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Next weekend you can be at ... Hemnagar

Boat rides through creeks, visits to the fishermen’s bay, mangroves, village tours, and — if luck is on your side, a brush with the striped beast — that’s the Sunderbans for you.

Hemnagar, on the fringes of the world’s largest mangrove forest, is a village on the banks of the Raimangal. We took a motorised van from Samshernagar to the village and found the river full of tiny country boats.

The primary means of transport in this part of the state is the nondescript boat. Along with locals, we moved around in these boats. A boat ride on the winding river with a line of Sundari trees is a soothing experience.

We visited Bagna (a village opposite Hemnagar) and the Jhingekhali ranges of the Sunderbans in a boat.

The rich bio-diversity of the area is a nature-lover’s delight. After the Aila, extensive areas used to go under water with every high tide as the dams got damaged.

We stayed at the zilla parishad bungalow. The North 24-Parganas administration has built this guest house close to the northern boundary of the Sunderbans Tiger Reserve.

Permission from the field director, Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, Port Canning, is required to visit the tiger reserve.

Going

Reach Hasnabad by train. Take a boatride to Par Hasnabad. Minibus and Trekkers are available to Nebukhali. Reach Duldulihat by boat and then take a Trekker to Hemnagar.

Staying

Zilla Parishad Bungalow is the only option. Contact: Zilla Parishad Office, Barasat, North 24-Parganas. Phone: 25624593

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