Gorgeous Goa in the western part of India is a galore of holiday destinations. Although Goa is known worldwide for its breathtakingly beautiful beaches, there is a lot more to see and do in this beautiful state. Churches, vibrant cities, delicious cuisine, never-sleeping streets and shops, etc. make one's trip in this beautiful state memorable. One of the major attractions of the state is its wildlife conservation. The hot and humid weather of the state is perfect for the survival of a large number of wild animals. Bondla wildlife sanctuary situated on the Western Ghats is one of the popular sanctuaries in the state.
Visitors from all over the country throng this place to enjoy nature's bounties. A mini zoo, formal gardens, botanic gardens, deer safari park along with few eco tourism cottages adds spice to holiday trips. For all these factors school children and elders alike like to visit the sanctuary.
Area and Location:
This sanctuary spreads over 8 sq km and so becomes the smallest sanctuary in the state. It is located almost 20 km east of Ponda, 38 km from Margao, 50 km from Panaji which is the state capital.
Flora: Moist deciduous forest and evergreen vegetation patches cover the forest area of the forest area. There are a lot of bamboo trees and bamboo plantation. Other floral species include Mimusops, Rosewood, Lagerstroemia, Terninalia Crenulata also known as Matti, Kindall, Jamba, Mimusops, etc.
Fauna: Long back in the past a zoo was set up in the park with the main aim of preserving the snakes, bears, etc. Wild Boar, Crocodiles, Panthers, Jungle Cats, Leopard Cats, Hog Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Snakes and Malabar Giant Squirrels. One can also view numerous bird species like Kingfishers, hornbills, woodpeckers, etc. They are the major faunal species that will keep you occupied in the park.
Various Activities: You can visit the zoological park that houses many animals. One of the most interesting features of the Bondla wildlife sanctuary is the Deer Safari Park. Tourists move across the deer in vehicles inside the deer park that has many sambars and spotted deer.
The list doesn't end here certainly. The exotic garden, lawn, flowers of the Formal Garden and collection of plants in the Botanical Gardens will catch your fancy.
The sanctuary has a Nature Education Center also. This has an attached library with video movies that are screened occasionally. So students can learn a lot about the wildlife of this state. Another exciting part of your journey would be the bird watching program. If you contact the Park Range Office, then you might be able to see the winged creatures.
There are watch towers constructed in the park area from where you can watch the movement of wild animals.
Best time to visit:
October to March remains the best period to visit the sanctuary. It is open on all days of the week except Thursday. Late evening and nights are very pleasant to watch the wildlife.
How to reach the park?
The sanctuary is well connected with Ponda or Sanguem. So you have to take a private vehicle from these places to reach the sanctuary. You can also take tour buses that make a stopover at Bondla from Margao and Panaji.
What else do you get?
Apart from the wildlife attractions, you would be surprised to look at the Hindu carvings at the sanctuary. Different patterns of carvings reflect the different facets of Hindu culture.
In a word it can be said that Bondla wildlife sanctuary is a complete entertainment package. It is haven for the eco tourists. Light up your mood and spend some memorable moments in this sanctuary located in one of the most romantic locations in India.