Haliday Island

Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary|Haliday Island Sundarbans

The Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary (also just known as the Haliday island Wildlife Sanctuary) is commonly known as Haliday Island. It is one of the smallest Wildlife Sanctuaries in India and also among one of the three Wildlife Sanctuaries of the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, the other two being the Sajnekhali Wild Life Sanctuary and the Lothian Wildlife Sanctuary. 

It is approximately six square kilometers in size. This Island is situated very close to the Bay of Bengal at the confluence of the rivers Matla and the river Bidyadhari. Usually mangrove species thrive on the island. It is to be noted that some sweet water species like Casuarina, Karanja, etc. have also been planted by the authorities as part of afforestation programme. 

Important wildlife includes the Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Barking deer and Rhesus monkey. Lots of birds and endemic invertebrate fauna, much of which has not been properly recorded, are found on this island sanctuary. Occasionally Royal Bengal Tigers from the Sundarbans tiger Reserve as well as the Bonnie Camp area frequent the Haliday island.

Haliday Island can be approached from a number of entry points, the most common being Namkhana and Ramganga. It can also be reached through Jharkhali as well as Canning also.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary, Sundarbans :

Q. Where is Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary?
A. Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary, Sundarbans falls under the South 24 Parganas Forest Division of Sundarbans. It can be reached ONLY by hired boat or launch

Q. How can Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary be reached?
A. Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary can be approached from Namkhana, Ramganga the as well as Jharkhali side. All the three starting points can be reached from Kolkata by surface transport in 3:00 to 4:00 hrs. Thereafter one can pass by the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary on the way to the Kalash Island ONLY by hired boat or launch. However, one is not allowed to get down on the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary.

Q. Which is the best time to visit Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary?
A. Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary, which is often conjoined with a Kalash Camp or kalash island Tour can be reached after crossing wide rivers. These rivers have a lot of waves even during normal times. The situation becomes dangerous during the months of April till September, when the trip can be undertaken only in sturdy boats and Launches. Hence, Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary as part of the Kalash Camp tour is best visited during the months of October till March. However, as stated earlier, only big and safe boats and launches are suitable for the other months.

Q. Where are the Boat starting points for visiting Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary?
A. To reach Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary there are a number of Entry Point Jetties.These jetties are at Namkhana, Ramganga, Canning, Sonakhali, Godhkhali as well as Jharkhali. One can also start the journey from Kaikhali. Boat services can be availed from these jetties ONLY upon prior and advance booking.

Q. Where can you hire a boat in advance to visit Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary?
A. There are no Regular and organised Boat Rentals service from any of the Entry Point jetties. You can call Boat Owners directly to book or hire boats in advance to visit the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also join Fixed day Tour packages operated by tour operators in case you do not want to personally charter or hire a boat.

Q. How far is Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary from Godhkhali?
A. To visit Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary, Entry Permission and Recognised Guides have to be obtained either Jharkhali Range Office or Kaikhali Forest Office. So one has to visit Jharkhali Range Office or Kaikhali Forest Office before visiting Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary. Jharkhali can be reached from Kolkata directly by vehicle in 3:00 - 3:30 hrs, depending upon road conditions. From Godhkhali, one can reach Jharkhali by boat in 1:30 to 2:00 hrs. Thereafter, one can reach Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary from Jharkhali in about 3:30 - 4:00 hrs.

Q.What are the places to visit near Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary or with Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary?
A. A tour of Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary is often combined with Kalash Island and Bonnie camp. A few adventurous also visit Bhagabatpur Crocodile projest as well as the Lothian Wild life Sanctuary if one starts from the Namkhana side. This trip and circuit takes a minimum of two to three days depending upon where you start the tour from.

Q. How many days are required to visit the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary from Sajnekhali zone?
A. Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary can be reached from Sajnekhali in 8:30 - 8:30 hrs depending upon the tides. However, a visit just to visit the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary would be incomplete unless one visits the narrow creeks and canals in the vicinity of the Kalash Camp as well as the Bonnie Camp. So, a bare minimum of 2 to 3 day is a bare minimum to visit the Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary Circuit area and its vicinity.

Q. How many days are required to visit South 24 Parganas Division Forest (Sundarbans) circuit?
A. The major attractions of the South 24 Parganas Division Forest (Sundarbans) circuit comprises of the Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project, Kalash Camp, Bonnie camp, Haliday Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kalash island area. To cover this area a minimum of two to three day is required. However, a longer duration tour of 3N 4D is desired.