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Old 4th March 2021, 11:25   #1
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Default The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc1203denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9564denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_00712denoiseaidenoise.jpg


Since the beginning of time, the largest mangrove forest in the world has been glorified with the narratives of the legendary big cat. Sunderbans & the Royal bengal Tiger have thus almost formed a philial bond which has been instrumental in the protection of one of the last stretches of greenery that's impenetrable by human beings. I fell in love with the mangrove forest way back in 2006 when I read 'The Hungry Tide' by Amitav Ghosh. Till this day, I have repeatedly gone back to this vast green retreat, amazed by a landscape that gets sculpted twice a day with the flow of ebb and tide.
February 2021 was no different as we took on another 'pilgrimage' to the Sunderban National Park & Tiger Reserve.

The plan was something like this -

Day 1 -
Start from Kolkata at 4am and drive down to Gadkhali Ferry Ghat (90+ kms).Park our 'Silver Surfer' and board the vessel which would be our floating home for the next 3 days. Full day safari and anchor somewhere mid-river for the night.

Day 2 -
Start early at sunrise (approx. 6:15 am) and full day safari.

Day 3 -
Similar to Day 2 with drop at Gadkhali Ferry Ghat by 6:30pm. Drive back to Kolkata.

This was mostly going to be a birding tour and we did have a few target species in mind. Hence we decided to maximize our time inside the forest by staying on the boat. The boats are not allowed to stay inside the core forest perimeter after sundown. However you can anchor on the main river (Gumti) near the forest entry. This enables a considerable head start at sunrise and paves the way for spotting truly elusive and rare species in the wee hours of the morning. As for the big cat, the chance of a sighting hovers between 0 and 1, true to the essence of Probability theory.

Day 1

There are multiple routes from Kolkata to Gadkhali Ferry Ghat (the last point of mainland). After speaking to our guide, we zeroed in on the Ruby-Basanti Highway-Malancha route. It was approximately 90 odd kms from my home. The road till Malancha is in great shape with occasional speed breakers. However, the last 15kms is in a really bad shape. There are huge craters on the narrow road which makes it very difficult to go past without getting underbelly hits. Thanks to our Silver Surfer's 200mm GC, we were able to sail through without any issues.
Starting at 4am, we encountered massive foggy stretches on the Basanti Highway which considerably reduced the speed until the sun decided to peep through the clouds. Consequently we took a little over 3 hours to reach the parking lot. Our guide was already waiting at the 'Ferry Ghat' and we lost no time in transferring our light luggage onto the boat and then we were ready to set sail !

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_6426denoiseaidenoiseo.jpg

As our boat went along the flow of the Bidya river, the last stretches of human civilization seemed to bid us good bye from the opposite bank. The first sighting of the day was an over-excited pied kingfisher which zoomed past us, along the river in anticipation of a fresh catch. We were still in the process of 'settling down' and hence had to give this one a miss. 10 minutes later, our guide led our boat along the banks for a glimpse of a spotted owlet and it happily obliged for a photograph.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9240denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Going ahead with our journey, it was already 9am and we had crossed the entrance to the Sudhyanyakhali Watchtower. For first timers, I would definitely recommend giving it a try because it has a wide observational path which often stores surprises in the form of tiger crossings. As we neared the gateway to 'Panchamukhani' or the confluence of 5 rivers, our guide suddenly shouted out 'Bagh' (Tiger) under his breath. We immediately aimed our cameras and binoculars and saw the most tragic sight.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-img_3571.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9277denoiseaidenoise.jpg

A tiger carcass was floating on the water and the river current was slowly dragging it away from the shore, towards the Bay of Bengal. It was such a heart breaking sight that we could not even believe our eyes. Although cell phone towers are mostly non existent inside the jungle, somehow our guide managed to call up the Forest Ranger and report the incident. The Forest department confirmed that they were going to send out a speed boat to recover the carcass immediately. It seemed like the female tigress had died recently since the body showed zero signs of bloating. As we closely guarded her in anticipation of the speed boat, we started speculating the cause of her death. While there weren't any gunshot wounds on the exposed part of her body, a possibility of poisoning could not be ruled out. Our guide also remarked that this could be also due to a natural cause as well which includes potential snake bites and age related diseases. Even though we couldn't guess the actual reason, it gave us a bare minimum level of consolation that the death was due to a natural cause. Had it been a poaching incident, it would have broken down our spirits completely. The forest department speed boat came from the Bidya river and it almost took 40 minutes to reach us. They recovered the carcass and immediately instructed us to get away from the location fearing a host of queries. One particular person also asked us to delete all images without even giving us any reason. This entire tragic incident shook us to the core and as we continued further, an eerie silence draped us all.

