Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural haven in the western state of Goa, India. Spread across an expansive area, this sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna, picturesque landscapes, and thrilling outdoor activities. Nestled amidst the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the sanctuary offers a perfect blend of nature, adventure, and tranquillity.
The sanctuary is named after Bhagwan Mahavir, the 24th Jain Tirthankara, and is a testament to the region's rich biodiversity. It covers an area of approximately 240 square kilometres, making it the largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa. The refuge is characterized by dense forests, rolling hills, sparkling streams, and cascading waterfalls, creating a captivating visitor backdrop.
One of the main highlights of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is its incredible variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is home to many plant species, including evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, and semi-evergreen forests. Teak, bamboo, cashew, and eucalyptus trees dominate the landscape, providing shelter to numerous animal species.
Speaking of the fauna, the sanctuary is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. It is home to several mammal species, including Indian bison, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, and wild boars. You may even spot the elusive leopard or the slender loris if you're lucky. The sanctuary is also a bird lover's paradise, with over 120 avifauna species, including the Malabar pied hornbill, paradise flycatcher, and Indian black woodpecker.
To explore the sanctuary and immerse yourself in its natural wonders, there are several exciting activities to indulge in. Nature trails and trekking routes crisscross the cover, allowing visitors to explore its scenic beauty up close. The Dudhsagar Falls, located within the body, is a magnificent waterfall that cascades from over 300 meters, creating a mesmerizing sight.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary offers opportunities for bird watching, wildlife safaris, and even overnight camping experiences. Exploring the sanctuary's diverse ecosystem on foot or a jeep safari is an exhilarating experience that allows you to witness the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Apart from its natural attractions, the sanctuary holds historical and cultural significance. Within its boundaries lies the Tambdi Surla Temple, an ancient Shiva temple built in the 12th century. The temple's intricate architecture and exquisite carvings attract devotees and history enthusiasts alike.
The sanctuary has visitor facilities, including information centres, guided tours, and nature interpretation centres. It is advisable to plan your visit during the cooler months between October and March to make the most of your experience.
The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is not just a sanctuary for animals but for the soul. Its pristine natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and serene ambience offer a much-needed escape from the chaos of urban life. Whether you're a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or a spiritual enthusiast, this sanctuary in Goa has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and embark on a journey of discovery and rejuvenation in the lap of nature at the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.
In the sanctuary, Dudhsagar Falls is a majestic waterfall known for its milky-white cascade. The falls, surrounded by lush greenery, offer a breathtaking sight. You can hike or take a jeep safari to reach the falls and enjoy the refreshing waters and stunning views.
Located within the sanctuary, Tambdi Surla Temple is an ancient Shiva temple built in the 12th century. It is a beautifully preserved black basalt stone structure with intricate carvings. The temple's serene surroundings amidst the forest add to its charm and make it a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts.
Adjacent to the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem National Park is another natural gem in Goa. Known for its diverse flora and fauna, the park offers wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and nature walk opportunities. It is home to species like the Indian gaur, wild boars, leopard cats, and various bird species.
Located near Tambdi Surla Temple, this waterfall is a hidden gem in the wilderness. It is relatively smaller than Dudhsagar Falls but equally captivating. Surrounded by dense foliage, the waterfall offers a tranquil setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Approximately 30 kilometres from the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is another popular wildlife reserve in Goa. It is known for its rich biodiversity, birdlife, and small animal species. The sanctuary offers nature trails, a zoo, and a botanical garden, making it a family-friendly destination.
Situated near the temple, Tambdi Surla Village is a quaint and picturesque village that offers a glimpse into Goa's rural life. The town is known for its traditional Goan houses, paddy fields, and friendly locals. You can explore the city on foot, interact with the locals, and experience the laid-back rural atmosphere.
Palolem Beach is in South Goa, renowned for its pristine beauty and relaxed ambience. It is known for its crescent-shaped shoreline, crystal-clear waters, and palm-fringed surroundings. You can indulge in water sports, stroll along the shore, or simply unwind and soak up the sun.
Situated in South Goa, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is a tranquil haven known for its dense forests, tall trees, and diverse wildlife. It is home to species like the Indian giant squirrel, Malabar pit viper, and various bird species. The sanctuary offers nature trails and viewpoints for a closer encounter with nature.
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