Located on the vast delta of the Bay of Bengal, the Sundarbans (which means “beautiful forest” in the Bengali language) is formed by the convergence of three separate rivers: the Meghna, the Brahmaputra and the Padma river. It lies along the eastern coast of India and the southern coast of Bangladesh. The Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal halophytic (grows in salt water) mangrove forest in the world and is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger as well as the sundari tree. The Sundarbans was declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO in 1997.
According to the latest census in 2011, there are about 270 Bengal tigers (an endangered species) in the Sundarbans and attacks on humans are frequent (anywhere from 100 to 250 people are killed by tigers each year). But the Bengal tiger is not the only endangered species in the Sundarbans. Also on the endangered list are: estuarine crocodile, olive ridley turtles, hawks bill turtles, gangetic dolphins and king crabs.