Post this there weren't any sightings till lunch barring a quick flight of a black capped Kingfisher, some common sandpipers and a lone Eurasian Curlew. Most of them were spotted near the creek that leads to the Dobanki watchtower from the 'Panchamukhani' side.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9430denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9326denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9370denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9396denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Lunch was quick affair on the boat and we proceeded towards a vantage point where recent sightings of a mother tigress have been recorded.
As the low tide started, the water level went down at an alarming rate and very soon some of the surrounding boats were 'beached' in different sections of the canal.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_0046denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_0039denoiseaidenoise.jpg



Thanks to the expertise of our boatman, we managed to stay afloat, ready to launch at the first glimpse of a big cat. The wait was over 3 hours long and resulted in a beautiful sunset barring the tigress. During this time, we spotted hundreds of jelly fishes floating careless alongside our boat. I have never seen such a multitude of jelly fishes before and immediately switched to my 50mm lens to document them.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_00732denoiseaidenoise.jpg

As the last traces of the sun diminished from the horizon, we headed back to the main river tracing our morning route.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_0100denoiseaidenoise.jpg

By the time we neared mainland, the moon had risen along the tunes of one of my favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival's song, 'Bad Moon Rising'.
It was a full moon night and the shimmering moon beam cast a spell on us. My slightly shaking hands and a 1/10 shutter speed failed to capture it properly, but I tried.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_0126denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The damp and salty weather had drained us completely and post dinner we fell asleep in no time , swaying gently with the waves.

Day2

By the time we woke up finally, the boat had already entered the forest and our guide was calling us out to have a look at a collared kingfisher which was sitting out in the open on an extremely photogenic branch !
With sleepy eyes, we reached for our cameras and went 'click-happy'. The collared kingfisher however was completely unperturbed by our incessant shutter sounds.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9852denoiseaidenoise.jpg

A little bit further away, we spotted a brown winged kingfisher. He was sitting on a branch close to the river, as if waiting for a delicious breakfast.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9939denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9940denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Within a split second he vanished into thin air and reappeared with a fresh catch ! It was fighting furiously with a particularly slender looking fish. I must have taken around hundreds of shots and will treasure each and every moment from that amazing sequence. Here are few of my favorite shots.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0126denoiseaidenoiseo.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0182denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0195denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0196denoiseaidenoise.jpg


While we were busy observing his antics, a black capped kingfisher suddenly took off from a distant tree leaving behind a flurry streak of colors in his wake.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9491denoiseaidenoise.jpg

After waiting patiently for awhile, we finally got his highness to sit on a decent perch. He looked beautiful bathed in the rays of the morning sun. The black capped kingfisher is a winter migrant from the sea shores and is generally an extremely shy bird. It is one of the rarest kingfishers in Sunderbans coming in third behind the bright Ruddy breasted kingfisher & the mesmerizing oriental dwarf kingfisher.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0219denoiseaidenoise.jpg

As we carried on, we realized that the jungle had suddenly become quiet, as if devoid of any activity. This continued till post lunch hours. During the next 4 hours , we managed to get only one record shot of Brahminy Kite juvenile which was circling above a creek.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0519denoiseaidenoise.jpg


We came back to our previous day's vantage spot and waited for her highness to showcase her majestic presence.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-dsc_0043denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Just as we were about to start for Dobanki, we were greeted by a trio of Ashy Wood Swallows. On cold winter mornings, 30-40 swallows can often be spotted huddling up on a branch!

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9755denoiseaidenoise.jpg

A lesser adjutant stork cast a long forlorn look at our boat and decided to go on a pensive walk, all alone.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9782denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Another Eurasian Curlew was busy preening himself standing on the muddy banks, oblivious of his surroundings.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9400denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Our long long wait was futile once again and we headed back towards the mainland with a hope for better sightings on the very next day.

