Goa thrives on its tourist industry. Every year several tourists flock to this little city to have their share of fun at the vast beaches and bars that the city offers. Many a famous music festival is conducted on this city’s sands. The water sports offered here are fantastic too! But Goa contrary to what some people believe is not just a partying destination. It has a lot more to offer! It has a number of national parks and sanctuaries within its borders and some other very close to it. Excellent scenes of natural beauty are also featured at corners and venues frequented by tourists. Here is a list of the best parks in Goa.
1. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary:
Occupying a vast area of 211 sq. km. this sanctuary features a wide range of flora and fauna. It is a popular haunt among the lovers of wildlife and natural scenic beauty. It has been named after the tributary of the Zuari River, which is one of the most important sources of freshwater here. This sanctuary is located in the Sanguem taluka of Goa.
2. The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary:
The sanctuary was named after the eminent Indian ornithologist, Salim Ali. It is Goa’s one and only bird sanctuary and can definitely be called a heaven for bird lovers! It offers mangrove covered scenic beauties with various species of birds perched upon the branches of the area’s vegetation. The sanctuary, away from the Goa’s famous beaches presents the city in a different image altogether. It’s located on the Chorao island.
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3. Mahadeyi Wildlife Sanctuary:
This sanctuary is located in the Sattari taluka and is connected to another the Netravali Wildlife sanctuary. Like its sister sanctuary, this park too houses a large variety of flora and fauna. It offers spectacular views of trees and ponds and covers an area of almost 420 sq. km. when combined with the Netravali sanctuary.
4. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary:
This is a small but beautiful park that is frequented by both tourists and localities. It covers a moderate area of eight sq. km. and is populated by animals which include the likes of Sambar Deer, Indian Bison, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Indian Peafowl and a variety of snakes. It is located in the Ponda taluka of Goa.
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5. Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary:
It covers an expanse of around 208.5 sq. km. and is home to a large number of animals that includes the Royal Bengal tiger among them. The sanctuary also has a large variety of birds and is thus an excellent place to visit for bird lovers too! It also houses a large number of snakes both poisonous and non-poisonous. Besides the flora and fauna, this sanctuary is also renowned for its beautiful waterfalls. This sanctuary is located in the Sattari taluka, near the town of Valpoi.
6. The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary:
This sanctuary features evergreen and semi evergreen forests and within the enfolds of this dense vegetation resides a large population of wildlife. Among the animals seen here are flying squirrel, slender loris, Indian pangolin, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, Malabar pit viper, hump-nosed pit viper, white-bellied woodpecker, Malabar trogon, velvet-fronted nuthatch, heart-spotted woodpecker, speckled piculet, Malayan bittern, draco or flying lizard and the golden-back gliding snake. It is located in the Canacona taluka of Goa.
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7. Mollem National Park:
Moist deciduous forests, evergreen forests and semi-evergreen forests form the major part of this park’s flora. Covering an area of 107 sq. km. This park is actually just the core area of a much larger sanctuary called the Bhagwan Mahaveer sanctuary. The park offers excellent views of green jungles and a variety of animals that it houses.