Saturday, October 31, 2015

Shundorbon (Sundarban) - the Beautiful Forests of Bengal

- by Deepa Krishnan

The Shundorbon (Sundarban) is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. Shundorbon means 'Beautiful Forest'. It is easily accessible from Calcutta.

A halophyte is a plant that grows in waters of high salinity, coming into contact with saline water through its roots or by salt spray.
"Shundorbon" is made of two Bengali words: Shundor (beautiful) and Bon (forest). The name comes from the beautiful Shundari tree which makes up more than 70% of the forest.
The Shundorbon extends over Bangladesh and India, covering approximately 10,000 square kilometres. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

India has 3% of the world’s mangroves, of which the Sundarbans comprise almost half of the total area. Apart from the Sundarbans, the other large belts of mangroves are in the Andaman-Nicobar Islands and the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat.

The Sundarban National Park is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is also home to a wide variety of birds, reptiles and invertebrates, including the salt-water crocodile.

Photo credits:
First photo:,_trees_and_water_in_Sundarbans.jpg
The Sundari tree:
Map of Shundorbon: Public domain

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