Last edited by turboNath : 5th March 2021 at 01:04.
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Old 5th March 2021, 01:37   #2
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Default re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Day 3

On the third day, we decided to go for raptors and our guide planned out the route well in advance. The day started off with a brilliant pair of Crested Serpent eagles resting under a thick foliage. Thankfully, they allowed our boat to come very close to their perch. The catchlight in their eyes speaks volumes about the inherent beauty of their piercing gaze.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9515denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9594denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9564denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Elated with the pictures, we continued on our hunt for the White bellied Sea Eagle. This bird is a rarity and is one of the largest Eagles to be found on this side of the coastal areas. Our guide spotted him resting on a high perch. His massive outline was unmistakable even from a great distance.
He allowed us a to get up close and personal with his highness before taking off with a gigantic flapping action !

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9673denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9694denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9701denoiseaidenoise.jpg

As we sailed on, we spotted a few common birds like the green bee eater, intermediate & great egrets, red vented bulbuls, collared doves etc. At one point in time, we even heard the alarm call of a spotted deer. We decided to wait for awhile but this time the wait was extremely rewarding ! As we were busy scanning the shoreline for any signs of the famous black and yellow stripes, a huge raptor flew across the tidal creek towards us. It was a
another rare raptor, the Changeable Hawk Eagle (dark morph). I barely took three to four seconds to put down my binoculars and ready my camera but by then the opportunity of a flight shot was lost !

Instead of a flight shot, we now got to observe him sitting at the very top of a tree earnestly searching for a prey. He wasn't there for long though. In another 10-15 seconds, he embarked on a flight resembling the mythical Pegasus for a brief moment.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0240denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0253denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0258denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0272denoiseaidenoise.jpg

We sailed on for another hour in search of other birds of prey when we were suddenly greeted by one of my favorite raptors of all time, the magnificent Osprey !

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0354denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Here's a fun fact regarding Ospreys - they always prefer to enjoy a fresh catch rather than satiate their hunger with a stale fish!

He proudly displayed his morning catch of bluish 'Tilapia' fish and took off immediately when he perceived us as a potential 'fishy' competitor.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0466adenoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0471denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0472denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Our guide informed us that we would now try to locate one of the most elusive small cats of Sunderbans, the Jungle cat. They are distributed widely across the buffer and core areas but are really difficult to spot in the open. For every successful sighting, there are hundreds of failed attempts and hence our chances looked bleak. As we neared the expected zone, our guide was busy scanning through each and every mangrove tree, hunting for a glimpse of the rare cat. Suddenly he exclaimed in joy and pointed out towards the base of a sundari tree near the bank. Lo and behold ! We could see that a juvenile jungle cat was curiously strolling around the breathing roots of the mangrove. Another one followed hot on its trail. It took some time and effort on our part to spot the mother cat hiding behind two trunks. We couldn't believe our luck as there were as many as three juvenile jungle cats with their mother ! It was shutter-frenzy all over again and we documented each and every move !



The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0615denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0638denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0644denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0715denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0765denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0864denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0879denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0952denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0980denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc0988denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc1009denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc1011denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc1168denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc1171denoiseaidenoise.jpg

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc1203denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Shortly after this miraculous turn of events, we proceeded towards Gadkhali Ferry Ghat with a promise to be back during July - August 2021 aiming for a different set of targeted species.
As we drove back to Kolkata, we kept on reminiscing about each and every moment spent in the lap of the largest mangrove forest in the world.

Truly speaking, the Sunderbans is a magical forest and a silent custodian of some of the best kept secrets of the wild.
When it beckons, you simply have to oblige. Time after time.

The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans-_dsc9855denoiseaidenoise.jpg

Last edited by turboNath : 5th March 2021 at 02:38.
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Old 5th March 2021, 04:55   #3
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Default re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th March 2021, 09:08   #4
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Great travelogue. The Sunderbans delta is an ecological marvel and we are fortunate that it has been preserved well at least on the Indian side.
It is tragic to read about jellyfishes becoming common in the waters. This is usually a sign of degrading water quality and rising temperatures due to global warming.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/...reaking-havoc/
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Old 5th March 2021, 11:41   #5
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Lovely Narration and a good read! Vibrant and beautiful captures.
Please share the additional details for planning a trip.
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Old 5th March 2021, 12:26   #6
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Superlative pictures turboNath, you bring out intricate details about the nature which often remains elusive for us mere mortals !! Your birding pictures brings a smile to my face every time I see them.

Pictures of the Black Capped Kingfisher reminded me of my Bhitarkanika trip and I guess, I now probably will head to the Sundarbans to make use of the new found love for the birds in action and you my friend, have been instrumental in igniting that love for me.

