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A Weekend in the Wilderness of the Sundarbans


The Sundarbans is where the lines between civilisation and forest laws merge. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the deadliest Royal Bengal Tigers, who are generally sighted in the depths of mangrove forests. If you're looking to explore the largest delta basin in the world and want to get up close and personal with the fierce felines of Bengal, then here's the itinerary you can follow.

Explore the wild at the Sundarbans

Photo of Sundarbans by Sonal Agarwal

The itinerary

Day 1

Kolkata - Godkali - Gosaba - Reach Eco Village in Satjelia

The trip to the Sunderbans begins from Godkhali Ferry Ghat, which is approximately 84 km from Kolkata. From Godhkali, take a ferry ride to Gosaba, which is one of the few market areas on the island. From there, shift to another boat that will take you to Eco Village located in Satjelia.

Go for a hand boat ride

A hand boat ride amid the wilderness!

Photo of A Weekend in the Wilderness of the Sundarbans by Sonal Agarwal

After reaching the Eco Village, we stepped into a country boat and spotted rare species of migratory birds. Sunderbans is a paradise for all wildlife photographers and bird watchers. On the boat ride, soak in the ever-changing landscape and the serene sunset of the delta. There will be enough opportunities to get that stunning shot for your Instagram feed.

Enjoy Baul music

Spend the rest of the evening listening to traditional Baul Gaan (music) performed by locally trained musicians, followed by dinner.


End your day with a sumptuous array of traditional Bengali dishes like fish curry with steamed rice and beguni (fried eggplant).

Leave for the Tiger Reserve

Nothing will prepare you for the sight of the Royal Bengal tiger.

Photo of A Weekend in the Wilderness of the Sundarbans by Sonal Agarwal

Opening your eyes to misty mornings of the Sunderbans is just like experiencing The Jungle Book in real life. The second day is all about the Royal Bengal tigers, who, if you are lucky, could appear out of nowhere and then disappear.

Ferry ride into the reserve

Cruise into the creeks of the Tiger Reserve. Take your time to explore the creeks of Pirkhali, Sarak Khali and Gazikhali, where tigers are usually spotted.

Head to the watch towers

Spot species in their natural habitat

Photo of Sajnekhali Watch Tower, West Bengal, India by Sonal Agarwal

Get ready to be awestruck by these beasts of the wild

Photo of Sajnekhali Watch Tower, West Bengal, India by Sonal Agarwal

Apart from tigers, the reserve is also home to a variety of rich fauna that you can spot while on your way to the three watchtowers, namely Sajnekhali, Sudhanyakhali and Dobanki. Some of the commonly spotted animals here are macaques, Indian grey mongoose and leopard cats.

Learn all about the Sundari trees

Beautiful dusk colours that paint the sky in magic

Photo of Mangrove Interpretation Centre, West Bengal, India by Sonal Agarwal

Learn all about the mangrove forest at the Mangrove Interpretation Centre. The Sundarbans got its name from the Sundari trees (a rare mangrove species).

This is an eye-opener for city dwellers as you'll be told about the importance of reptiles like turtles and crocodiles in the ecosystem and how they are on the verge of extinction.

Meet the locals

Once back from safari, walk to nearby villages and take a peek into the lives of locals here. Get to meet the honey collectors, fishermen and paddy farmers here.

Get a peek into the local culture

Photo of Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project, Plot 6Th Portion, West Bengal, India by Sonal Agarwal

Breakfast and lunch are served on the ferry itself.

Day 3

Satjelia - Gosaba - Godkhali - Kolkata

Nights here are entirely different from cities, full of mystery and fear. After checking out from Satjelia, we head towards Gosaba, where lies the Hamilton Bungalow and Rabindranath Tagore Bungalow. It is said to have been the residence of Tagore for a while.

Entrance fee:

There is a minimal amount of fee that needs to be paid to get access to the forest area from the forest department. This fee is generally included in the package of the ferry ride you choose. They charge Rs 60 for Indians, Rs 200 for foreigners and Rs 400 per boat.

Opening hours:

The Sunderbans National Park only offers boat safaris, which mostly take place from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm. The forest area is open to travellers between 7.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Boats are not allowed to move in the area after 6.00 pm.

Closed on:

The place is open throughout the year.

When to go:

The best time to visit the Sundarbans depends on what you want to explore. The chances of sighting a Royal Bengal tiger are higher when the temperature rises in September and March. However, if you wish to enjoy the foggy morning with thousands of migratory birds flying around, then winter is the best time to visit the place. It is suggested to avoid the monsoon months as it can get too risky for tourists to sail.


Gosaba is one of the few rare places in the Sunderbans that has accommodation facility for travellers. Tour de Sundarban- Eco Village is one such place in the area. It provides packages worth Rs 4,200 per person, which includes safari, food and other activities. It's a rustic looking place that runs on solar power, filled with basic amenities.


Flight from Delhi to Kolkata:

Rs 5,000

A one-way ticket on local transport:

The local buses will only drop you at Gadkhali, which is just 6 km from Godkhali Ferry Point. The bus from BBD Bagh to Gadkhali costs Rs 77 one way.

Taxi tariff:

Taxi tariff can range from Rs 1,000- Rs 1,200

Hotel stay in Gosaba:

Rs 3,000 (approximately)


Meals are generally included in the safari package.

A trip to the Sundarbans is like taking a roller-coaster ride into the world of unknown and unexplored. So, start planning your trip to this abode of Royal Bengal tigers already!

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Puzzled about what should be next on your travel list? Check out Kitkat Travel Breaks on Tripoto here!

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