Mollem National Park
Mollem National Park in Sanguem Taluk, Goa
Located 57 km towards the east of Panaji, the Mollem National Park renamed Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary spreads over 240 square kilometers. The national park has been divided into NH 4A and a 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 which covers 107 sq. km. is known as Mollem National Park. Many geological and cultural services are provided including visitor service which makes the place attractive to the tourist.
The history of Mollem National Park can be traced back to the early 20th century, when the forests of the Western Ghats were being rapidly cleared for agriculture and other development activities. In response to the growing concern about the loss of forest cover and its impact on the region’s biodiversity, the Indian government established the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary in 1969, which included the area that is now known as Mollem National Park.
Over the years, the park has played an important role in conserving the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats and has become a popular destination for nature lovers, trekkers, and adventure seekers. However, in recent years, there have been concerns about the expansion of infrastructure projects in and around the park, which many believe could have a negative impact on the park’s ecosystem and wildlife. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the park and its unique biodiversity.
Overall, the history of Mollem National Park is a story of conservation, protection, and preservation, and reflects the growing awareness and concern about the importance of preserving the world’s biodiversity and natural heritage.
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 at high altitudes while the rest part house deciduous forests. The 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 been 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 the tree snakes, vipers, pythons, and common kraits are available in this forest. The park is also home to the Dhangars, a group of nomadic buffaloes.
Nearby places of attractions
- Tambdi Surla temple
- Dudhsagar falls
- Devil’s canyon
- Tambdi falls
- Sunset point
The Dudhsagar falls is a major attraction to visit inside the forest as it offers many adventurous activities. 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 which takes a maximum of 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 foreign visitors. It charges 20 INR for Indian adults and 5 INR for children. Still, the camera charges are 30 INR and the 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 to 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 the Goa tourism department. Also, you can stay at the rest house of the Forest department in Mollem. Jungle safari and trekking trail systems 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 a 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 to Mollem you can enjoy 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.
Things to see
There are several interesting things to see and do in Mollem National Park:
- Trekking: The park offers several trekking trails, which take you through dense forests, rolling hills, and picturesque valleys. Popular trekking destinations include the Devil’s Canyon and the Tambdi Surla waterfall.
- Bird Watching: The park is home to a wide variety of birds, including the Malabar Whistling Thrush, the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, and the Indian Hornbill.
- Wildlife Safari: Take a wildlife safari through the park to see some of its inhabitants, including elephants, tigers, leopards, and the Indian Giant Squirrel.
- Butterfly Watching: The park is also a haven for butterfly enthusiasts, with a large number of butterfly species found here, including the Blue Mormon, the Yellow Gorgon, and the Crimson Rose.
- Tambdi Surla Temple: The Tambdi Surla Temple, located within the park, is one of the oldest and most important temples in Goa. It is a beautiful example of Kadamba architecture and is considered a must-visit for those interested in history and culture.
- Dudhsagar Falls: The Dudhsagar Falls is a stunning waterfall located in the park and is one of the tallest waterfalls in India. Visitors can take a scenic train ride to the falls and enjoy the breathtaking views along the way.
- Visit the Park Interpretation Center: The park has a well-equipped interpretation center where visitors can learn about the park’s history, geology, and ecology.
Overall, Mollem National Park offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of the Western Ghats, and is a must-visit for nature lovers, trekkers, and adventure seekers.
Where to Stay
There are several accommodation options for visitors to Mollem National Park, including:
- Forest Rest Houses: The park has a few forest rest houses, which offer basic facilities for visitors looking for an authentic wilderness experience. These rest houses are situated in remote locations within the park, and are ideal for those who want to be close to nature.
- Resorts: There are several resorts located near the park, which offer comfortable accommodations and a range of facilities. These resorts are ideal for those who are looking for a comfortable stay while exploring the park.
- Homestays: For a more immersive experience, visitors can choose to stay in a local homestay. These homestays offer a glimpse into the local culture and lifestyle, and provide an opportunity to experience the hospitality of the local people.
- Campsites: The park has several designated campsites for visitors who want to camp out in the wilderness. These campsites offer basic facilities and are a great option for those who want to experience the thrill of camping in the wild.
- Hotels: There are several hotels located in the nearby towns, which offer comfortable and affordable accommodations. These hotels are ideal for those who are looking for a convenient base while exploring the park.
Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, it is important to book well in advance, especially during peak tourist
Here are some important facts about Mollem National Park:
- Location: Mollem National Park is located in the Western Ghats of South India, in the state of Goa.
- Area: The park covers an area of 240 square kilometers.
- Establishment: Mollem National Park was established in 1969, and is part of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.
- Biodiversity: The Western Ghats, of which Mollem National Park is a part, is one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biological diversity in the world. The park is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including several species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
- Scenic Beauty: Mollem National Park is known for its scenic beauty, and is a popular destination for trekking, bird-watching, and other adventure activities.
- Infrastructure Projects: There have been concerns about the expansion of infrastructure projects in and around the park, which many believe could have a negative impact on the park’s ecosystem and wildlife.
- Conservation Efforts: Conservation efforts are underway to protect the park and its unique biodiversity.
- Visitors: Mollem National Park attracts thousands of visitors each year, and is a must-visit for nature lovers, trekkers, and adventure seekers.