Photo story: The Sundarbans

The Sundarban National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site ( declared  in 1987).  It is a biosphere reserve, national park and tiger reserve with a rich mangrove ecosystem. It is a large delta spread across 40,000 sq. km between India and Bangladesh.

In 1875 under the Forest Act, 1865 (Act VIII of 1865)  a large part of these forests were declared as “reserved”. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1977 and established as a national park on 4th May, 1984. In 1978, Sundarbans was declared a national park, and in 1973, they were declared a tiger reserve under Project Tiger.

The name Sundarban is derived from Sundari trees, which are dominant in this mangrove area. Other trees are Golpati, Champa, Dhundul, Genwa and Hatal. The mangrove trees standing on the mudflats are visible during low tides, and submerged in high tide. To survive they have developed breathing roots, which grow upwards and remain above water level in high tides so that they can breathe. To replenish the decreasing number of Sundari trees, saplings of these trees are being planted.

The occupation of the local people are among others fishing, catching crabs and honey hunting. For this a part of their lives are spent on boats. They also grow paddy in suitable areas and are also engaged in household rearing of goats and sheep.

The Sundarban with its vegetation, flora and fauna makes it mysterious and eluding at the same time. 

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