Located 57 km towards the east of Panaji, the Mollem National Park renamed as Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary spreads over 240 square kilometers. The national park has been divided into by NH 4A and railway line that connects Mormugao and Londa crosses the region. The area also houses many ancient temples. Previously the place was known to all as Mollem Game sanctuary. Then in the year 1969, it was declared a sanctuary. The core of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary that covers 107 sq. km. is known as Mollem National Park. Many geological and cultural services are provided including visitors service which makes the place attractive to the tourist.
Most of the forest is covered with deciduous trees. Evergreen and semi evergreen trees are also part of the west coast forest. Evergreen trees are found along the river banks and high altitudes while the rest part houses deciduous forest. Grass is not available in abundance but there are many sources of water available in the sanctuary. Patches of Savannah grassland can be spotted. A huge number of flowering species of plants can be seen including wild and domestic flowers as well.
Mammals like Black Panther, flying squirrel, barking deer, langur, porcupine, wild boar, gaur, and leopard are found in the sanctuary. Within birds there are greater Indian hornbill, grey jungle, fowl, emerald dove, drongo, paradise flycatcher, yellow bulbul, kingfisher, wagtails, shrikes and frogmouth have recorded to be seen in the forest. Varieties of butterflies are also available, to name a few are Mormons, jezebel, mimes, common wanderer, lime butterfly and plum judy. Tamil yeoman and Malabar tree nymph are some endemic species found here. Reptiles like snakes especially king Cobra is common in every forest. Snakes like tree snake, vipers, pythons, and common kraits are available in this forest. The park is also home to the Dhangars, a group of nomadic buffaloes.
The Dudhsagar falls is a major attraction to visit inside the forest as it offers many adventurous activates. Elephant safari, bike rides, kayaking, hiking and trekking all can be done from this point of the Dudhsagar tour Operators association. From this point if you are going on a jeep safari, then each vehicle charges 2800 INR that takes maximum 7 people. Altogether the tour can be completed in 3 hours.
The park is opened on all days of the week from 8 in the morning till 5 in the evening. Entry is different for Indian visitors and foreigner visitors. It charges 20 INR for Indian adults and 5 INR for children. Still camera charges are 30 INR and video camera is 150 INR. The visiting duration is 1- 2 hours. Vehicles are allowed inside the forest reserve unlike all other national parks. The best time visit the park is from November to March. Staying here is not a problem. You can stay at the cottages in the Forest Resort complex located in Mollem which is operated by Goa tourism department. Also you can stay at the rest house of the Forest department in Mollem. Jungle safari and trekking trial system are available.
The nearest airport Dabolim airport is located at a distance of 80 km from the national park. If you are going by means of railway then Colem railway station is the nearest one at a distance of 6 km. the park is well connected with major cities by network of roads. Private as well as government vehicles are available to the park.
The Mollem National Park is one of the major destinations in Goa if you are interested in wildlife. Other than visiting national park, you can enjoy the most beautiful falls of Goa, Dudhsagar and also the Tambdi Surla temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is quite incredible. So while you are going in Mollem you can enjoy a wonderful and fascinating sightseeing. You can enjoy the surrounding villages, exciting jungle roads and the natural environment. There are plenty of options to stay overnight and you can have the local traditional meals to eat if you want.
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