Thanks for bringing the log for us, I am sure we will get to see many more from you in the coming years. Happy clicking,

Regards.
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Old 5th March 2021, 14:20   #7
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Excellent narration turboNath with even good pictures to look along as you unfold one story after another. I seriously think you should try your hands in creative videos with such photos and narratives. A 5 star work here and keep more of these coming, turboAli.
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Old 5th March 2021, 17:22   #8
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

An absolutely stellar piece here turboNath, the photography is brilliant and the narration compliments it very well. I can imagine how gut-wrenching it must be to witness the carcass of such a majestic animal, floating aimlessly in that water. That is indeed a very tragic sight.
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Old 5th March 2021, 19:49   #9
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Beautifully written. I have been mulling a trip to the Sundarbans since the day I finished Amitava Ghosh's book. After reading this travelogue will make a trip as soon as Covid travel restrictions ease.

You seem to have got lucky with a very good guide!
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Old 5th March 2021, 19:54   #10
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Thanks for sharing. Great write up and photography.

We have some very fond memories of the Sunderbans. We spend several days cruising around and exploring. It also happens the only place we ever saw a tiger!! It jumped into the canal about 30 meters in front of our boat and swam across and climbed out on the other side and disappeared in the forest undergrowth. Very magical!

Jeroen
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Old 5th March 2021, 20:04   #11
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Beautifully written. I have been mulling a trip to the Sundarbans since the day I finished Amitava Ghosh's book. After reading this travelogue will make a trip as soon as Covid travel restrictions ease.

You seem to have got lucky with a very good guide!
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Old 5th March 2021, 20:20   #12
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Thanks a lot for sharing. Brilliant write up and photography.
The ones with the catch look marvelous.

I had been to Sundarbans when I was 6. Had plans of visiting the place for some migratory birds and tigers ( if lucky ) however, had to forgo the plan because of C19 risks.
Its however very sad to see the lost Tiger. I have heard good things about you from Sambada. You do remind us a lot of our younger days.

Hope to see many such remarkable threads from you. Keep traveling and sharing such beautiful experiences.
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Old 5th March 2021, 21:28   #13
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Another lovely travelogue from you.
I have nothing to comment on your photography skills. Its on a different level. Be it birds, animals or landscape, you really are a versatile photographer, who excel in all the genres.

Keep up the great work. Rated 5*.

Pic of the dead tiger was sad.

Last edited by Samba : 5th March 2021 at 21:31.
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Old 5th March 2021, 22:51   #14
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Wonderful thread.

To everyone who can, please visit while there's still time. The Sunderbans and her beautiful fauna will be gone in a few decades, and with it much of the land in the Ganges fan.

Everyone is seeing it vanish, and yet nothing is being done.
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Old 6th March 2021, 13:13   #15
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Default Re: The mangroves have eyes | Wildlife at Sunderbans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cessna182 View Post
Great travelogue. The Sunderbans delta is an ecological marvel and we are fortunate that it has been preserved well at least on the Indian side.
It is tragic to read about jellyfishes becoming common in the waters. This is usually a sign of degrading water quality and rising temperatures due to global warming.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/...reaking-havoc/
Thanks Cessna182 ! Yes, you’re absolutely correct. We have been visiting Sunderbans for last two decades and there has been a positive shift in the mentality & awareness on the part of people to preserve the treasures of Sunderbans. This has resulted in a marked decrease in the number of poaching incidents, illegal fishing & tree-felling.
As for the jelly fishes, your link is indeed an intriguing one. This raises serious concerns about the health of our mangroves. I hope we are able to take corrective actions before its too late.


Quote:
Originally Posted by redrage View Post
Lovely Narration and a good read! Vibrant and beautiful captures.
Please share the additional details for planning a trip.
Thanks redrage !
There are primarily two entry points for Sunderbans in the Indian side. Most tour operators offer pick up and drop from Jharkhali or Gadkhali. Based on the information you provide them, they will take out all the necessary permits (online) and take care of the paperwork. Some of them also provide tours from Kolkata. I would suggest you to keep aside at least 2N 3D for a short tour. For birding December-Mid February is preferred although there are fantastic creatures to be captured throughout the year as well !


Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
Superlative pictures turboNath, you bring out intricate details about the nature which often remains elusive for us mere mortals !! Your birding pictures brings a smile to my face every time I see them.

Pictures of the Black Capped Kingfisher reminded me of my Bhitarkanika trip and I guess, I now probably will head to the Sundarbans to make use of the new found love for the birds in action and you my friend, have been instrumental in igniting that love for me.

