A mystic land unique in every sense of the world – the mangrove wilderness in the delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal , where one can hear the symphony of furious waves splashing on the delta and the roar of Royal Bengal Tigers , the gigantic crocodile waiting patiently on the banks of the river & where you will have the locals worshiping the tiger as God Dakhin Rai – all these and much more is Sunderban National Park for you .
Set amidst the hinterland of Sundarbans, adjacent to a river, sits the resort of Dakhin Rai Nature Camp. A comfortable 3 hour drive from the city of Kolkata takes you into the heart of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage destination, Sundarbans. The landscape is so different with waterways and canals, safaris by boat and the thrill of watching wildlife and birds on the banks covered in dense forests but completely untouched by humans.
Dakhin Rai Nature Camp is an eco friendly resort with emphasis on local and sustainable means. The profits from this resort go to helping fund the projects of an NGO which include a rural primary school. The resort has a choice of mud huts, tents and rooms with modern amenities.
A butterfly garden where over 22 different kinds of butterflies can be seen is a delight for everyone. Photographers love the chance to be able to capture the butterflies in their natural setting while sitting out on the verandah of a cottage. The river in front of the resort is a source of unending interest, sit or walk along the private jetty, watch out for mud skippers in the marshy banks, colourful one clawed crabs scuttle about. The water changes colour with the mood of the day. Full moon nights and moonlight turn the place into a fairy tale. The experience can only be felt being there in the midst of the amazing ambiance of this beautiful land in the far end of West Bengal.
There are ponds within the property with fish. Guests can also try their hand and catch their own fish if they wish. Organic vegetables are all grown and used for meals from the resorts own gardens. Hens are also kept to provide fresh eggs. All the food is organic and cooked traditionally in clay chulhas/oven over wood fire.
The most popular aspect of the entire experience is the boat ride along the rivers surrounded by dense mangrove forest. A trained guide is mandatory while on a day long safari. The wildlife and flora fauna are as diverse as can be. One can expect to see crocodiles, deer, wild boar, forest hens, monitor lizards, turtles, otters and the King of them all, the Royal Bengal Tiger. Birds are a delight to those interested, there are many varieties of kingfisher, herons, egret, the Brahminy Kite is found here as are migratory birds and ducks that are seen every year.
Laze away on the boat absorbing the wild raw beauty of the Sundarbans delta. Eating lunch cooked on the boat is a lovely experience. If you are lucky , you may find local fishing boat and convince them to share some of their fresh catch of the day. During winters, there is a bonfire every evening at the resort, cultural shows can be arranged too. Village walks, getting a close up look at the life of the people there.
Sunderban is a lifetime experience – a place where one can just feel the unique, calm and virgin nature and meditate.
Best Time to visit:
September to March is the best months to visit Sundarbans, the winters being the most pleasant period in the area. Summers could be quite hot and send the temperature shooting up, but are an ideal time to visit the wildlife sanctuary.
How to reach:
The nearest rail head is at Canning, 48 kms away. The nearest town is Gosaba, 50 kms away. Sundarbans is accessible only by river waterways. From Kolkata there are suburban train to Canning and road transport to Namkhana, Raidighi, Sonakhali and Najat from where Motor launch services are available for Sundarbans.
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