India // Kolkata & West Bengal //

Sajnekhali and the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve

The cluster of mangrove-covered islands known as the Sundarbans, or “beautiful forest”, lie in the Ganges Delta, stretching east from the mouth of the Hooghly to Bangladesh. They are home to the legendary Royal Bengal tiger, which has adapted remarkably well to this watery environment, swimming from island to island and covering distances of as much as 40km in one day. A half-million or so people find themselves sharing this delicate ecosystem with the mighty cats. All, regardless of their official religion, worship Banbibi, the goddess of the forest, and her Muslim consort Dakshin Rai, supreme ruler of the Sundarbans.