3 - 4 Hours
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary was established in the year 1969. Earlier, it was known as Mollem Game Sanctuary and the name was changed after some time. Situated along the North-East Border in the Goan town of Mollem, located about 60 kilometers from Panaji. on the road that leads to Belgaum from Panaji. The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is sitting in the foothills of the Western Ghats is wonderful and the countryside is one of the most peaceful that you’ll come across in Goa. this Sanctuary is one of the largest sanctuaries in Goa and covers a vast tract of land around 240square.kilometers of thick forest-clad slopes of the Western Ghats and its valleys and is the biggest of the three sanctuaries of Goa. the sanctuary is rich in wildlife. It is a paradise for bird watchers. Besides flora and fauna, there are many important geological and historical features in this sanctuary.
The sanctuary is situated amidst nature's splendor; evergreen forests and deciduous trees encompass this preserve. In the heart of the sanctuary is the Molem National Park, Herds of deer and gaurs (Indian bison), clusters of monkeys, Malayan giant squirrels, cobras, and pythons are a common sight. And if you get lucky, you might even spot elephants and tigers. The sanctuary is also home to a few black panthers but spotting them is not an easy task. The best time to visit the sanctuary is either early in the morning or late in the evening. The forest department has made arrangements for jeeps that take you on your excursion through the sanctuary. To avail of this facility, do contact the Range Forest Officer. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the non-rainy season as in the rains the jungle is slippery and the jungle trails are leech infested. But to be able to get a glimpse of the wildlife, you might have to spend a couple of days here. The closest accommodation available is the Tourist Complex that is run by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation.
Goa the only state in India which has protected the complete Western Ghats section within the state. These are all thick monsoon forests that hold a great reservoir of biodiversity. The forest type includes montane rain forests, moist deciduous and dry deciduous forests. The whole area is a rich repository of medicinal plants and herbs which are in great demand by Pharmaceutical MNC's.
Dhudsagar waterfalls are about an hours journey from Collem by train. the Journey is a feast for the eyes. The "Devil Canyon" is another beautiful geological spot(It is more convenient to view wild animals from the Devil’s Canion View Point. Bird lovers may also find their best time over here). The famous lord Mahadeva Temple situated at Tambdi surla is about 13 kilometers from Mollem.
Flora and Fauna
The area covered by the sanctuary is heavily forested and contains pristine vegetation known as West Coast tropical evergreen forests, West Coast semi-evergreen forests and moist deciduous forests. The evergreen forests are usually found at higher altitudes, on the upper slopes of the Ghats and along the banks of the perennial rivers that criss-cross the sanctuary.
The primary species of trees found here include Terminalia, Lagerstroemia (crepe myrtle), Xylia and Dalbergia(timber trees). The forest cover is so dense that the sunlight does not even reach the forest floor in many places. In addition to trees, the sanctuary is also home to 722 species of flowering plants and 128 species of plant that are endemic to the Western Ghats, India or the Indian Peninsula.
Besides plants, eager visitors can also hope to see a number of animals within the forests. The sanctuary is the natural habitat of several species of herbivorous animals including the Deer, sambar, spotted deer, hog, mouse deer and barking deer. The carnivores that make their home here are the tiger, leopard cat, panther, jungle cat and toddy cat.
In addition to these, the canny visitor can also hope to spot the lesser Indian civet, wild dog, hyena, sloth bear, jackal, bonnet macaque, slender lorris, scaly ant eater, giant squirrel, flying squirrel, giant squirrel, flying fox and common otter.
The state bird of Goa, Ruby-throated Yellow Bulbul, is the most common of the 120 species of bird that have been spotted in this sanctuary. Ornithological enthusiasts can also keep their eyes peeled for the Golden Oriole, Emerald Dove, Common Grey Hornbill, Paradise Flycatcher, Great Pied Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Trogan, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested Honey Buzzard, White-rumped Spine Tail, Ashy Wood Swallow, Asian Palm Swift, Jungle Babbler, Olive-backed Pipit, Pompadour Pigeon, Jungle Owlet, White-bellied Woodpecker, Black-crested Bulbul, Forest Wagtail, Scarlet Minivet, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and the Sulphur-bellied Warbler.
The butterflies that populate the park with their fleeting flashes of colour include blue Mormon, common Jezebel, common Mormon, common mime, plum Judy, common wanderer, crimson rose, lime butterfly, plain tiger, southern birdwing and tailed jay. There are also endemic species that the enthusiastic Lepidopterist will also notice endemic species like the Malabar tree nymph and the Tamil Yoeman.
A number of snakes are also to be found within the park. These include the bronze-back tree snake, cat snake, hump-nosed pit viper, Indian rock python, Malabar pit viper, rat snake, Russell's viper, Indian cobra and common krait. The most famous reptilian inhabitant of the park, however, is undoubtedly the king cobra.
- This sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction throughout the year. Although most frequented during the tourist season from October to March, it is a great place to visit during the monsoons,
|January to December|
|Monday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Tuesday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Wednesday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Thursday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Friday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Saturday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Sunday||09:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Last Admission||03:00 PM|
Things to carry
First aid kit
Things Not Allowed