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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Sunderbans, India and the Royal Bengal Tiger - Page 2

Written by Shreya Das
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While official documents report the presence of a diverse fauna in the region including the crocodile, fishing cats, wild boars, common grey mongooses, foxes, jungle cats, flying foxes, pangolins, spotted deer and the Royal Bengal Tiger, these are a rare view in reality. What you can easily spot, however, near the watch towers are the common macaques in abundance, occasionally a deer drinking water from fresh water ponds man made near the watch towers and some turtles and crocodiles in the hatchery at Sajnekhali Mangrove Interpretation Centre.


What you Should not Miss

Having listed the usual stuff that a tourist will witness in Sunderbans, it is time we recognize those very subtle but premium experiences that come free of cost with the Sunderbans trip and must not be missed.


Bird Watching

You may not be a bird watcher or may have little knowledge about them, however, this versatile ecosystem is home to many unique and colorful birds including the Brownwinged Kingfisher, the Grey Headed Lapwing, the Pallas's Fish Eagle, the Lesser Adjutant, the Mangrove Whistler, the Buffy Fish Owl, the Masked Finfoot, or the Ruddy Kingfisher. A pair of binoculars and a guide book for bird watching ("The Sundarbans Inheritance" by Bikram Grewal, Bittu Sahgal and Sumit Sen) may be handy.



Night Halt in Vessel M. V Chitrarekha

Cruising in M.V Chitrarekha (WBTDC) is a unique experience in itself. Its distinct look and appeal makes it stand out amongst the other private cruises in Sunderbans. While the more expensive private cruises may sell privacy and customized services, accommodation in M.V Chitrarekha is primarily shared with 4 berths in each coup in the middle deck of the ship with only a couple of private coups available for higher rents. The look and ambience within M.V Chitrarekha, feels more like a real mid-sized ship and not like a boat unlike other private cruises. So, if you are the type of tourist who prefers government owned circuit houses and forest bungalows over exquisite resorts, this is the cruise you may want to be in. For me the most exciting part was when I accidentally woke up a little too early in the morning, when it was still dark and all fellow passengers and crew members were fast asleep. The only sources of light were those lit on the passage-cumdeck outside our berth. Perching on the railing, I gazed into the endless, moist and mysterious dark ahead of me. All I could see was the water hitting the sides of the ship and the dying ripples. This fascinating ambience reminded me of Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean.



Well, this is a very special one, close to my heart. All what one needs to do is sit on the uppermost deck of the ship and gaze patiently at the vast starlit sky. And if the weather is in your favor and you have a clear, cloudless view, it's a guarantee that you will have one of the most amazing experience ever. You will realize how beautiful this universe is with millions and millions of stars sparkling back at you. You will discover interesting constellation shapes and alignment which are otherwise not visible in the regular urban sky. Often forgotten and ignored, stargazing is certainly an exquisite experience and one of the highlights of my trip.




© Shreya Das is a transportation engineer by profession and a Blogger by passion. She frequently makes short trips with friends and loves to script down her experiences to share with others. She is also a photography enthusiast, painter and poet and loves to pursue this in her leisure time. You can also follow her on her personal blog

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Last modified on Friday, 01 May 2015

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