Friday, December 18, 2009

Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary

Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary previously known as Mollem Game Sanctuary is positioned on the eastern border of the state, in close proximity with the village of Mollem at the base of the Western Ghats. It is about 60 km distant from the state capital, Panaji. This sanctuary is the biggest of Goa’s tally of four protected wildlife zones. Covering an area of about 240 sq kms, the core zone of the sanctuary consisting of an area of 107 sq. km. was under notification as a National Park in the year 1978 acknowledged as Mollem National Park.

The faultless vegetation in the sanctuary comprises of evergreen Tropical forest, Semi evergreen and humid deciduous forest. The evergreen types of forests are largely seen on elevated altitudes and all along the banks of the river.

The fauna consista of herds of Bos Gaurus, Monkeys, Leopard, Elephant, Sloth bear, Flying squirrel, Porcupine, Malayan Giant squirrel, Civet cat, fowl, Tigers and some Black panthers.

The park is renowned for King Cobras and there are also presences of other snakes like python, Viper, Krait, etc. Almost 200 species of birds are the duels in the sanctuary of which the superior distinguished are Indian Black Woodpecker, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Paradise Fly Catcher, Barbets, Fairy Blue, Emerald Dove, Drongo, Wag tails, Great Indian Horn Bill, Kingfishers, Shrikes, and Grey Jungle Fowl and many others.

A Nature Interpretation centre is located at Mollem which is highly informative on the plant life and the general bio-data of the forest. In addition to flora and fauna there are several areas of tourist importance in the sanctuary.

The striking Dudhsagar Falls, which is the highest waterfall in Goa is located in the south east corner of this sanctuary. It originates from Karnataka and the water freefall from a great height of almost 200 meter. This is a favorite tourist spot both for Indian as well as foreigners from all parts of globe. The falls are effortlessly and easily reached from Mollem by road passing through the area of forest and nearly an hour passage from Colem by train. The Devil Canyon popularly known as Devcharacho kond is a gorgeous geological formation of rock and the river Khandepar that cuts across the zone. During the 13th century, a Shiva Temple named Tambdi Surla, put up by the Kadamba emperor is nearly 13 kms away from Mollem and about 45km from Ponda.

Tourists can also get pleasure from the sunset view from Sun Set Point in the Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary. One can reach by park by vehicles driving the length of a zigzag road engraved from the mountain.

The entry permit should be obtained from the Range Forest Officer, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, Mollem, Goa. Ph: 91-832-2612211. Entry Fee for Adult: Rs 20 , Children: Rs 5. Extra charges for camera and vehicle are to be paid as per demand.

Jeeps are available to venture into the forest. Get in touch with Forest range officer for the same. The most excellent time to visit the sanctuary is either in the early hours of the morning or late in the evening.

How to Reach

Road:The National Highway, NH-4A bifurcate the Sanctuary in two parts. Mollem National Park lies exclusively to one side of the road. Regular buses of the Kadamba Transport Corporation carry out from Kadama bus station, Panaji (60km) the capital of Goa.

Air: The Dabolim Airport (80km) in Panaji is the adjacent airport. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines fly into Panjim a number of times every day from Bangalore, Bombay and New Delhi.

Rail: Nearest Railhead is Colem (5km). The Mormugao - Londa railway line passes all the way through this area.

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