The eco-tour site, Mangrove Eco-Village and Dolphin Sanctuary is between 1-1.5 kilometers in length and under Dacope sub district in Khulna district. A brightly colored jetty greets visitors and for a group of more than 10 people the locals even put up a special welcome, complete with sandal smearing and garlands of local flowers.
The village is situated at the junction where the great Passur river meets this smaller Dhangmari canal or Khal, a small stream of the Sundarbans that flows into the forest. The local communities have been inhabiting this area spot for generations and live at a distance of 150-200 meters away from the Sundarbans forest. Known to be a popular route for dolphins and other aquatic animals, this patch of the river is an ecologically sensitive zone with prohibition of large vessels plying through.
THINGS TO DO
Check out some amazing activities that you can do on your trip:
Wildlife Watching & Photography
Go wildlife watching fully escorted and at ease, to the most wildlife-abundant sites in the heart of the Sundarbans, where you will spy fish, mammals and birds in a kaleidoscope of colours in their exotic natural habitats. Feast your eyes on vibrant free-roaming monkeys, Monitor Lizards, Spotted Deer, Saltwater Crocodiles, Gangetic River Dolphins, Palass’s Sea Eagles, graceful White Egrets, neon-coloured kingfishers, bald-headed and bare-necked Lesser Adjutants, and other exciting wildlife.
Mangrove Boat Trip
Discover the countless creeks, canals and waterways that crisscross the Sundarbans forest region during high tide by boat. We offer oar-boat tours along outskirts of forest, where you can enjoy the tranquil waters through uninhabited regions – home not only to abundant wildlife but also to observe exotic deltaic foliage on either side of the boat, such as Sundari (Heritiera fomes), Golpata (Nypa Palm), Goran (Ceriops decandra), Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), and Keora (Sonneratia apetala).
Fresh Local Cuisine: Crabs, Shrimps & More
You will only be served the freshest local produce with the greatest flavours – organic fruits and vegetables homegrown by locals, fish bred in local fish farms or caught by local fishermen, and animals reared by local village communities will tantalize your tastebuds. Apart from an assortment of freshly caught crabs, shrimps, barramundi and other sea fish in the form of deep-fried appetizers, curries and stews, other authentic food include sweet and savory dishes of coconut, palm-fruit desserts, date-desserts, Sundarbans honey, indigenous cakes, chira (flattened puffed rice), muri (puffed rice) and moa (sweet puffed rice balls bound with molasses) and Keora fruit pickle – a rare edible mangrove fruit.
Village Community Visit: Meet the Locals, Grab your Souvenir!
You will get the unique opportunity to experience first-hand what life is like in the small villages neighboring the Sundarbans mangrove forest. You will get to learn more about the region’s history and traditions by visiting the village areas and places nearby. Visit the Dangmari Handicrafts Centre where the local women prepare hand crafted souvenirs as well as some wall hangings, bed sheets, cushion covers and other stitched ware. At the local markets of Baniashanta Union, you can also pick up Sundarbans honey, handicrafts, dried fish, Keora pickle, indigenous decoration pieces, mats, nokshi kantha (handmade quilt), products made of parts of the date tree and hand-fans. Take back souvenirs made by the locals and help support the local economy by your contributions towards the conservation of the Sundarbans.
Relaxing Riverside Grill
Enjoy a moonlit evening lounging at the riverbank, while fresh sea fish get barbequed right next to you in your desired style. In an all-natural ambience, you will be served simple, hearty yet delicious food – loaded with flavor to pack a punch – since farm-fresh ingredients are used. If you are not a fan of fish, there is also additive free chicken, mutton, beef, duck and poultry, homegrown by members of the local community, such as Traditional Resource Users of the forest region. There is also seasonal produce, which can be barbequed and served on the side. All condiments used are homegrown by local communities. And… if you manage to catch your own fish from inside the forest, our cooks will barbeque it for you free of cost.
Fishing inside Sundarban Swamps: Fishermen’s Paradise
Mangrove Village Tour and Dolphin Sanctuary is located at the edge of Dhangmari Khal, a stream that flows deep inside the forest and branches out into countless other creeks and canals. Some of the many marvelous marine species found here include sea-bass, Bata (greenback mullet), shrimp, lobsters, shellfish, small carps, mangrove crabs and many other sea produce.
Living in the Mangroves:Get Cultural
Enjoy watching an age-old style of performing drama with song and dance, performed by the traditional resource users community. With a vivid display of colors and songs composed to the tune of the localised folk songs, the performances mainly enact the history of the Bon Bibi’s relationship with the tiger and saving the forests. A unique opportunity to catch the dawn or dusk pujas or worship at the local temples, including a temple especially dedicated to the Bon Bibi renovated by the Relief International -UK.
Hiking Expeditions into the Forest
Grab this opportunity to go on private hiking tours in small groups, made completely safe with experienced tour guides who are well-acquainted with the forest paths. Going in small groups allows a small guide to tourist ratio, ensuring a high level of passion and enthusiasm from the guide and allowing him sufficient time and space to narrate personal experiences in important locations, mesmerizing allegories, legends and myths of the region, and allowing easier communication with tourists. You can explore several hiking trails including the the Koromjal Trail and also enjoy our site and surrounding areas on foot.
Traditional Resource Users Group
Traditional resource Users (TRUs) of the forest dwellers comprise of communities that have been living off the resources of the forest for centuries now. But due to its ecologically significant value and being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest can no longer provide for these people. The Mandas are a Hindu community whose populations are now dwindling; Moualis are the honey collectors who brave the Bengal Tiger and other threats to extract honey, smoking the bees out with Tiger Ferns (Acrostichum sp) and Hental (Phoenix paludosa) leaves. The Moualis are given permits and extract honey in a sustainable manner. The jele or the fisherfolk follow the moods of the tidal surge and try their luck at catching fish using nets, while the Tarjali fishermen use otters to help them catch fish, which itself is a extraordinary fishing technique! The Bawalis are the wood cutters who are yet another community that have shifted to alternative sources of income or moved away, along with the Jongra Khota of the shell collectors of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest. These communities are either still living along the forest boundaries or have mingled with the other communities and constitute a diverse group of people, who guard the secrets o the elusive Sundarbans.