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WILDLIFE CRUISE THROUGH THE SUNDERBANS – 6 NIGHTS / 7 DAYS

Location – Kolkata-Cruise-Kolkata

 

 

Trip Type – Wildlife Tour

Trip Duration- 7 Day(s) – 6 Night(s)

Overview

Sunderbans’ – located at the Southern tip of West Bengal, India, is an enchanting land of rich bio-diversity, natural flora and fauna and dense mangrove forests. The Sunderbans is the largest delta, the largest Mangrove Swamp and the largest Estuarine National Park in the World. This vast delta covers 4264 Sq. kms. of land area in India (the larger area forming a part of Bangladesh) and has one of the largest Tiger Reserves in the World covering 2585 Sq. kms. Ensconced between Rivers Brahmaputra and the Ganges – the two great Indian rivers, and River Meghna in Bangladesh, Sunderbans was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997 for its great natural wealth.

 

Arrive Kolkata. Check in 12 Noon. Upon arrival met and transfer to your pre-booked hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Kolkata.

 

Full day sightseeing tour of Kolkata visiting Kalighat which is an important shrine of Hindu Shakti worship followed by a visit to the Victoria Memorial – a huge white-marble structure and the most enduring of remains of the British Raj in India.  After Lunch we visit the Marble Palace and the South Park Cenmetery, the last resting place of many of Calcutta’s early British settlers. In the evening, we’ll take a cruise down the River Hugli. Overnight in Kolkata.

Morning at leisure for independent activities. By 1230 Hrs: Transfer to Millennium Park Jetty to embark the Sunderbans Cruise.

 

The cruiser sets sail along the beautiful Ganges towards the south, passing through various heritage sites for seven hours to reach Namkhana, a fisherman’s cove and the Gateway to Sunderbans. The guests can unwind, relax, soak in the beauty of the river; read books in the library; interact with artisans or take an ayurvedic massage.

In the evening, the guests will have several choices – watching wild life film shows or a talk with a wild lifer and a gala dinner with music from modern and traditional Bengal. The cruiser will drop anchor at the mouth of Namkhana for the night.

Overnight on board cruise.

 

As the cruise sails east into a spectacular sunrise past the busy harbour of Namkhana, small fishing boats come alongside. The guests can buy fresh fish and other sea foods to be cooked in the live kitchen counters for the dinner.

After the interaction with the fishermen, the cruiser enters Sunderbans navigating through the narrower creek of Hatania – Doanina. The guests will have the first glimpse of the dense mangrove and the vast river system with several creeks flowing into the main rivers.

This day the guests will experience the lifestyle of Sunderbans, their traditions, culture along with the rich bio-diversity of the region. The first excursion will be a forest trail on Lothian island, along with a wildlifer, who will guide the guests to experience the forest, site animals and birds; explain various mangrove species and tell the interesting stories of the island.

The vessel will drop anchor and guests will be taken in a small boat through the creeks to visit some of the other island to climb up the watchtowers for viewing the flora and fauna, go for canopy walks on islands from Borirdabri, Boni camp, Dobanke, Sajnekhali.

Later in the evening before sunset, the vessel will anchor at a beautiful Sunderban village. The village tour is an interesting experience of farming, paddy being husked, collected honey being packed, fishing, prawn culture and various occupations of the region. At the village, the local artist will perform the traditional dance drama Bon Bibi phala, a rich folklore of Sunderbans.

Overnight on board cruise.

With an early start in the morning, the guests will visit one of the most interesting islands, Sudhanyakhali, for wildlife viewing. This will be followed by a visit to a village. In the morning one can see the village coming alive with brisk activities. The guests will see farming, paddy being husked, collected honey being packed, fishing, prawn culture and various occupations of the region.

After breakfast, the guests, will visit Dobanke another important wildlife sighting island. Subsequently the cruiser will almost make a circumbulance of Sunderbans on its journey back to Kolkata. The vessel will sail south and then towards the west, through wide rivers which are almost like sea. Our last stop would be at the Bhagavatpur crocodile project, a breeding center of the estuarine crocodiles.

Before nightfall we cross Namkhana and head towards Kolkata. This is Captain’s night with a sea food fare. Overnight on board cruise.

The vessel will reach Kolkata in the forenoon depending on the tide. Upon arrival meet and transfer to Your hotel. Overnight stay.

In time transfer to airport to board the flight for onward destination.

Morning and evening game drives to Little Rann of Kutch. Safaris in Little Rann of Kutch are organized in jeeps. Local guides and naturalists are at hand to enhance the experience. Overnight in Zainabad.

Morning and evening game drives to Little Rann of Kutch. Safaris in Little Rann of Kutch are organized in jeeps. Local guides and naturalists are at hand to enhance the experience. Overnight in Zinabad.

After an early breakfast we leave for Ahmedabad Airport (Zainabad – Ahmedabad is 100 km – a 2 hr drive) to catch our onward flight to Mumbai.  On arrival in Mumbai we are transferred to our hotel. Rest of the evening at leisure. Overnight in Mumbai.

We start of the day with a visit to the Gateway of India, Mumbai’s most famous landmark. It was designed by George Wikket and was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India in 1911. Through this magnificent monument, numerous viceroys and governors were welcomed to India as they disembarked from their steamers, hence the name.

This is followed up by a visit to the Prince of Wales Museum not too far from the Gateway of India. The Museum has a priceless collection of art, sculpture, china and other antics. Carefully presereved, this mid-Victorian Gothic style building built in 1904 has beautiful gardens surrounding it.

After lunch we take a ferry ride to the Elephanta Caves about 10 kms from the Gateway of India. The island of Elephanta, the glorious abode of Lord Shiva and an epitome of Hindu cave culture, consists of seven caves on an island in the Sea of Oman close to Mumbai which, with their decorated temples and the images from Hindu mythology, bear a unique testimony to a civilization that has disappeared. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly in the huge high reliefs in the main cave.

Rest of the evening free for some last minute shopping in one of the renowned shopping centre of Mumbai. Overnight in Mumbai.

We depart Mumbai in the morning for the daytime flight back home. The arrangements for those not flying with the group ends after check out.

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