Close to Usgao, the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 8sq km. The sanctuary falls in the Ponda area, also known as Goa’s temple belt, and gets a fair share of visitors. The sanctuary is covered with deciduous forests, with small patches of evergreens. The state tree, Matti, is commonly found in the area.
Gaur, the state animal, can be easily spotted here. Among other animals that one can see are snakes, peacocks, boars, jackals, porcupines, bisons, sloth bears, panthers, wild boars and toddy cats. Bondla is home over a hundred species of birds. Sambhar and spotted deer are a familiar sight.
What to experience:
The well-tended botanical and formal gardens at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary are well worth a visit. The spacious lawns and exotic trees make the place all the more special.
There is also a mini zoo that has many animals like snakes, peacocks, boars, jackals, porcupines, bisons, sloth bears, panthers, wild boars and toddy cats. The zoo shows the sheer variety of wildlife in Goa.
Another place to visit is the Nature Education Centre. Its exhibits are varied and interesting. To make your holiday memorable, you can take an elephant ride. Nature trails are also arranged.
There is an idol of Gajalaxmi that is an architectural exhibit and is believed to have been worshiped by ancient settlers.
Bondla has a spectacular bird life and is home to over a hundred bird species. If you are lucky, you can sight the ruby throated yellow bulbul, oriental dwarf kingfisher, Indian scimitar babbler and the brown fish owl. About 17km from Bondla is the Satpal Arboretum where a variety of plants are cultivated.
It is located in Ponda taluka, Central Goa, 20km from Mollem National Park.
You can hire a taxi either from Panaji (52km) or Margao (36km). Alternatively, you can board a train from Collem. The route stretches for approximately 28km, covering Mollem, Sancorda, Shivddem and Bondla. The Forest Department too has mooted bus services from Tiska to Bondla on all days except Thursdays.
These are open from 9am to 5pm. The garden and zoo are closed on Thursdays.
More great attractions can be found in the Explore Wildlife in India page.