Goa Sun, Sand, Sea....
is a state which is gifted with incredible natural beauty; from her beaches and
gently rolling hill to her vegetation and animal life. To protect some of this
natural beauty from rush of modern development, Goa has set aside four wild-life
sanctuaries nested in the wooded areas of in-land Goa. The rich, varied and vibrant avenues available to nature lovers, or bird-watchers, or wildlife.
Together wildlife cover an area of 755 square km, or around 60 per cent of forest area and 20 per cent of the geographical area of the state. Though Madei and Netravali have been notified, they have not been taken over by the wildlife wing from the territorial division.
Up in the lush foothills of the Western Ghats, Bondla is good
place to see Sambar and Wild Boar. It is Smallest of the Goan Wildlife
Sanctuaries . Its areas is eight square kilometers but easiest one to
reach. It is 52km from Panaji and 38km from Margoa. This botanical garden, fenced deer park and zoo which is better than most,
with reasonably spacious enclosures. The zoo was originally established to house
orphaned animals, but it's now also breeding colony for large species of deer.
It covers 8 sq.kms of deciduous forest Bondla is a miniature zoo of caged
animals and birds and a popular picnic destination for locals. Elephant rides
are an attraction here. The hills to the southeast are populated by monkeys,
wild boar, deer, gaur, langurs, jackals, pythons and leopards. Bondla is also
another bird-watching haven like its counterparts at Chorao and Cotigao. Rangado river flows on the east of this forest and Madhel on its north.
Bondla forest nest bison, wild beer, deer, leopard, various type of serpent and
birds. On to its way, the only mosque Safa Shahouri Masjid built by Ali Adilshah
in 1560 can be seen at Ponda.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
western tip to the island of
Chorao along River Mandovi, migratory and local birds inhabit the mangroves.
Visitors are allowed entry with prior permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden
who is stationed at Forest Department, Junta House, 18th June Road, Panaji cross
over from Ribandar to Chorao by ferry or canoe and walk to the sanctuary.
Mangrove swamps cover this bird-watchers' paradise aptly named after India's
best known ornithologist. Open throughout the year, the sanctuary can be visited
with the permission of the Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department, Junta
House, Panaji. Apart from a rich variety of coastal birds, one may spot flying
foxes, jackals and crocodiles.
Cotigoa Wildlife Sanctuary
The second largest of the three wildlife sanctuaries in Goa, with an area of 105 sq.
Kms. is at
Canacona 60kms south of Panaji. Bird, animals, reptiles are found in large
numbers here. "Jeevottam Partagal Math" the centre of Vedic studies,
lies in the vicinity, as is the temple of Mallikarjun built by the Kshatriyas in
the mid 16 century. It famous for the intricately carved wooden pillars and 68 auxiliary
deities. The main festival of this temple is Ratha-Saptami in February and
Shigmo in April.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
Along the north from Panaji on the
road to Belgaum, is a sanctuary that covers 240sq.kms. Thick forest clads
the slopes of the Western Ghats that is rich in wildlife and a paradise for bird
watchers. There are important geographical and historical features in this
sanctuary. The famous temple of Tambdisurla of the Kadambas is situated 13kms
from here. Molem has comfortable cottages and dormitories built by the
Directorate of Tourism.