The land where the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger reigns supreme, Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal is one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India. Located towards the the southeast of Kolkata in the South 24 Parganas district, Sunderbans is the largest estuarine sanctuary in the world. We offer a detailed travel guide on how to reach the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve.
Reaching Sunderbans by Air: The nearest airport to Sunderbans is the Netaji Subhash International Airport in Kolkata, which is located nearly 112 kilometers from the tiger reserve. Regular flights are available to reach Kolkata from other Indian cities as well as from major international destinations. Once you reach Kolkata, take a bus up to Basanti or Sonakhali, wherefrom you can reach Sunderbans by boat.
Reaching Sunderbans by Train: If you wish to take the rail route to reach Sunderbans, you have to board the trains that go from Kolkata to Canning Port, which is the closest railhead to the sanctuary. Kolkata features excellent rail connections with all major cities in India. Upon reaching Canning Port, travel to Basanti or Sonakhali and thereafter take the boat ride to Sunderbans.
Reaching Sunderbans by Road: You can easily aproach Sunderbans by roadways from Kolkata, the nearest city. Travel by road to Namkhana, Raidighi, Sonakhali or Najat, wherefrom you can proceed by motorboats through the sanctuary.
Reaching Sunderbans By Water: The only way to reach the interiors of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve is through waterways. Motorboats are available regularly to reach Sunderbans from Namkhana, Raidighi, Sonakhali and Najat.
The approximate time taken to travel from these embarkation points to reach various points within Sunderbans is as follows:
1. From Namkhana: Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project – 2.5 hours; Sagar Island – 2.5 hours; Jambudwip – 3.5 hours.
2. From Sajnekhali: Sudhanyakhali – 40 minutes; Holiday Island – 3 hours; Netidhopari – 3.5 hours; Buridabri in the Tiger Project Area – 5 hours.
3. From Sonakhali: Gosaba – 1 hour.
4. From Raidighi: Kalas – 5 hours.