South of Kolkata down to the coast, the Hooghly fringes one of the world’s largest estuarine deltas, the Sundarbans, a 10,000-square-kilometre expanse of mangrove swamp and forested islets formed by silt swept down from the Himalayas and home to the world’s largest population of tigers. Closer to the city, the former colonial port of Diamond Harbour is a popular weekend break and lies en route to Sagardwip, a sacred island where the Ganges reaches the sea. The expansive beaches of the delta provide quiet respite and are within easy reach of Kolkata.

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