Bondla National Park, Goa
Goa, a land of surprises does not disappoints anyone.
Blessed by mother nature, its rich flora and fauna is a major tourist
attraction. A break from the beaches and parties in the sanctuaries
amidst the flora and fauna is a pleasant change. The beautiful jungles
are well preserved by the environment concerned people and government.
A trip along the western ghats will lay bare in front of you the
secrets that Goa preserves within its thick green carpet.
Twenty percent of Goa is covered by wildlife protected areas, digging a little deep into the jungles or by estuaries will only reveal more . Not to forget the birds, Goa is a favourite of the a wide species of birds and many avid bird watchers throng the river sides and jungles to catch glimpses.
So So it's not just the 'wild' parties but a rich wildlife that waits you in Goa. Whenever you feel like coming close to nature, just visit one of the wildlife sanctuaries. But if you are seriously interested in wildlife and it is not just a change you are seeking from the beaches, then patience is the key word for you. Take an accommodation in or around a sanctuary in nature's bounty and feel the communion with the nature.
Bhagwan Mahavir Bird sanctuary and Mollem National Park
Close to the eastern border of Goa near Karnataka,
within the foothills of western ghats near the Molem village is
Bhagwan Mahavir sanctuary. In its heart lies the Mollem National Park
(107sq km), together they reign on a green belt of 240sq km. Sixty
kilometers away from the state capital Panjim, its evergreen forests
and deciduous trees are a visual treat.
The setting is perfect for a habitat of animals, some of the more common animals here are Deers and Guars, Malayan Giant Squirrels, Cobras and Pythons. You might even spot Sloth Beer, Flying Lizard, Leopard Cat, Elephants and Tigers but you have to be lucky enough for that and also have time and patience to keep your eyes hooked all the time.
You can climb up the watchtowers near the waterholes to get a good view of the animals who come to drink water. Do not to miss the birds. Some of the common birds in this area of the jungle are the Great Indian Black Woodpecker, Malabar Pied Hornbill and Paradise Flycatcher. To end the day perfectly visit the sunset point to treat your self to a golden Goan sunset.
Visit early morning or late evening for best results! The forest department organises jeep rides within the forest and while you are here don't forget the Dudhasagar Falls and the twelfth century Mahadev Temple
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
A visit to Bondla wildlife sanctuary is more perfect
for a family holiday rather than a serious wildlife expedition.
Covering an area of 80 sq km Bondla sanctuary is rich with flora and
fauna. However, with its mini zoo, elephant rides, deer park,
botanical and rose gardens the sanctuary, it is a children's delight
as well. Goans and tourists are present here all year through. In the
foothills of Western ghats, its nature lovers' heaven. Comparatively
small but it's the only sanctuary that has proper accommodation
facilities, you have a choice between cottages and dorm.
Trail along the nature in Bondla into a world of unfettered beauty, there are good chances that you might spot a wild boar or sambar. There is also a Nature exhibition centre where you can check the exhibits.
Cotigao wildlife sanctuary
Spread within an area of 86.65 sq km and sixty kilometres from Panjim is Cotigao wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary has thick deciduous forest and trees as long as thirty metres high. The forest is not exactly as raw as other sanctuaries since there are dwellings around. Though it gets a fair number of visitors but it is not as developed for tourism as others are. You can spot here Wild Boars, Langur, Deer, Bison, Pangolin and Black Panther. To get better luck with spotting wild animals, mount a watchtower near the waterhole. The sanctuary has a lake also, Bela lake and a Nature Interpretation Centre which has botanical and faunal exhibits.
Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Situated on the western tip of Chorao island, the
sanctuary is small, just 1.78 sq km but it has much for bird watchers.
Perfect for a picnic, one has to take a ferry to reach here. The
mangroves here are filled with birds, enough to keep you hooked. 14
species of mangroves are here providing an ideal breeding ground for
Planktons, Shrimps, tiny Crabs and small estuarine fish and they
provide feeding ground for birds as well.
Migratory birds can be seen here from November to February , these include Pintail Ducks, Cormorants, Storks, Purplke Moorhen and Mallards.