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Sunderbans Tiger Reserve

The world's largest delta and mangrove swamp - Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal is formed by the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna. Sprawled over an area of 2,585 sq. km, Sunderbans is the largest estuarine sanctuary in the world, and home to some of India's most interesting wildlife.

The littoral forest at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal marks the only ecological habitat of the tiger of its kind not only in India, but also in the world except in Bangladesh. The forests at Sunderbans house a wide variety of trees typically thriving in estuarine conditions of high salinity, lack of soil erosion and regular inundation by high tides. The tidal forms and mangrove forests in Sunderbans Tiger Reserve provide habitats suitable for animals inhabiting tidal swamp areas. Several aquatic and semi-aquatic animals inhabit these forests and their life-systems are inter-related with the animals inhabiting the land areas.

Sprawled over a vast expanse of densely forested islands and saline water bodies, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal is home to an enchanting variety of Wild animals including spotted deer, wild pigs, monkeys, herons, kingfishers, white bellied eagles and about 270 Royal Bengal Tigers. The tigers of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal are known to be mostly man-eaters. The uniqueness of the habitat and the lack of suitable prey are believed to have contributed to such unique behavioral trends of Sunderbans tiger. The man-eating trait is considered to have been hereditarily acquired over a period of generations in the process of consumption of saline water.

The forests at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve also provide habitations to the Estuarine Crocodile, Salvator Lizard (Water Monitor), River Terrapin and Horse Shoe or King Crab. Endangered marine turtles like Olive Ridley, Green Turtle and Hawk's Bill Turtles are also found here. A number of Trans-Himalayan migratory birds can also be spotted at Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal.

Accessibility

West Bengal's state capital - Kolkata lies merely 131 km from Sunderbans, and is well connected with important places within India as well as abroad.

The nearest railhead and road head to Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is at Port Canning, which is connected to Kolkata by train.