The Sundarbans Mangrove Festival was held at Bali island, West Bengal, on 23 January. The aim of the festival - jointly organised by the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal Police and the Wildlife Protection Society of India - was to create awareness and educate the public about the importance of mangrove forests and their sustainability.
Local artists performed folk songs and dances centred on local heroes and mythological characters specific to this part of the state (such as the forest goddess Bonbibi and her brother Shah Jangoli).
The Sundarbans Delta, which is some 130 km (81 miles) south of Kolkata, is the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world. The Sundarbans covers about a total of 10,000 sq km (3,900 sq mi) of which 60% is in Bangladesh and the rest in India. The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The pictures below capture the essence of the location and of course the festival.
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