Goa, the sizzling state in West India has always been in the limelight due to its immensely popular hot destinations. Whether it is a honeymoon journey, a family trip or an educational excursion- Goa has always welcomed its tourists with open hands. Beaches, wildlife conservation, churches, shopping centers- Goa has everything to make your journey exciting. The wildlife sanctuaries like Bondla wildlife sanctuary, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary catch the attention of the tourists throughout the year.
Salim Ali bird sanctuary is a popular name in the tourist spots of Goa. A large variety of local and migratory birds find refuge in this sanctuary. This is one of the smallest bird sanctuaries in India.
Dr. Sálim Moizuddin Abdul Ali or Dr. Salim Ali as he is popularly known was a pre-eminent ornithologist in India. Known as the "birdman of India", this great person was an ardent nature lover. He was a writer and a great visionary. This sanctuary is named after this great person who is the author of many books like Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent and The Book of Indian Birds.
Area and location:
The bird sanctuary encompasses a small area of only 1.8 sq km. It is located at the Western tip of Chorao Island on River Mandovi. It is within the walking distance from the ferry wharf at Chorao.
The flora and fauna of Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is really remarkable. The island area bounds with thick mangrove forests or vegetation that is found along the banks of the River Mandovi. One can find mango scrubs along the small stretches of land along the Mapusa River and the Cumbarjua Canal.
The above mentioned vegetation is the source of survival of many amphibians, flying foxes and crocodiles. You can find here a wide variety of birds like water fowls and migratory birds. During the winters, many migratory birds fly in the place to spend some time with their fellow creatures.
The mangrove swamp also becomes an important source of shelter and breeding grounds for a large variety of fishes and insects.
Best time to visit:
Like most other sanctuaries in India, the best time to visit this one is also from October to March.
Access to the sanctuary:
The bird sanctuary is open throughout the year. You have to take permission from the Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji. If you take boats and canoes, then this will be the best means of transportation; because you can enjoy the picturesque beauties of nature. Sometime during low tide, the boats cannot navigate. At that time canoes are the best option.
How to reach the park?
- Reaching the park is not a problem. The nearest airport is Dabolim that is 29 km away from the state capital, Panaji.
- You can also take a bus or cab from Panaji to the Ribander ferry wharf. After that you have to take a ferry across the Mandovi River to Chorao.
- There are watch towers constructed in the sanctuary. Watching the wild animals from these towers will give you a chance to explore the wildlife from close quarters.
- The Wildlife Department arranges tours for the tourists so that they can have the best view of the exciting birdlife. You can take nature trails and catch some rare moments of birdlife. Dusk and dawn are the best period for this.
Dr. Salim Ali bird sanctuary is not a paradise for the birdwatchers only; in fact it is a haven for the nature- lovers and adventure seeking souls. Go Goa and learn about the mysteries of this magical land.