Sundarbans EcoVillages

সুন্দরবন ইকোভিলেজ

EcoVillages in the Greater Sundarbans region of Bangladesh promote an innovative development model combining tourism and sustainability and are designed to solve an array of complex social and environmental problems, such as poverty, gender inequality, and ecological degradation, to name a few.

Why Visit an EcoVillage?

EcoVillages attract visitors for many reasons and provide much more than a place to stay, while in turn creating employment opportunities for residents. EcoVillages offer authenticity, learning opportunities and culture exchange, connect the community to nature, and attract visitors who support rural development and biodiversity conservation. Visitors may also get the opportunity to view cultural performances, purchase local artisan products, and restore ecosystems by planting mangrove trees in and around the Ecovillages.

An EcoVillage is not just designed to be a positive experience for visitors; it is designed to specifically address the needs of local people, enhancing the long-term resilience of the communities that steward one of the most important ecosystems on Earth and are most exposed to future climate change impacts.

EcoVillage Attractions & Activities

The tourism activities in the Cultural Corridor are primarily cultural experiences, creating opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in the traditional lifestyle of rural Bangladeshi village life. Locals in the Sundarbans region are known for their openness and natural hospitality. You can expect to be warmly welcomed with fresh mango and tea by those employed in the eco-cottages and have a chance to explore the village, learning about local customs and ways of living. Food served on-site is sourced from local farmers, so prepare for freshly served meals made with a local flare. With such proximity to the SRF, guests can spend time and enjoy their natural surroundings through various optional activities. Some eco-villages provide guests with excursions such as boat safaris, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, or access to farming, where you can learn about local crop production. Activities available may include:

  • Cooking classes where visitors prepare a meal in a local kitchen alongside community members.
  • A Forest Hike that includes interpretation of medicinal plants, wildlife and forest spirits.
  • Artisan Workshops including henna art and other traditional handicrafts
  • Agriculture Tours to learn about and observe organic farming, bee keeping, and shrimp/crab aquaculture
  • Traditional activities such as fishing or crabbing using local methods
  • Shopping for handicrafts and souvenirs such as well and floor mats, handkerchiefs, embroidered quilts (Nokshi Katha), bed and pillow covers, dolls and other toys, glass coasters, bamboo products, sika, hand fans and much more
  • Cultural walking tours like visiting local temples, shines and other points of interest
  • Traditional cultural performances like depictions of Bonbibi worship, Gazi Kalu worship, local lifestyles, dances, and songs
  • Annual events including Bonbibi Puja, Charak Puja, and Eid celebration, to name a few.
  • Eating special foods like Bawali fruits, Sundri fruits, Gangpalong (type of vegetable grown on the river/canal banks), date juice, Sundarbans honey, tamarind, Ginni rice, Nypa juice and molasses, Keora pickle, etc.
  • Rickshaw and bike tours to explore the countryside.

Where to Stay

Eco-cottages are unique lodging options that offer visitors immersive and local experiences in the surrounding villages of the Sundarbans. Staying in an eco-cottage will provide a memorable experience, allowing you to become a part of the community during your stay. You'll have the opportunity to learn how your accommodation was built with local participatory processes that actively promote social, cultural, ecological, and economic sustainability.  Eco-cottages can vary in terms of building methods used, location, ownership structure, level of community engagement, and benefits, but in general, all properties fulfill the following characteristics:

  • Located within a Sundarbans Reserved Forest (SRF) periphery village and owned by a single village member or family
  • Built from natural materials such as bamboo, palm thatch, and/or wood
  • Offer 2-4 rooms with electricity and fans, shared bathrooms
  • Engage with other community members in providing complimentary tourism products and services such as guides, cultural performance groups, transportation, artisans, and so forth

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