The wildlife sanctuaries Goa are a haven for animals. Flora and fauna is well preserved in the sanctuaries of Goa. Thus a visit to these beautiful jungles is a must when you visit Goa. Deforestation and extinction of certain species of animals are becoming serious issues. The wildlife sanctuaries in Goa are doing their best to preserve the wealth of the flora and fauna that they have. Move away from the concrete jungle and come and spend some time in the natural jungles of Goa.
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Molem, 60 km from Panaji
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is Goa's largest wildlife preserve with an area of 240 sq.km. It is situated close to the Molem village at the foot of the Western Ghats, this sanctuary lies on the eastern border of the state. It is 60 km away from the state capital, Panaji. The sanctuary is situated amidst nature's splendor; evergreen forests and deciduous trees encompass this preserve.
Molem National Park is in the heart of the sanctuary. Herds of deer and gaurs (Indian bison), clusters of monkeys, Malayan giant squirrels, cobras and pythons are a common sight. One might even spot elephants and tigers. The sanctuary is also home to a few black panthers. The best time to visit the sanctuary is either early in the morning or late in the evening.
For excursion through the sanctuary the forest department has made arrangements for jeeps. But one has to contact the Range Forest Officer for the services. But to be able to get a glimpse of the wildlife, you might have to spend a couple of days here.
Tourist Complex that is run by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation is the nearest accommodation available. The complex is clean and comfortable. While at the sanctuary one must take some time of to visit the Dudhsagar waterfalls, the 13th century Mahadev Temple at Tambdi, Surla, that is just 12 km away.
Bondla Forest - 38 km from Margao
Bondla Forest is 38 km away from Margao. More than a sanctuary it is an ideal jungle resort and a major attraction for school going children and nature lovers. Its mini zoos, sprawling deer park in natural habitat, botanical and rose gardens attract people throughout the year. Up in the foothills of the Western Ghats, Bondla is being promoted by the Department of Tourism and is a good place to see sambar and wild boar among other things. It's the smallest of the Goan wildlife sanctuaries but the only one at present that has accommodation for those wishing to stay more than a day. The Zoological Park and gardens at Bondla remain closed on Thursdays.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary - 60 km from Paaji on the Panaji Mangalore National Highway
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is the second largest of the three wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, with an area of 105 sq. km. It is located at about 60 kms from Panaji, in Canacona taluka in South Goa, nearly 3 kms off the Panaji-Mangalore National Highway No.17. It is covered with dense forest and varied wildlife, avi fauna and reptiles. The ancient Jeevottam Partagal Math, noted for Vedic studies, lies in the vicinity of the sanctuary.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary - Located on the Western tip of the island of Chorao, near Panaji
Located at the western tip of the island of Chorao along river Mandovi near Panaji, the sanctuary is spread over 1.78 sq km and is completely covered with mangrove species. Varieties of local as well as migratory birds frequently visit the area.
This Sanctuary can be visited any time of the year with the permission of the Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji - Goa. The sanctuary is approachable by walk after crossing over by ferry from Ribandar to Chorao. There are some private parties who can take tourists around in their canoes fitted with outboard motors.
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