Monday, July 15, 2024

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Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary




South Goa district, Canacona Taluka, Goa

Best season


October to March 

Opening Time



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The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Canacona Taluka, South Goa district, of Goa. The second largest of the three wildlife sanctuaries in Goa (Mollem National Park, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary) with an area of 105 sq. kms, it touches the border of Karnataka state. It is about 2 km from Poinguinim , which is 10 km away from Chaudi, the main town of Cancacona on NH17.

Established in 1969 to save the forest lining the border of Goa and Karnataka, it is covered with dense forest, perennial streams and picturesque undulating terrain which provide for a unique wildlife.

The Nature Interpretation Centre run by the Forest Department provides facilities like snake-proof camping sites, canvas tents, reference material etc. The Department also provides cots and mosquito-nets. At Poinguinim, 2 km. away from the Sanctuary, they also run a one two-bedded suite.

Besides, an eco-tourism complex at the entrance of the sanctuary, which houses a nature interpretation centre, cottages, toilets, library, reception area, rescue centre, canteen, children's park, and forest ranger office.

Besides flora and fauna there are many places of tourist interest in and around this sanctuary.

Velip and the Kunbil are the main tribal groups which lives around the sanctuary. Visitors can interact with these tribes to learn about their culture and lifestyle. The Gal River and the Talpona River has their originating points within the sanctuary.

Ancient Shri Gokarn Partgali Jeevottam Math Temple, also known as the Partgal math Temple, noted for its Vedic studies, lies in the vicinity of the sanctuary. It is considered as the most ancient temple of Vaishnava Brahmin community in whole India and around the world.

The pristine vegetation in the sanctuary consists of mostly moist-deciduous type, interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen patches. The major attraction here is a treetop watchtower 25 metres above a watering hole that attracts animals. The best times to visit the watchtower is around dawn and dusk when animals are most likely to be visiting.
The sanctuary is known for its dense forest of tall trees, some of which reach 30 metres in height

The fauna comprises of animals include the 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, golden-back gliding snake, and Malabar tree toad. Eight nature trails traverse the sanctuary, ranging from 500 metres to 5 kilometres long.

The park is famous for King Cobras and there area also other snakes like python, Krait, Viper etc.  About 200 species of birds are found in the sanctuary of which the better known ones are Indian Black Woodpecker, the Malabar Pied Hornbill, Paradise Fly Catcher, Fairy Blue Bird, Drongo, Wag tails, Barbets, Great Indian Horn Bill, Kingfishers, Shrikes, Emerald Dove, Grey Jungle Fowl etc. There is a  Nature Interpretation centre at Mollem which gives information on the vegetation and the general biodata of the forest.

Written permission must be sought for an overnight stay, either in the watchtower or the Forest Department's complex obtained from the Deputy Conservator Of Forests, 3rd Floor, Junta House, Panaji.

Private vehicles are also allowed inside the sanctuary. But, it require prior permission.

The sanctuary is best visited between the months of October and March. Visiting Time : 7am-5.30pm; Entry Fee : Rs.5/-, Camera Fee : Rs.25/-