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Two parcels of uncertain terrain in the breathtakingly wondrous deltaic expanse of the Ganges-Brahmaputra.

The Sundarbans of Bangladesh and India

The Sundarbans of Bangladesh and India

From NASA Earth Observatory: “Stretching across part of southwestern Bangladesh and southeastern India, the Sundarbans is the largest remaining tract of mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans is a tapestry of waterways, mudflats, and forested islands at the edge of the Bay of Bengal. Home to the endangered Bengal tiger, sharks, crocodiles, and freshwater dolphins, as well as nearly two hundred bird species.”


The Army Corps of Engineers: The Game
  • Sophie
  • October 24, 2006 at 3:04:00 AM CDT
  • Have you read 'The hungry tide', from Amitav Ghosh, a novel set in the Sundarbans ?
    It's good to see these photos after reading the book, they're really beautiful.

  • Anonymous
  • October 24, 2006 at 5:04:00 PM CDT
  • I think the description from NASA explains why these are not "parcels" of land, but distinct ecosystems deserving of great respect?

  • Alexander Trevi
  • October 24, 2006 at 5:46:00 PM CDT
  • Hi Sophie: Haven't heard of the book before, but will now add it to my reading list. Thanks!

    And Anonymous: The word "parcels" is used here to refer to the images themselves, which were clipped purposely to a 450x450-pixel square from the much, much larger original NASA satellite photo in order to focus on those beautiful dendritic patterns; and not to mean that the Sundarbans were (or can be or should be) artificially subdivided into the islands that we see in the photo, or as a result of misreading the text, to suggest that these are self-contained ecologies unaffected by external natural and cultural forces, which is utterly untrue.

    But then again I'm not really sure what the question is, though hopefully I've cleared up this particular semantic confusion.

  • Anonymous
  • October 30, 2006 at 10:22:00 AM CST
  • The Sunderban {which literally means beautiful forest}is not in southeastern India. That position is occupied by the state of Tamil Nadu some 1000+ kilometres south. What your caption probably meant was southeastern parts pf the Indian stae of West-Bengal adjoining BanglaDesh.

  • Churu Churu
  • April 12, 2007 at 2:21:00 PM CDT
  • Anon, the Sundarbans are named after the 'sundari' (mangrove) trees that grow in the forests. "There are times when the tides completely submerge the thousands of acres of forests and they disappear underwater, emerging hours later."

    Alex, 'The Hungry Tide' is a beautiful book. I have just started reading it after years of ignoring Amitav Ghosh (stupid decision, really) and the sundarbans in this book are just superbly described. The mythology, geography, history, ecology and anthropology are amazingly blended in. Puts ones faith back into fiction.
    Lovely pictures, thank you.
    I've been thinking of starting a personal research in sustainable settlements focussing on the Sundarbans and your pictures have been really inspiring and helpful!

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