Sundarbans forest lies in the Khulna division In the south western part of Bangladesh, meaning "the beautiful forest". It is a virgin forest where there is no human habitation; just a few people living in boats after seeking permission. For miles and miles, the superior treetops form an unbroken canopy, while nearer to the ground, works of high and ebb-tide marked on the soil and tree trunks and the many varieties of the natural mangrove forest have much to offer to interested visitor. Here land and water meet in many novel fashions. You will wonder at the Royal Bengal Tiger swimming across the streams or the crocodiles basking on the river banks. The approach of the evening herds of deer making for the darking glades where boisterous monkeys shower Keora leaves from above make for a splendid meal for the former. For the bird watchers and wildlife lover its the perfect travel destination.
The Sundarbans covers an approximate area of 6000 sq. km. forming the largest block of littoral forests.Thousands of meandering streams, creeks, rivers and estuaries have enhanced its charm. Sundarbans meaning beautiful forest where habitat of the world famous Royal Bengal Tiger, spotted deer, crocodiles, jungle fowl, wild boar, lizards, rhesus monkey, otters, dolphins and an innumerable variety of beautiful birds. Migratory flock of siberian ducks flying over thousands of sail boats loaded with timber, golpatta (nepa pulm), fuel wood, honey, shell and fish further add to the serene majesty of the Sundarbans.
It is also the land for the ordinary holiday makers who desire to rest or wander around at will to refresh their mind and feast their eyes with the natural riches of the area.
Area: Nearly 2400 sq. miles or 6000 sq. km.
Forest limits: North-Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira districts; South - Bay of Bengal; East - Baleswar (or Haringhata) river, Perojpur, Barisal district, and West - Raimangal and Hariabhanga rivers, which partially form Bangladesh boundary with West Bengal in India.
Wild life photography including photography of the famous Royal Bengal Tiger wild life viewing, boating inside the forest wild call recordings, nature study, meeting fishermen wood-cutters and honey-collectors, peace and tranquility in the wilderness, seeing the world's largest mangrove forest and the riverine beauty.
Best visible wildlife point
Hiron Point (Nilkamal) for tiger, deer, monkey, crocodiles, birds and natural beauty.Katka for deer, tiger, crocodiles, varieties of birds and monkey morning and evening symphony of wild fowls. Vast expanse of grassy meadows running from Katka to Kachikhali (Tiger Point) provide opportunities for wild tracking. Tin Kona Island for tiger and deer. Dublar Char (Island) for fishermen. It is a beautiful island where herds of spotted deer are often seen to graze.
Means of transportation
Water transport is the only means of transport for visiting the Sundarbans from Khulna or Mongla Port. Private motor launch, speed boats, country boats as well as mechanised vessel of Mongla Port Authority might be hired for the purpose. From Dhaka visitors may travel by air, road or rocket steamer to Khulna - the gateway to the Sundarbans. Most pleasant journey from Dhaka to Morrelganj is by paddle Steamer, Rocket presenting a picturesque panorama of rural Bangladesh. Day and night-long coach / Volvo bus services by road are also available. The quickest mode is by air from Dhaka to Jessore and then drive to Mongla by car 3.50 hours journey.
Journey by Rocket Steamer to Mongla and Khulna
Minimum Journey time is 21 Hours for Morrelganj from Dhaka.
It varies depending on tides against or in favour in the river. Usually 6 to 10 hours journey by motor vessel from Mongla to Hiron Point or Katka.
Accommodation inside the forest
Hiron Point: Comfortable three-storied Rest- House of the Mongla Port Authority. Prior booking is to be made.
Katka: Forest Department Rest- House located here. Prior booking essential.
Drinking water is to be carried. Water available is saline.
Prior permission must be obtained through written application from the Divisional Forest Office advanced confirmed by iguide tours foreigners @ 5,000
Fee for commercial photography
Movie Ta.5,000.00 per role exposed
Video Ta.4,000.00 per Cassette
Still Ta. 1,000-00 per role exposed
iguide tours having 3 cruising vessel organized tailor made and package tours, the tour price quoting as per the group size of the trip.
Climate in the Sundarbans is moderate. Air is humid. Full monsoon is from June to September. The annual rainfall average between 65" and 70". During ebb-tide the forest becomes bare by 6-7 feet and at high tide (30 miles an hour) the entire territory of the forest floats on water.
Life in forest
Only means of transportation inside the forest is boat. There is no road, no trail of a path anywhere. The wood-cutters make temporary dwellings at the edge of the forest at a height of 8-10 feet for fear of wild animals - others live on boats. In the Chandpai region it is fascinating to see the nomadic fishermen (living with families on boats) catching fish with the help of trained otters. Exciting activities take place in Dublar Char in the forest where fishermen from Chittagong gather for four months (mid Oct. to mid Feb.) to catch and dry fish. But the most daring and exciting of all activities is presented by the honey-collectors who work in groups for just two months (April-May) and it is interesting to see how they locate a hive and then collect honey.
Flora and Fauna
The Sundarbans is endowed by nature with rich flora and fauna. It is a wonderful place to see or to shoot a Royal Bengal Tiger with Camera if one has the time to wait in the forest. There are a good number of tigers in the Sundarbans. Lovely spotted deer are easy to find. Besides there are a wide variety of wild life for which the Sundarbans is so famous.
Other Inforamtion for a Visit to the forest
Cholera vaccine is to be taken well in advance.
Anti-malarial, anti-diarrhoeal, insectrepellent cream, drinking water, green coconuts, medical kit, light tropical dress, thick rubber soled boots etc. are to be carried with the tourist. It will be wise to take the help of an experienced guide to make the journey fruitful.
OTHER MAIN PLACES OF INTEREST
Bagerhat: This little town is 40 km. south-east of Khulna on the northern fringes of the Sundarbans. It is a district headquarter. Bagerhat is famous for SHAIT-GUMBAD MOSQUE (60-domed) built in 1459 and shrine of the Muslim mystic Khan Jahan Ali.
Tourist season & shooting
Best time to visit the Sundarbans is from November to March. Exciting honey collection season is during April-May and Puja ceremony ( Rash mela) at Dubla island in the 1st week or middle of November.