Thanks for bringing the log for us, I am sure we will get to see many more from you in the coming years. Happy clicking,

Regards.
Thanks a lot ABHI_1512 ! I thoroughly enjoyed your Bhitarkanika travelogue and could understand that you have fallen in love with the mangroves ! Please plan a trip to Sunderbans real soon to rekindle that love and I promise you will go back home with an ocean of memories. On the Bhitarkanika part, I am actually contemplating to go on a night safari from Dangmol for fishing cats, leopard cats & the mangrove pitta. Hope the plan materialises soon !

Quote:
Originally Posted by haisaikat View Post
Excellent narration turboNath with even good pictures to look along as you unfold one story after another. I seriously think you should try your hands in creative videos with such photos and narratives. A 5 star work here and keep more of these coming, turboAli.
Thanks a lot haisaikat ! I took my GoPro along for this trip but forgot about it mostly due to the ‘shutter pressure’. I do have a GoPro mount for my camera but till date I haven’t used it much. Hope to put it to good use on my next trip. Thanks for the recommendation !

Quote:
Originally Posted by thesquaremile View Post
An absolutely stellar piece here turboNath, the photography is brilliant and the narration compliments it very well. I can imagine how gut-wrenching it must be to witness the carcass of such a majestic animal, floating aimlessly in that water. That is indeed a very tragic sight.
Thank you thesquaremile ! Yes, the tragic sight completely broke our hearts. The tiger is one of the apex predators in the Sunderbans and to see her highness in such a state is a scar that I would definitely like to erase. Till today, I don’t know the cause for her death but I sincerely hope she is in a better place now, far far away from this cruel planet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogercharlie View Post
Beautifully written. I have been mulling a trip to the Sundarbans since the day I finished Amitava Ghosh's book. After reading this travelogue will make a trip as soon as Covid travel restrictions ease.

You seem to have got lucky with a very good guide!
Thanks rogercharlie ! That is one of my favourites from Ghosh closely followed by the enchanting Glass Palace. Yes, we were really lucky to have him. If you get a good guide in any jungle, everything just looks so much more engaging and beautiful. There are some 5-6 great guides in a pool of 80 in Sunderbans and most of them are pretty much pre-booked, months ahead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Thanks for sharing. Great write up and photography.

We have some very fond memories of the Sunderbans. We spend several days cruising around and exploring. It also happens the only place we ever saw a tiger!! It jumped into the canal about 30 meters in front of our boat and swam across and climbed out on the other side and disappeared in the forest undergrowth. Very magical!

Jeroen
Thanks Jeroen ! That is indeed a magical sight to behold. You’re an extremely lucky person because very few people can actually experience such kind of a sight in Sunderbans. Thanks for sharing


Quote:
Originally Posted by ARAY View Post
Thanks a lot for sharing. Brilliant write up and photography.
The ones with the catch look marvelous.

I had been to Sundarbans when I was 6. Had plans of visiting the place for some migratory birds and tigers ( if lucky ) however, had to forgo the plan because of C19 risks.
Its however very sad to see the lost Tiger. I have heard good things about you from Sambada. You do remind us a lot of our younger days.

Hope to see many such remarkable threads from you. Keep traveling and sharing such beautiful experiences.
Thanks ARAY for the kind words ! Most of the tour operators are following the standard Covid-19 protocols and you can also opt-out from visiting the watchtowers to minimise the risks. You can aim for a July-August slot as I have heard, the forest looks magical during the rainy season (and also it is one of the very few forests which allow tourists during the monsoon).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Another lovely travelogue from you.
I have nothing to comment on your photography skills. Its on a different level. Be it birds, animals or landscape, you really are a versatile photographer, who excel in all the genres.

Keep up the great work. Rated 5*.

Pic of the dead tiger was sad.
Thanks a ton Samba for the lovely compliments although I am not quite sure if I deserve all the praise
However I do love to spend time amidst Nature and document her treasures to best of my capabilities ! Hope to keep it up. As for the dead tiger, we are really trying hard to forget the utterly tragic sight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalnirvana View Post
Wonderful thread.

To everyone who can, please visit while there's still time. The Sunderbans and her beautiful fauna will be gone in a few decades, and with it much of the land in the Ganges fan.

Everyone is seeing it vanish, and yet nothing is being done.
Thanks digitalnirvana ! I completely agree with you. I am sure the Forest department is doing their job but there’s so much that needs to be done to protect the largest mangrove forest in the world.
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