In local language Sunderban means Sunder = beautiful ban = jungle .Poetically an artist may imagine it as a beautiful lady and the name is worth.This trip has corrected lot of misconception of mine .I was ashamed of being unaware of so many things for which I should be actually proud of.My state has so many things ,lot of diversification ,nature’s creation ..
You will be shocked to know that sunderban contains
total geographical area of 2585 km2 with 1437.4 km2 consisting of populated areas and forest covering 1474 km2 .The present Sundarban National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977.Indian side of Sundarbans measuring around 4000 sq. kms consists of 102 islands just 16 short of the number of islands in the city of Venice. Out of 102 islands of Indian sundarbans, 54 are inhabitated and 48 are forested. Still Indian Sundarban is around 10 times bigger than the city of Venice.
This is declared as UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed in 1987.
This place owns unique variation of bio diversity including flora and fauna .People normally come here to expect to see Royal Bengal tiger ,crocodile along with deer ,monkey ,snake ,monitor lizards but there are hardly few who looks at the dense forest which has its own beauty ,mangrove forest with trees like sundari,gerua,dhundhol,Goran,golpata,keora.
There are mangroves which are viviparous i.e the seed gives birth to the new plant being connected to the parent tree when it has roots which can catch hold of the soil and connect to it immediately after seperation from the parent tree.This is a type of evolution they have achieved to exist in a land with soil water where 6 hours a day the land faces high tide and rest 6 hours it faces low tide.Just think ! How they have evoluted .Even human babies forms in a mother womb like this and takes birth from her mother’s body..
Roots of sundari have a different respiration proces.As they hardly get oxygen from salt water .They have evoluted and made there roots hard and spiky and moved to opposite direction outward water / soil i.e towards sky and there are pores to breath.Can you imagine ?Nature is tuly a magician…
As far as wildlife is concern this is home to Royal Bengal Tiger ,saltwater crocodile,spotted deer,gangetic dolphin ,pacific shark ,monkey,monitor lizard.As per the last count only 103 Royal Bengal tigers are left so chances of spotting tigers are truly rare and can be seen only if you are truly lucky because maximum boats will ride you through the main river .They come near to main river only at very early morning or at the time of sunset to drink water / swim to cross river ..It’s their own territory and I was shocked and surprised how tourists even expect to see a tiger while boats are passing through the main river .Just think about probability of spotting a single tiger out of 103 in a wide region like 2585 km2 unless some body is lucky like a lottery buyer who becomes 1st prize owner whenever he buys one 🙂
There are watch towers where from people can see far into jungles .Sweet water ponds are made to attract wild animals to drink water ..We had visited 2 watch towers like Dobanki and Sudhanyakhali .Entire waterbody and forest comes under Sunderban National Park .I was wondering how tough it will be for official of forest department to manage this locations ,fencing out,counting ,treating ,even tracking the routes when there is water everywhere and all places look same ..
We spent an entire day in waterboat and visited the water routes .I can remember the sign boards writing ‘Pirkhali1′ ,’Pirkhali2′,’Bonbibir Bharani’ etc.The place has erased all my memories where from I came to visit this place .We have got very nice co-passenger a family was there where a boy was very couragous and telling his family that he would like to have tiger chowmein instead of chicken chowmein and every body was laughing at .A geographer was with us from Germany who was noting down everything in a journal and clicking images ,must be making his papers based on bio diversification / nature of river 🙂
We stayed in mud cottage ,enjoyed some local programme,folk music.We spent night in a island called ‘Sukumari’ .We enjoyed food made by local people .They are very homely and courteous and welcomed us as tourism is one of the important business here.Its truly tough to survive and pass daily life there .We have provision of putting AC on whenever temperature goes beyond 30 but these people work in scorching heat,gets only soiled water to drink and do everything .Their occupations are fishing,collecting honey ,getting crabs .Every one takes high risk everyday as they have to enter dense forest to do all.Outsiders are just worried about tiger but there are lot of venomous snakes,amphibians,reptiles ,crocodiles .I have seen lots of places where red clothes are tied with tree stems marking there are danger inside so that others enter with safety measures only .But only blessing they get is the natural beauty .You will forget everything when you will sit in the bank of river or in the boat and check out water ,how its flowing silently how its effected in low tide / high tide.
This trip made me calm ,composed had given me a glimpse of power possessed by nature / God.It made me patient ,adjusting ,sacrificing by thinking how people are surviving everyday taking part in a battle called ‘life’.It made me realised that our life is like a river which starts as a small from a big glacier / mountain like our protective parents ,go on ,creates memories as compared to places ,takes turn ,makes its own way ,some times crushes hard stones / flows with it,forms / destroys relation the rivers forms and destroys new islands and ultimately gets into infinite occean the way our spirit gets merged into the infinite power pool after death..