We started the New Year, 2017. by a 3night/4 day trip to the Sundarbans by the Sundarban Houseboat. We were a group of 6 friends so we had booked the entire houseboat which has 3 cabins ( of double beds each, but which can accommodate a total of 12- 14 if necessary, with bunk beds and foldable cots).
A very comfortable Tata Winger, driven by Mr Sarkar, picked us up in Kolkata, at 9 a.m., and, after saying Hello to Mr Roy, the owner, we drove through rustic but good roads through rural Bengal, and reached us at 12 noon to Jodkhali, where we were to embark on the houseboat.
The houseboat has the most wonderful covered upper deck with comfortable sofas and chairs, and a lovely view of the surrounding landscape. This is where we sat most of the time, and had our meals at the dining table. There are a couple of sun chairs too if you want to sit in the open. A TV for those interested in seeing movies, either on wildlife of the Sundarbans, or others ( they have an eclectic range), a bar with soft ( and hard) drinks and snacks, soft music in the background all add up to a most refreshing and wonderful experience.
And the food is out of this world. One of our group was a vegetarian, and the food was superlative. Tasty, well cooked, different at each meal. And a wide range. The cook Polash Mondal and his team were absolutely fabulous the way they cooked up delights each time.
Indeed , the whole team was par excellence. The Manager, Monty Sharma, ( owner Mr Roy’s nephew) is a great photographer and he keeps his team happy at all times. The captain , Pranab Jana , was absolutely perfect at his job. The houseboat glided slowly through the many channels, some wide, some narrow, in a noiseless tranquil and serene manner, lulling us, and enchanting us with the exotic mangrove landscape. One is at peace with nature. Though , of course, this is only on the surface, violence lies within, tigers and crocodiles, and other wild animals are aplenty.
The service team led by Suvankar Mondal was always at hand, to help us in and out of the boat ( we were all elderly), to look after us 24/7 and serve the meals with great care .
The guide Mr Mrinal Mondal was efficient and knowledgeable, as was the captain. We were shown a variety of birds and mangrove trees.
The cabins are clean and serviceable, the beds comfortable and the bathrooms though naturally small, were enough.
All in all, this was a wonderful experience and we highly recommend this Sundarban Houseboat.
If we had to make a complaint, it was only that the overlap of leaving groups and alighting groups leads to a little confusion. Naturally, since the vehicle brings in a group from Kolkata and departs with the leaving group, the time in between is limited.
We had to wait at the crowded noisy Jodhkhali embarkation point, on arrival from Kolkata, till the houseboat anchored and the earlier group of guests left. While we got on and sat in the upper deck, the cabins were cleaned and refreshed. All done very quickly and well.
We were told that the company is planning to buy some land in Jodhkali or nearby and build a comfortable resting place for arriving and departing guests. Once this is in place, all will be much better.
But even so, we cannot stress enough, the wonderful time we had. A lovely experience. All kudos to Mr Roy, Monty and his team.
Thank you very much indeed.
Mrs. Girija Viraraghavan
Tripadvisor Username: Virugiri
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