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“Second time around - new perspectives”

Tour de Sundarbans - Day Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Tour companions to the sundarban jungles and Kolkata city.Come and see Sundarban the way it deserves to be seen, Free and Wild.Kolkata is wild in its own distinctive way, take a motorbike ride with us, during the day or during the night!!!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I first visited the Sundarbans with these guys back in August, planning to stay for 1 night and ended up staying 2. This time round I planned to stay 2 nights and ended up staying 7. I have thought long and hard since this trip how I could possibly explain just how incredible this experience was, and I am forced to admit that words fail me. However, I will give it a shot as I want to try and explain why I believe that it is important why everybody experiences this.
What Rajesh and his brothers have created here is not just an eco-village tourist destination. It is an example of how human beings are actually capable of living in syncronisation with nature and each other. In a modern world where we all live high-paced stressful lives this place is a necessary refuge. Various other tourist resorts are popping up around the Sundarbans as it's popularity increases, but in their modern vulgarity none can come close to what is on offer here.

This eco village has been built with so much attention to detail, care, and genuine love for the place and this is very apparent. The people who work there are all locals who are some of the most capable people I have ever come across. Their warmth and enthusiasm for the environment around them is infectious. Their dedication to whoever sets foot in that village, and the joy that they feel from the joy of others is overwhelming. This is sensitive, non-intrusive tourism. The villagers are not 'on show' as some part of spectacle, they are simply part of the whole thing. Were they not there, this would be half the place it is. The eco village and the local village co-exist side by side very comfortably, there is no feeling of alienation.

In the week that I spent there, only one day was on the jungle tour. We didn't see any tigers or crocdiles, but that didn't even remotely bother me. Tiger spotting was not high on my agenda, in my opinion the highlights of the Sundarbans are found elsewhere. Instead, I spent my days walking around the local villages, meeting local people, hearing their stories, sharing knowledge. Swimming in ponds, eating delicious Bengali home-cooked food, fish that had been caught in the pond of the eco village that morning. Evenings and nights (I stayed up for the sunrise pretty much every night there) were spent on moonlit village walks, live local music filled with such passion and zest that you can't help but dance alongside the vibrant, vital children who live in the village. A local wedding, or simply staring in awe at the canopy of stars resplendent in the sky above. Every moment spent asleep was a moment wasted. We even went on night boat rides, twice on Rang de Basanti, the smaller motor boat and once on a hand boat. Honestly, it took me a while to overcome my fear of being defenceless in the jungle in the middle of the night, in a small boat. However, once I realised that the people with me were those who had grown up there - if there was a risk they would know about it - I decided to place my trust in them. Once I made this decision I was taken on the most beautiful journey of my life - this trust paid off. Drifting through the mangroves at night, by star and moon light, was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. We anchored the boat and climbed up onto an island and waded through the mud to see the moon glow through the trees. With my limited Hindi and the help of Rajesh's translating I was able to have conversations with the local fisherman who had taken us on the handboat, and share our ideas and perceptions of the world. They helped me to realise that there actually is an alternative to the life plan that we are all spoon fed, and it isn't very complicated. Live in syncronisation with and respect for nature and fellow human beings. Appreciate the small things and the overwhelming beauty of life. Nothing else is important. This tour company is unique in that it is not driven by the desire to make money, but instead to display an idea. An idea that it is possible for anybody to live with those levels of happiness and fulfillment that these people do, if they just open their mind a little to the idea that money, success and comfort aren't everything.

I strongly recommend that everybody, from any walk of life, takes this trip. Don't go desperate to spot a tiger - if you're lucky it'll happen, but there is so much more on offer. Instead ask the villagers to tell you stories about their encounters with tigers and try to understand how the presence of this powerful, terrifying creature affects day to day life in the jungle - I guarantee you will be shocked and overwhelmed. Get out of the city, lie on a boat and stare at the stars. Sit on a mud floor and eat fish with your hands. Walk through a village by star light. Feel some true peace and quiet, away from the bothers of electricity, loud music, lights. Talk to some of the people who are lucky enough to live in this astoundingly beautiful part of the world, learn something from them, then apply it to your own day to day life and see the improvement. Places like this are few and far between. THIS is the Sundarbans. I genuinely have not a single complaint.

