Bonojatri (Riders to the Sunderbans)

Synopsis of the film

length: 60 minutes

format: Betacam

photography: Anwar Hossain

editing: Mahadeb Shi

sound: M. Abdus Satter

music: Syed Shabab Ali Arzoo

produced by: Anjan Chowdhury Pintu

year of production: 2005

script & direction: Tanvir Mokammel


Sunderbans, the largest mangrove jungle in the world is located in the south-western corner of Bangladesh and in the south of West Bengal of India. Total area of Sunderban is ten thousand square kilometres out of which Bangladesh’s part is two-third—5,770 square kilometres.

Sunderbans has 334 different trees and plant species—namely Sundari, Gewa, Bain, Keora, Garjan, Garan, Passur, Hental, Golpata etc. The name “Sunderban” may have derived from the Sundari tree.

Tiger, spotted deer, wild boar, rhesus monkey, monitor lizard, dolphin etc. exist in Sunderbans. Thirty four kinds of snakes including krait, king cobra, python are found here. Its innumerable rivers and canals have crocodile, otter, shark, tortoise, crab and other aquatic animals.

Each year, at the beginning of winter, a big fair known as Rashmela takes place at Dublar Char in the southern point of Sunderban, on the beach of the Bay of Bengal. The festival, which once was a ritual of sea-worship by the poor fishermen and their wives to please the dangerous sea, over the decades have turned into a fair glorifying lord Krishna.

The principal deity of Sunderban is—”Bonobibi” (Jungle Goddess). Before entering the jungle the fishermen, woodcutters and honey-collectors worship the jungle goddess.