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BEYOND SUN AND SAND IN GOA

East to west Goa’s the best! Literally, with its sandy shores in the west to the Western Ghats in the east, Goa is a never ending paradise. Goan Coast is quite popular with the tourists but there is much to be explored beyond that. Wildlife here has a lot of adventures to offer to the tourists visiting the state.

Goa has a rich tropical biodiversity that has been compared to the Congo and Amazon basin in the 1999 February issue of the National Geographic Magazine. Western Ghats is also among the top ten biodiversity hotspots in the world.
Goa has about 6 wildlife sanctuaries, a zoo and a bird sanctuary to offer to its eager visitor’s. All these sanctuaries can easily be accessed by roads and are very nearby to the Capital city.

 

Name of the wildlife sanctuary

 

Taluka wise Location in Goa Distance from the capital (Panjim)
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park
Sanguem 65 kms.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary Canacona 60 Kms
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary Ponda 52 Kms
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Tiswadi 8 Kms
Mahadeyi Wildlife Sanctuary Sattari 50 Kms
Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary Sanguem 60 Kms

 

These wild life sanctuaries contain ancient temples dating back to the kadamba dynasty and many famous Goan waterfalls, Dudhsagar being one of them, which has featured in many Indian films. Goa also has a bird sanctuary named after the famous ornithologist Salim Ali situated on the island of Chorao.

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Salim Ali bird sanctuary

 

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Tabdi surla temple

 

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Dudhsagar waterfalls

 

Some of the animals that you might encounter include Indian leopard, Civets, Mouse deer, Porcupine, Malabar giant squirrel, Indian Bison(also the state animal of Goa), Nilgiri wood pigeon, Oriental dwarf kingfisher, Pangolin, Slender loris.

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Oriental dwarf kingfisher

 

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Pangolin

 

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Mouse deer

 

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Indian leopard

 

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Porcupine

 

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Slender Loris

 

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Gaur (also known as Indian Bison)

With an exciting 420 species of Birds residing in Goa, it is predicted to soon turn into a hub for bird watchers.

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Malabar Pied Hornbill

 

Bondla, the only zoo in the state is located inside the Bondla wildlife sanctuary. Some of its inhabitants include Leopards, Tigers, Indian Bisons, sloth bears, Crocodiles, Hippopotamus.

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Hippopotamus

 

With so much to offer, it is definitely worthwhile to visit these sanctuaries. Many of them provide accommodation at a reasonable rate and meals can be arranged.

Just traversing through these jungles will bring you close to nature like never before. As mentioned in the title, an experience beyond the sandy shores.

Written by: Shailesh Tanpure

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