It is often said that if you want to see a tiger in all its might, a Sundarban tour package is what you need. But once at the Sundarban Tiger Reserve, the luck factor plays a key role since it’s not easy to spot the king of the jungle amid the thick mangroves. And this is exactly why Sudhanyakhali watch tower has become the go-to place for people visiting the Sundarban.
Just 43 kms from Canning in South 24-Parganas, Sudhanyakhali watch tower gives people on Sundarban tour the brightest chance for tiger-spotting. The journey to the watch tower is in itself an adventure. A boat ride on narrow creeks through places like Pirkhali and Gajikhali takes you to the tower.
A freshwater pond in Sudhanyakhali is what makes the watch tower exciting, both for the wildlife as well as the tourists. The pond serves as the source of drinking water for the animals. The tigers are mostly spotted when they come to drink water. If you are extremely lucky, you may also witness a tiger hunting a deer or a wild boar.
Not only the Royal Bengal Tiger, the watch tower provides tourists on Sundarban tour a perfect setting to spot other animals that frequent the area. Animals like jungle cats, fishing cats, spotted deer, wild boars and foxes are commonly spotted from the watch tower.
Visitors can also spot a wide variety of birds from the elevated tower. The swamps of Sundarbans are home to nearly 250 varieties of birds. Some of the popular varieties that are often spotted from the Sudhanyakhali watch tower are Brown fish owl, Black-hooded Oriole, Swamp francolin, Small Minivet, Loten’s Sunbird, Cinnamon Bittern, Pale-billed Flowerpecker, Common Flameback, Osprey, Mangrove Whistler Striated Babbler, Grey-headed fishing eagle and Purple Sunbird.
Another positive aspect which helps Sudhanyakhali score over other watch towers and make Sundarban tour exciting is its huge size. The watch tower in Sudhanyakhali can accommodate 25 visitors at one go. This is what makes it a hit among those who visit the mangrove forest.
Though a Sundarban tour takes tourists closer to the lap of the nature, the tourism industry has not developed the way it should have. The state government has some accommodation facilities, but they fall woefully short of meeting the demand. Several private tour operators like Travel Chhuti have some excellent Sunderban packages tour packages that cover the length and breadth of the mangrove forest.