Eco Tours

SUNDARBAN TOURS (Active Learning Group Excursions)    
Active Learning Group Excursions    
     
     
ABOUT SUNDARBAN MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM    
     

Sundarban National Park is the largest single tract mangrove ecosystem in the world and also the largest tiger reserve in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this ecosystem is home to 350 species of plants,including 34 species of Mangroves, 250 species of fishes, 170 recorded species of birds, 55 species of reptilians and 58 species of mammals,including the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger.

 

It is one of the most important mangrove ecosystems in the world, apart from being the largest single tract mangrove forest, that support a total of 64 species of plants adapt to withstand the estuarine conditions and daily saline tidal inundation. 34 species of true mangroves are found in Sundarban National Park, which accounts for 49% percent of globally recorded true mangrove species.

 

Mangrove species are nature’s true marvels due to their marvelous evolution to survive in saline water conditions. To fight the hostile conditions which are unfit for normal plant species, that require low alkaline soil and sweet water to flourish, the mangroves evolved every aspect of their life cycle and system to adapt to such conditions. Some of the visual adaptive evolutions of such plant species are the development of aerial roots or pnuematophores to draw oxygen from air, specialized vivaparous reproduction such as that of Bruguiera gynorrhiza, production of seeds with floatation devices, super effective ultrafiltration of salt at the root level, storage of excess salt on leaves (Bruguiera ssp., Ceriops spp., Sonneratia spp. and Rhizophora spp etc) for later shedding, some tolerate high concentration in their sap and later release them through specialized salt glands on the leaf surface (Avicennia spp., Acanthus spp. and Aegiceras spp.), all mangrove species store water in their leaves to evaporate heat, and all mangrove plants withstand the high salinity of water and atmospheric heat through a evaporation rate more than twice that of normal plants

 

Major mangrove species found in the National Park are the following: Genwa (Excoecaria agallocha), Goran (Ceriops decandra), Garjan (Rhizophora spp.), Khalsi (Aegiceras corniculatu), Kakra (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza), Passur (Xylocarpus mekongesis), Keora (Sonneratia apetala), Golpata (Nypa fruticans), Hetal (Phoenix paludosa), Dhundul (Xylocarpus granatum) and Sundari (Heritiera fomes).

 
     
WILDLIFE DIVERSITY    

Mangrove ecosystems represent a constant transitory effect from marine to freshwater to terrestrial systems, this delta is a critical habitat for numerous species of fish, sharks, crabs, shrimps, octopus, squids and other crustaceans that feed, take shelter and reproduce within the tangled mass of mangrove roots called pneumatophores. Some of the major wildlife species found in Sundarban National Park, including the endangered species are:

 

QUICK FACTS
Core Area 1330 sq km
Buffer Area 1255 sq km
Total Area 2585 sq. km
Longitude 88°05' & 89°10' East
Latitude 21°32' & 22°40' North
Altitude 5.8 m to 6.1 m (M.S.L.)
Rainfall Average 1920.30 mm
Temperature Min 20°C Max 33.8°C
Seasons October - May
 

Mammals: Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, barking deer, Gangetic Dolphins, Irrawady Dolphins, Leopard Cat, Golden Cat, Marbled Cat, Fishing Cat, Wild boar, Porcupine, Rhesus monkey, Palm civet, civet cat etc.

 

 

Birds: 7 types of Kingfishers, Sandpiper, Curlew, Whimbrel, Dundil, Common Jungle Fowl, Heron,Egrets, Osprey, Brahminy Kite, White Bellied Fishing Eagle, Pariah Kite, Crested Serpent Eagle etc.

 

 

Reptiles: Saltwater Crocodile, King Cobra, Common Krait, Russells Viper, Salvator Lizard, River Terrapin, Olive Ridley, Green Sea Turtle, Hawkbill Turtle.

 

 
Crustaceans: Horseshoe Crab, Hermit Crab, Giant Mud Crab, Tree Crab, Ghost Crab, Fiddler Crab, Yellow Fiddler Crab, Red Fiddler Crab, Swimming Crab, Prawns, Shrimps etc  
     
     
ECOLOGICAL EXCURSION PROGRAM [3 Days]    
     
Overview: This shorter itinerary is designed to offer a glimpse into the Sundarban Mangrove ecosystem –enriched
with a treasure trove of wildlife and vistas. This tour is envisaged to cover all watchtowers and sighting areas withinand peripherial to the Sajnekhali Wildlife Sanctuary. To understand the nature of Man-Animal conflict, a village tour to meet the families of animal attack survivors, as well as to observe difficult efforts of conserving horseshoe crab will be organized. This is your true encounter with the almost the entire ecological spectrum of Sundarban National Park.
 
     
D1: KOLKATA – SUNDARBAN [L|D]  

Departure from Kolkata early in the morning. After 3hrs drive through the verdant rural Bengal, arrive at Godhkhali Jetty for boarding motor boat for transfer to your hotel/resort located on the opposite bank of the Sajnekhali Wilidlife Sanctuary. Enroute lunch will be served and as the boat cruises through the rivers Hogil, Durgaduani and Gomor, keep an eye on the shoreline for a chance encounter with a Pied Kingfisher or a White Bellied Fishing Eagle or Sandpipers.Upon arrival at hotel/resort, proceed to check-in and after relaxation proceed to visit the Sajnekhali Watchtower and Mangrove Interpretation Centre. After the visit, cruise onto the avian hotspot of Jothirampur on the Gomdi River. After the visit, return to hotel/resort and after dinner, overnight in Sundarban.

 

 
     
D2: SUNDARBAN [B|L|D]  

Morning tea will be served early in the morning. Later embark the boat for a visit to the Sudhannyakhali Watchtower,famous for maximum possibility of wildlife sighting. Enroute enjoy breakfast. Continue cruising through the channels and creeks to the heartland of tiger country. This scenic cruise will unfold you layers of mysteries of Sundarban mangrove forests as you pass through Sundarkhali, Andharmanik, Gazikhali and Choragazikhali to arrival at Panchmukhani – a
vast watery meeting spot of five rivers. Continue onto Netidhopani Watchtower. Netidhopani was an ancient habited island with remnants of a 400 years old temple visible from the watchtower. After the visit to Netidhopani, return to boat and continue cruising towards Dobanki Watch Tower. Enroute enjoy hot lunch. Upon arrival at Do Banki, proceed for a long canopy walk that enhances the chance of spotting wildlife. Return to hotel/resort and after refreshing enjoy a glimpse of the rustic theatrical performance called “Banbibi’r Pala” (literally meaning – “Ode of the Lady of the Forest) – that depicts the hostile coexistence between the habited and wild Sundarban. After dinner, overnight in Sundarban.

 

 
D3: SUNDARBAN [B|L]  
After breakfast, proceed to visit a village located adjuscent to a mudflat. Upon arrival visit the mudflat. Later continue onto the village to observe horseshoe crab conservation efforts and meeting with the survivors of tiger attack. Also understand the benefits of social forestry at the village. After the visit, return to the boat and continue cruising towards Godkhali Jerry. Enroute enjoy lunch and upon arrival at Godhkali, proceed to board vehicle for return to Kolkata .  
     
 
 
 
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