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By visiting the Sundarbans, you contribute to their preservation

30 January, 2021 16:58:38
By visiting the Sundarbans, you contribute to their preservation

As of now, the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Limited (WBTDCL) is running a one night-two day and two night-three day package tours of the Sundarbans, intended not merely to give tourists an idea of the expanse and beauty of these mangrove forests, but also to inculcate in them a sense of how essential it is that they be preserved and conserved.

The cruises, according to early reports, have become fairly popular among tourists, which is a sign of hope for the world’s largest single block of tidal mangrove forests, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The Sunderbans, covering an area of 9,629 sq km across Bangladesh and West Bengal,  are intersected by “a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats, and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests”. These forests have become home to a wide variety of wildlife, and given birth to several geographical formations, “including beaches, estuaries, permanent and semi-permanent swamps, tidal flats, tidal creeks, coastal dunes, back dunes and levees”. 

Other than the mangrove tree species, almost 200 additional plant species, more than 400 species of fish, over 300 species of birds, 35 species of reptiles, 42 species of mammals and countless other species have made their home here. Some of the more notable resident wildlife species include water fowl, heron, pelican, spotted deer, rhesus macaques, wild boar, tigers, water monitor lizards, fishing cats, otters, olive ridley turtles, crocodiles, batagur terrapins, and migratory birds.

All of which are more than enough to attract tourists, but the other aspect of the Sundarbans is that they provide a crucial buffer against the tropical cyclones that are common in this part of the world. In fact, they have often been called “a natural safeguard...for nearly 40 million people”.

When Cyclone Amphan hit West Bengal in May last year, the one thing that protected Kolkata and its surrounding areas from utter devastation was the buffer created by the Sundarbans, which absorbed the initial blow. Similarly, it protected the state against earlier cyclones such as Phani and Bulbul. Thanks to global warming, experts predict that the intensity of tropical cyclones forming over the Bay of Bengal will continue to increase, in which case, the existence of the Sundarbans assumes vital importance when it comes to our survival.

The more you visit the region, the more you will realise what a treasure trove it is for all of us, and the more you will indirectly fund its preservation. And you need not limit yourself to just a cruise either, since the beautiful Matla Tourism Property (earlier Sajnekhali Tourist Lodge) offers plentiful and high-quality accommodation, where you can take all the sights and sounds of this unique creation of nature, unlike any other in the world.

For those wishing to take the cruise, the entire tour has been designed strictly keeping all Covid protocol in mind. Should you wish to cancel the package tour after booking, do keep the following in mind:

1. 15 days and earlier, excluding the date of journey - 40 percent upon package rate
2. Between 15 and 7 days earlier, excluding the date of journey - 60 percent upon package rate
3. Less than 7 days - no refund

For more information, contact

West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Ltd
DG Block, Sector-II, Salt Lake
Kolkata 700091
Phone: (033) 2358 5189, Fax: 2359 8292

Story Tag:
  • WBTDCL cruises, Sundarbans

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