A visit to Sunderbans gave me an opportunity to see some of the most extraordinary mangrove forests in the world. It is one of the UNESCO recognised World Heritage Sites and is the largest deltaic region in the world. about 40% of Sunderbans (roughly 9600 sq.kms) lies in the Indian State of West Bengal and the remaining 60% in Bangladesh.
A 3 hour picturesque ride took us from Calcutta's bustling Howrah station to Gaokhali where we boarded the boat MV Sundari. The boat ride of about 1 hour itself was a real thrill through the Matla river . the photo shows Avicennia Marina - one of the most common mangrove species found even in the Godrej mangroves at Vikhroli (Bombay). We reach our resort at Bali9 Island and check into Sunderbans Jungle Camp run by Help tourism. More of this in the Acknowledgement & Information section of this blog. all transport in Sunderbans is by boat & there was not a single motor vehicle to be seen on land - no tar roads either. what a pleasant change from the rest of the world!
This is the Brugheira species One of the many intricate water channels that you weave your way around
More of Avicennia marina