The sanctuary that was earlier known as Mollem Game Sanctuary was later christened Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary and lies to the east of Goa, along the Western Ghats. It covers 240sq km of dense vegetation. The sanctuary in Sanguem taluka, is divided by NH4A into two parts. The Mormugao-Londa railway line too passes through Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the largest protected wildlife area in Goa. Thick forests, varying from deciduous to evergreen ones, can be see here.
The dense vegetation is home to many wild animals like deer, boars, bisons, porcupines, flying lizards, sloth bears, panthers, jungle cats, langurs and many others. The forests also have a wide variety of snakes and birds. For avid birdwatchers, Goa wildlife sanctuaries are fascinating as one can easily spot a wide variety of birds like the Malabar pied hornbill, grey jungle fowl, paradise flycatcher, Indian great black woodpecker, fairy bluebird, wagtails and shrikes.
What to experience:
At several strategic points, Goa’s Forest Department has constructed small dams, bandharas, using stones and boulders. The dams regulate streams in the sanctuary, thereby adding to the beauty of the place. Near these water bodes, there are watchtowers from where tourists can see animals coming to drink water. The sunset point, which commands a panoramic view of hills and valleys, is a perfect vantage point.
Amidst an evergreen valley in the Western Ghats is the Dudh Sagar Falls. Cascading down 300m, the fall is at its best during and after the monsoons. To reach here, a distance of 18km, you can either take the trek route or hire a taxi from the Collem Railway Station. The water flows down on a formation of broken rock, criss-crossed by underwater passages, known as Devil’s Canyon. Situated at the foot of the Western Ghats, this gorge, though deceptively beautiful and appealing, is not a safe place for swimming.
Built in the 12th century, Mahadev Temple, located in Tambdi Surla, is 13km from Mollem. The only temple of its kind in Goa, it is made from black basalt. Its carved walls and monolith pillars are arresting in their appeal and reveal the architectural excellence of its builders. At the Nature Interpretation Centre at Mollem, you could buy forest products. Get to know more about the vegetation here and the change of seasons. Book cabs here to head for Dudh Sagar Falls. Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has rooms and dorms nearby for those seeking accommodation. A sole two-bed suite is available at the Forest Rest House in Mollem.
It is situated in Sanguem taluka at Goa’s eastern border.
How to Reach:
You can hire a taxi from Panaji (57km) or Margao (42km). All inter-state buses from Panaji on NH4A to Belgaum, Hubli, and Bangalore halt at Mollem check post.
For accommodation contact:
1) Dy Conservator of Forests, North Goa Division, Ponda. Ph: 2312095
2) Goa Tourism Development Corporation, Panaji
Open from 8am to 5pm
More great attractions can be found in the Explore Wildlife in India page.