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Wild Life Sanctuaries
Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary

It is located close to the Molem village at the foot of the Western Ghats, is a sanctuary that covers 240-sq-kms. Thick forest clad the slopes of the Western Ghats that is rich in wildlife and a paradise for bird watchers. Police Outpost at the gateway of the sanctuary in calm and quiet surroundings is like a painting on a canvas in Malem.

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. The best time to visit the sanctuary is either early in the morning or late in the evening.

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 temple of Tambdisurla of the Kadambas is situated 13-km from here. In Mangalore To Margao journey on Konkan Railway one can enjoy Malem with Dudhsagar through the windows.

Bondla Wildlife Santuary

Up in the lush foothills of the Western Ghats, Bondla is good place to see Sambhar and Wild Boar. It is smallest of the Goan Wildlife Sanctuaries. It is 10 kms northeast of the Usgao Tisk village in north Goa and is easiest one to reach. Situated 55-km from Panaji and 38-km from Margao, the sanctuary includes a 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.

Monkeys, Wild Boar, Deer, Gaur, Langurs, Jackals, Pythons, and Leopards populate the hills to the southeast. 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 types 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.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, 10-km southeast of Chaudi, was established in 1969 to protect a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa- Karnataka border. Encompassing 86-sq-kms of mixed deciduous woodland, the reserve is certain to inspire tree lovers, but less likely to yield many wildlife sightings: its Tigers and Leopards were hunted out long ago, while the Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Panthers and Hyenas that allegedly lurk in the woods rarely appear.

Visitors however, stand a good chance of spotting at least two species of Monkey, a couple of Wild Boar and the Odd Gaur. The sanctuary is best visited between October and March months. Cotigao is a peaceful and scenic park that makes a pleasant day trip from Palolem, 12-km northwest. The wardens at the reserve's small Interpretative Centre will show one how to get to a 25m-high treetop watchtower, overlooking a waterhole that attracts a handful of animals around dawn and dusk.

It is easier to get there by any of the buses running south on NH-14 to Karwar via Chaudi will drop one within 2-km of the gates. However, to explore the inner reaches of the sanctuary, one really needs one's own transport.

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