estuary is intersected by mesh-like network of rivers, channels and creeks. The transitional habitat supports a unique variety of plant community, known as ‘mangrove’. The term ‘mangrove’ is derived from a Portuguese word ‘mangue’, which means salt tolerant plants. The Sundarban is one of the prominent examples of mangrove in the world.