Sundarban (Tiger Reserve) Tour

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While staying in Kolkata at the homestay Crazy Wanderers - the owner of this homestay organized a trip to Sundarbans. For those of you who don't know what Sundarbans is - it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the worlds largest mangrove forest. I went with a group of backpackers who were interested in experiencing something that not many others get an opportunity to see. It was a two night and three day adventure that immersed us in a unique culture. Travel with a purpose - all proceeds of the trip go the an orphanage situated in this local village. The land lies within the vast delta of the Bay of Bengal. The forest covers a vast 10,000 square kilometers. It is the home of the Royal Bengal Tigers and is known as the largest mangrove forest. It is also home to numerous other animals including crocodiles, kingfisher birds, storks, cranes, wild boars, civet cats, monitor lizards as well as the rare Irrawaddy dolphin - all of which you have an opportunity to see on the boat that is provided. The Royal Bengali is an endangered species and protecting the tiger means keeping its home intact and functioning in a natural way. The journey began in Kolkata early in the morning. After three and a half hours we reached Godkhali - the end of the road. From this point onwards we were completely disconnected from all sources of technology and communication.. into the wild as it were. A large breakfast was provided and after eating we took a boat to the island of Pakhiralaya. On this island there was no electricity or cars to be found. This remote area is home to local honey collectors and fisherman situated beside the Vidya river. It is located directly on the border of Bangladesh. The eco-cottage where we stayed was located amongst the homes of honey collectors and fisherman. The days were spent exploring the remote village, meeting families as well as victims of tiger attacks, and cruising along the Bay of Bengal sighting all of the different species of this area. The boat that is provided has no engine which helps us spot some of the 248 different varieties of birds that make up this area. There is also an engine boat provided which took us through the jungle. We were given the opportunity to visit three different watch towers which gave us a remarkable view of the land and animals. The meals consisted of delicious organic, and local foods. We were given the opportunity to try the local Tribal drink known as "Haria" which was very delicious. After our meals were finished the locals had organized a night of traditional music around the bonfire. The music that was played is known as Baul music which is famous Bengali folk music. After the night of music was finished we sat under a sky full of stars - with not a noise in the distance and a remote view which made it all the more beautiful. The sleep was comfortable and a proper bed and mosquito net was provided. For those who are interested the tour guide can be contacted at travel@crazywanderers.com