Sundarbans Delta is the biggest mangrove delta in the world, and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. The locals proclaims that all the tigers of Sundarbans are man eaters, due to the harsh terrain and low prey density, and that one villager had been dragged by a tiger just a couple of days before my visit. The delta is a dangerous place, full of tigers, crocodiles and snakes, which makes the lives of local people very difficult. Almost everyone knows someone who has been taken by a tiger, most people would have their own family members as victims.
And yet, despite all the scary tales, or maybe because of it, the place is enchanting!
I had gone to Sundarbans during the last week of January for a field visit, and knowing the low possibility of a tiger sighting, hadn't even bothered to carry a decent camera. Turns out, I was tempting fate. Not only did I see pug marks, and hear the roar of a tiger, I saw the actual magestic animal, for 15 minutes straight, and it was hyptonic.
There is sometime serene while you sail along the tributaries, and look at nothing but dense mangrove forests on both banks. There is something that calls for self reflection, and turns even the uber urban into nature lovers, albeit momentarily. The tress, the birds and animals, and the village people, leading a life of hardship, and refusing to give up shows you a different world altogether.
I came to Sundarbans to do a little research on the shrimp farming for my thesis, and I left with a weath of knowledge and a memory full of sights.