Located about 320 km. south-west of Dhaka and spread over an area of about 60000 sq,
km of deltaic swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna, the Sundarbans is the world’s biggest mangrove forest – the home of the Royal Bengal tiger.
These dense mangrove forests are criss-crossed by a network of rivers and creeks.
Here, tourists find tides flowing in two directions in the same
creek and often tigers swimming across a river or huge crocodiles
basking in the
sun. Other wildlife of the region include the cheetahs, spotted deer, monkeys, pythons,
wild bears and hyeanas. The forest is accessible by river from Khulna or Mongla.
There are rest-houses for visitors to stay and enjoy the unspoiled beauty and splendour of the forest.
UNESCO has decleared the Sundarban a
world heritage site that it offers splendid opportunities for tourism.
The main tourist spots inside the Sundarban include Hiron Point (Nilkamal)
, Katka and Tin Kona island. These places offer the best vantage points for watching tigers, deer, monkeys, crocodiles and birds. Another major attraction inside the Sundarban is Dublachar (island),
a fishing village. Herds of spotted deer often come to graze here.
Water transport is the only means of communication within the Sundarban from Khulna or Mongla port.
Private motor launches, speedboats, country boats as well as mechanised vessels of Mongla Port Authority offer regular services on these routes. From Dhaka to Khulna the most pleasent journey is by paddle steamer (Rocket) that offers visitors a picturesque panorama of rural Bangladesh. Day and night coach services by road are also available.
The quickest mode is of course by air from Dhaka to Jessore and then to Khulna by road.
Permission from the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Khulna is required to visit the forest.
It is advised that cholera vaccines are taken well in advance. Tourists are also advised to carry
supplies of anti-malarial and anti-diarrhoeal medicines, insectrepellent cream, drinking water,
green coconut, medical kit, light tropical dress and thick rubber soled boots.
It will be wise to take the help of an experienced guide for a truly enjoyable journey.