Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part. – (Robert Frost)
As Frost so eloquently put it, Jonaki or fireflies literally light up this eco site, lending it a magical atmosphere. Fireflies have been known to be an integral part of any eco-system and the mangroves are no exception. With a unique set of enzymes in their body that cause this luminescence, fireflies are now being considered an iconic indicator of a healthy environment. And thus they grace this site with their mystical presence and the nighttime is eagerly awaited by guests
Welcome Drink: Tamarind Juice
A colorful jetty marks the beginning of the Jonaki Mangrove Eco-site and the bamboo steps from this jetty lead up to a sitting area with a rounded ceiling. A short walk leads to the main living area. Little steps cut into the soil lead down to a brick pathway, shaded by swaying tamarind trees that lead up to a Multipurpose shed, meant for performances and large gatherings, while also doubling as a display centre to sell the hand crafted items created by the locals, this site has 3 eco-cottages, where one cottage falls infront of the owner’s house while the other two have a pond and a sprawling agricultural field at the back.
- 2 Person accommodation per bamboo cottage, with Nypa palm roofing and a balcony. 1 bed, a traditional clothes rack and a chair inside. 1 bamboo sofa and table outside the room in the balcony.
- 1 modern toilet facility to be shared by both cottages.
- Open space in front of both cottages and a small pond at the back.
- Solar lighting and solar batteries available. Cottages are lit by solar lamps and a solar fan cools the interiors
- 1 kitchen at the front, run by the cottage owners
- Take a leisurely boat ride down the Dangmari River to quietly look for birds or the occasional group of monkeys through the trees and if the Bon Bibi bestows you with luck, keep a keen eye for large grey snouts dipping in and out of the waters, as the dolphins tease us with their presence.
- Catch your own dinner by fishing with the local farmers in their organic ponds
- Dabble at cooking traditional food with the host family, as you cut vegetables on the local “boitee” or curved kitchen cutter
- The landowners live a few yards behind the cottages so experience the everyday lives of a regular family in the Sundarbans
- Eco-guides to accompany you on hikes
- Bob bibi performance by local cultural troupe with a live band of musicians at Jonaki for minimum 4 visitors
- Learn how to prepare the rejuvenating tamarind drink and other items of this sour fruit.
Environment friendly practices:
The cottages follow an eco-friendly disposal mechanism with waste segregated into 3 parts. The water is drawn from surface water sources and in the Jonaki site mineral water is used for drinking.