Nestled in the Ganges Delta in West Bengal, Sundarbans National Park is a sprawling UNESCO World Heritage site spanning 10,000 kilometres. It is home to the world’s largest mangrove forest area and the rare and beautiful Royal Bengal tiger, though chances of spotting this elusive creature are basically non-existent despite the park hosting the single largest tiger population in the world - around 400 of them to be exact.
Additionally, the region is home to a myriad of reptiles, aquatic mammals, and incredible birdlife. Watch out for rarely seen inhabitants such as Javan rhinos, Indian muntjac, swamp deer, and water buffalo. Bird varieties include the Asian openbill stork, white-collared kingfisher, and greater adjutant. The terrain throughout the National Park is wild and unsullied and is best explored by boat over three or four days, if you’re feeling adventurous. The complex waterways are constantly being reformed by erosion, cyclones, and tidal shifts. You can also trek through the mud flats (Chargheri Char) or through the jungle and along the coast. People watching along the myriad waterways is incredible too as you see villages and hamlets living off the land.
At the right time of year (between December and February), visitors can combine a trip to the Sundarbans National Park with the Swatch of No Ground, a deep-water canyon where whale watching and dolphin watching opportunities can be particularly rewarding. It is also possible to travel by river to or from Kolkata.