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Sundarban, West Bengal Travel Guide

Sundarban is the name given to the world’s single largest block of halophytic mangrove forest. The name Sundarban has been taken from the words sunder = beautiful and Ban = forest, It may also been adopted from the name of sundari trees which are present in abundance in the forest. The forest is located in the delta basin of the confluence of Brahmaputra, Padma and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. 60 % of the forest lies in Bangladesh and the rest is in India. The whole of forest can be reached by Boats as every corner is connected by stream of water separated by land mass of about a few meters to several Kilometers in length and breadth. The area is home to now endangered Bengal Tiger and many small animals and birds. Sunderban has been enlisted as the finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature selection. The Sunderbans are is one of the most densely populated area of the world. This is the reason that half of the forest have been cut down for fuel needs etc of the populace. Other harm comes from deforestation and diversion of water channels from its main path. The Indian part of sunderbans lies in the district of North and South 24 Parganas. Sunderbans plays a big role in the economies of India and Bangladesh. It is a large source of forest wealth obtained from its produce like timber, Fuel wood, Pulpwood for various forest based industries. Apart from these other non wood based forest products are Wax, Honey, Fish, Thatching materials etc. Visit Permit: A compulsory permit is required to visit Sunderban. The permit could be had from Divisional Forest Office, Circuit House Road, and Khulana. For permission to visit Tiger Reserve obtain permission from Field Director, Sunderban Tiger Reserve, and Port Canning. Also for Sunderban Tiger reserve the permits can be had from Bagna, Canning and Sonakhali and for western region of Sunderban forest from Namkhana, Canning and Raidighi. Foreign nationals can obtain permits from The Joint Secretary (Forests), Government of West Bengal, 4Th floor, G-Block, Writer’s Building, Kolkata-700 001, and Telephone: 033 2255601 Ext: 411 / 754. How to reach: Take a suburban train from Kolkata to Canning (64 Kms), a launch service is arranged to go straight to Sunderban. By bus you can go to Raidighi (76 Kms), Najat (92 Kms), Sonakhali (100 Kms) and Namkhana (105 Kms) motorboats for Sunderbans can be hired from these spots.

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