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Category Archives: West Bengal Heritage Sites

This category includes posts related to heritage sites of West Bengal

Sundarbans National Park – A largest Tranquil Mangrove Forest Of World With Various Species

Beautiful Sundarbans

Mangrove of Sundarbans Image By Flickr

The Sundarbans delta or Sundarban National Park  is the biggest and largest mangrove forest in all over the world. It is located in the southwestern delta region of the Bangladesh and west Bengal of India. This is an ultimate delta region created by the Brahmaputra, Meghna and Ganges rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal. An Indian portion of Sundarbans listed as the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Sundarban Delta

Colors on Sundarbans (Image By Flickr)

India has 9,630 sq kms as Sundarbans region, from which 5,400 sq kms are non forest area. The remaining part is forested area. This forest area is also known as sundarban Biosphere Reserve (SBR), which is further divided on the two sub forest. One is South24-Parganas and Sundarbans Tiger Reserve. Both subdivisions of Sundarbans forest divided by the river Malta.

Forest of Sundarban

Deep Forest of Sundarban(Image By Flickr)

Sundarbans or Sundarvans is a Sanskrit word .The meaning of this word is “beautiful forest”. Locally this land is known as the name of “Sunderi”.The great Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore told about this region-“Golden Bengal”. Sundarbans is full with water and lush vegetation.

Sundarban National Park  world heritage property is blessed with the three wildlife sanctuaries (Sundarbans West, East and South) which are the main breeding place of a number of rare species of endangered wildlife. Creeks, swaps, islands, rivers, estuaries, deep merged forest, large muddy areas and tidal flats are the ultimate beautiful part of the Sundarbans.

Tiger

Royal Tiger In Sundarban (Image By Flickr)

 

Crocodile

Crocodile In Rest At Sundarban (Image By Flickr)

Bird In Sundarban

A Beautiful bird (Image By Flickr)

It is merged by the complicated network of the tidal waterways, mud land and huge range of small islands of mangrove islands. The area is naturally full with saline water, limited sources of sweet fresh water. It is renowned for the wide range of flora and fauna. It is a well Conversant land of Royal Bengal tigers. This delta land is the natural habitat of royal tigers but there is a huge range of different species. Indian python, different kind of fishes, several reptiles, around 260 species of beautiful birds, spotted deer and saltwater crocodiles are the permanent wildlife member of Sundarbans. It is also a home of a large variety of migratory birds like egret, fishing eagle, kingfisher,black-tailed godwit ,ester knot curlew and golder plover.

Sundarbans National Park

Birds In Sundarbans National Park(Image By Flickr)

Around 4 million people live in the Sundarbans, they are dependent on the traditional crops during the dry seasons and in the wet season fish and prawn farming is the source of livelihood.The Sundarbans region has great potential to emerge as an international tourist place but very less number of tourists reaches there due to less marketing, less road connectivity and lack of accommodation facilities.

Really it is the land of mysteries which are floating on the water, delta and a unique culture, home of old tales and incredible beliefs of local people on the regional god & Goddess.

“Following The Blog ABC Wednesday For T”

 

 

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Observe the beauty through Darjeeling Himalayan Railways

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) or popularly known as Toy Train is a 2 ft, narrow gauge railway runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in West Bengal, India. It is the first and the most outstanding example of a hill railway. It opens in 1881 and displays the engineering skills. Due to this, residents of hill terrain can travel from one place to another through the steep hills. It is about 86 kms long and the elevation varies from about 100 meters at Jalpaiguri to about 2,200 meters at Darjeeling. The headquarters of the railway is located in the town of Kurseong.

Darjeeling-Himalayan-Railway

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Locomotive
Image by Mark Herriott on flickr.com

DHR was listed in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. It is only the second railway that gets this honor after the Semmering Railway of Austria in 1998. The main problem that faced by DHR was the steep slopes of the mountain. Those loops and Z-Reverses were designed as an integral part of the system at different points along the route to achieve a comfortable gradient for the stretches in between them. While climbing a slope, the train moves forwards, reverses and then moves forward again, by doing so, it gains height along the side of the hill.

Darjeeling_Himalayan_Railway

Image source – wikipedia.org

The railway line that crisscross the mountain peaks stops at several locations to deliver the passengers. The climb is through reverse and loops, so, 5 reverses and 3 loops are there. The most popular among the loops is the Batasia Loop located between Ghum and Darjeeling. Besides this, it has 5 major, 498 minor bridges and 177 unmanned level crossings. Total 14 stations are there including New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling.

DHR

Locomotive going through a curve
Image by bhaswaran on flickr.com

Stations on which the DHR stops are New Jalpaiguri Junction, Siliguri Town Station, Siliguri Junction, Sukna Station, Rangtong Station, Tindharia station, Mahanadi Station, Kurseong Station, Tung Station, Sonada Station, Ghum Station, Batasia Loop, etc. Main locomotives that used currently are the steam ones and designed by Sharp Stewart company and later by the North British Locomotive Company. Four diesel locomotives are also in use.

DHR_on_Batasia_Loop

DHR Locomotive on Batasia Loop
Image source – wikipedia.org

A number of films have illustrated this railway like the film Aradhana, Barfi, Parineeta, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Darjeeling Limited, etc. BBC news made a series of three documentaries which deals with Indian Hill Railways. The first film covers the Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway, the second is the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the third one is the Kalka-Shimla Railway. So, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is a wondrous thing and the visitors of West Bengal & Darjeeling must enjoy this journey to make the trip unforgettable.

 

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