2  Thank shinyhappyharriet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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616 - 620 of 795 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2013

Enter the SUNDERBANS area, where Mangroves jungle welcomes you!
Water and Tigers are the destiny makers of the area!!!

At 'Tour de Sunderbans', You are welcomed, escorted and treated with so beautiful hospitality here, that you almost forget that you cam here just few hours ago. The approach is very nice, friendly and I never felt at any point that I am to a new place.

Generally, I am very choosy about places and rooms in which I stay. However, here the rooms just made me feel very cozy! The look was old, however the amenities were very modern and unique.
I loved the way they have taken special care to build these rooms, giving them all unique features, old style doors, old Indian style brass door holders, door locking system...everything was different.

The names to the rooms were also quite unique - (mine was 'Elvis Presley Cottage' ;) ) - Check the photo.

The food, stay, tour, jungle safari, everything was splendid and never ever did we all feel that we were neglected. They took good care of us. We also adored the opportunity that they have given to the villagers of employment and earning through this place. We were touched by the warm welcome we received from village people.

I got a chance to take a dip in non-salty water inside the resort. Swimming in water at night and gazing the amazing sky, full of stars was simply splendid. One of the memory I will carry with me for my whole life.

Truly a memorable trip, and was made an awesome memory by Rajesh and his colleagues. I wish him best wishes for the great hospitality and great service!

Surely planning a trip again to "Tour de Sunderban" :)

1  Thank ameyanisal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Rajesh and all his family who run the business are really nice guys and our 3 days tour to Sunderban was really well organized. Funny trip from Kolkata to Sunderban by Ambassador-boat-rickshaw-boat- walk went smoothly. Eco-village stay was a real Indian experience and the food we were served was superb. The only thing I would recommend to the Backpackers and everybody who travel to Sunderban was a reorganization of the all day long boat cruise in the reserve. The best place to watch the wildlife were water ponds where the animals were coming to drink early morning and at the sunset. However the boat reached the observation tower at the pond well after sunrise and before sunset so the chances to spot a big animal were low. Having the advantage of the boat with accommodation possibility I would rather have spent the night on board to get early/late enough to the observation towers. But as far as I know it could be only organized on DIY or individual basis.

2  Thank Anandant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2013

I am so greatful that some guys had the vision of the "Tour de Sundarbans"! Thereby they created the opportunity to experience India´s beautiful countryside and the rural life! My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the trip! Our tourgide was amazing (I would have never detect all these kingfishers!) and a great person as well.
A big hug also to our group! It was relaxed and fun with you!

Tomra shobai bhalo theko! Onek Dhonnobad!
Anna

PS: Photo :) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201253693003398&set=a.10201253654562437.1073741828.1203912621&type=3&theater

Thank Anna293936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We took weekend trip to Sundarbans from Kolkatta with backpackers. Another group of boys joined us in the trip and there was a very friendly and lively uncle with us. It was a dream come true trip for me... as since very long I wanted to see the mangrove forest.
Hospitality and friendly nature of our tour guide Anurag Dubey made the trip just perfect.
My son Luv had a helluva of time with the gang of boys....right from the boat ride to dip in the pond and day visit to the jungle.
The ambience was lively and food served on the boat was excellent. It was very thoughtfully kept simple, keeping the weather in mind. Anurag took care of all the needs of his guest in the best possible way, he ensured the supply of mineral water through out the trip.
We have experience of sundry resorts of India.....but the village experience of this resort was totally different and pleasant. It was quiet different from the experience of the village we had at Rajasthan....this was very natural.
The part when the local boys came tapping their feet at the local bengali song and Luv, my son started dancing with them, who otherwise shy away from dancing....is a memorable event for me.
The day and night spent was amazing and memorable. I also like to thank Anurag who took special care while boarding and deboarding the boat, when the land had become very slippery due to heavy rainfall.

1  Thank brajvid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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