Goa can be topographically divided in mainly two parts North Goa and South Goa. The stretch from headland of Fort Aguada just outside Panaji city to further north near the border of Maharashtra encompasses North Goa. Dotted with pristine palm fringed beaches, exotic wildlife parks and buzzing cities, the North Goa is a popular holiday destination among adventurers and pilgrim seekers alike. South Goa is one of the two districts that form the state of Goa and is a favored tourist destination. The district is marked by North Goa on the north and by the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka in the south. Virgin beaches, holy temples and beautiful cities form the main attraction of this part of Goa.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in South Goa: South Goa is also famous for its wildlife hub that includes various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary – Situated close to the Karnataka border, this wildlife sanctuary serves as a home to a variety of flora and fauna. Tourists can look forward to sight deers, sloth bears, leopard cats, bisons and many other animals in their natural habitat. The park is open from 8 am till 5 pm and charge Rs 20 for adults and Rs 5 per child. Vehicle entry charges and camera fee are Rs 40 (two wheeler), 120(cars) and Rs 30(still camera) and Rs 150(video camera) respectively.
Catigao Wildlife Sanctuary – Catiago Wildlife Sanctuary is marked by deciduous forests. The jungle fosters animals like wild boar, langur, bison, deer, leopard, pangolin and black panthers. The entrance fee for the sanctuary is Rs 5 for adults and Rs 2 for children and the park is open for public visit from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening.
Wildlife Attractions in North Goa: The area encompassing North Goa has many wildlife resorts that tourists should not miss visiting.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary – This is one of the most visited wildlife park is Goa, known for housing varied species of black-faced langur, jackal, wild boar and sambhar. Spreading on an area of 80 sq km, Bondla Wildlife sanctuary is idyllically located at a distance of 52 kms from Panaji and is easily accessible. The main attractions here include a rose garden, a botanical garden, a zoo and a small deer park.
Elephant safari is an added attraction. Cottages are also available and provide good accommodation. The park is open on all days except Thursday and timings are from 9 am till 5 pm. The entrance fee is Rs 5 for adults and Rs 2 for children, excluding the camera charges.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary – Named after the famous ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, this is one amongst the most popular bird sanctuaries in India. Located close to the Mandovi River, the park serves as a home to not only local birds but varieties of migratory birds as well. Apart from a rich variety of coastal birds, one may spot flying foxes, jackals and crocodiles. This park remains open from 6 am till 6 pm and charge Rs 10 per head as entrance fee. Please note that prior permission is required from Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department of Panaji to visit this park.
Mollem National Park (Entrance fee – Rs 20 for adult and Rs 5 for children) and Madei Wildlife Sanctuary are two lesser known national parks in North Goa. Both these wildlife parks are popular for housing some of the rare species of flora and fauna. The Devil’s Canyon and the Dudhsagar Waterfalls are great tourist places inside the Mollem National Park.
Bus booking is fairly easy, you can search bus tickets and do online bus booking at several OTA�s website.
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by: Ayush Aggarwal
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