South of Chandannagar near Sajnekhali, the Sundarbans National Park is known for hiking and trekking in the India state of West Bengal. It is a 1,330 square kilometer national park known for Bengal Tigers. And not just a few tigers, but the worlds highest concentration of tigers.
Sunderbans is one of the most unique ecosystems in this part of the world and is dominated by mangrove forests. Situated at the mouth of the Ganges, Sunderbans spreads over 54 islands and two countries (the West Bengal state in India and Bangladesh) and is a part of the world's largest delta region. Along the coast, the southern part of the forest passes into a mangrove swamp, which has numerous wild animals and crocodile-infested estuaries. It is one of the last preserves of the Royal Bengal tiger and the site of a tiger conservation project.
To reach Sundarbans National Park by air, use the airport at Dum Dum (166km) which connects to Calcutta.
To reach Sundarbans National Park by railway, use the railstation at Port Canning which is 48km way.
Note: The Sundarbans National Park is only accessible via river waterways. From Dum Dum or Canning, take a bus to one of the following river motor launch points: Namkhana, Raidighi, Sonakhali and Najat.
Here are the estimated waterway times:
From Namkhana - Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project (2.5 hours) Sagar Island (2.5 hours) Jambudwip (3.5 hours).
From Sajnekhali - Sudhanyakhali (40 minutes) Buridabri (Tiger Project Area) (5 hours) Netidhopan (3.5 hours) Holiday Island (3 hours).
From Sonakhali - Gosaba (50km / 1 hour) From Raidighi - Kalas (5 hours).
At Sajnekhali, the official gateway into the reserve, there is a Mangrove Interpretation Centre.
Note: Foreign tourists have to get a permit for entry into the park from West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation in Kolkata. Prior permission is required, which can be obtained from the Forest Officer at Khulna.
Note: In any national park known to have lions or tigers, hikers need to exercise extreme caution. It is highly recommended to us a park-approved guide prior to hiking or trekking in these regions.
Overall, Sundarbans National Park is the 2nd most popular hiking trail of all 42 hikes in India.