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Goa Mhadei Tiger Reserve
Goa can eventually pride itself on being home to Bengal Tigers – its very own big cat. Mhadei Tiger Reserve is located in Sattari taluka in North Goa that extend on a vast region of 208 sq km. The sanctuary is rich in its bio diversity and is acknowledged for becoming a Project Tiger Reserve owing to its existence of Bengal Tigers. Managed by Goa State Forest Department, this tiger reserve is protected and safeguarded by 11 forest guards and three round foresters.
Divided into 16 beats, the forest has three round foresters that are stationed in Caranzol, Charavane and Kodal in Sattari taluka. The reserve has 4 wheel drive vehicle together with a motorcycle for patrolling. This sanctuary doesn’t have public tourists facilities however there are forest department guest houses in Keri and Valpoi.
Earlier Mhadei Tiger Reserve was known for being a Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary. But in June 2011, the Ministry of state and Ministry of Environment and Forests recommended the chief minister of Goa to consider Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve owing to its presence of Bengal Tigers. The MOEF encouraged Goa to consider this proposal seriously as Mhadei is a regular landscape for tigers. The MOEF suggested for further expanding the area of tiger reserve beyond the present Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary.
In July 2011, the National Board for Wildlife supported this proposal publically and declared that this wildlife sanctuary should be considered as a tiger reserve, mentioning that this will help in securing entire region’s water resources. In Aug 2011, the forest minister of Goa questioned the presence of tigers in this state. In this month itself, there was a public announcement made which stated creation of a tiger reserve at the premises of Mhadei Wildlife sanctuary.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
There is no particular time to visit Mhadei Tiger Reserve which is located in Goa. However, favorable climate begins in October while ends in March. Summers must be avoided due to scorching heat of sun. The monsoon season can seem bit overwhelming when everything goes lush and green with nonstop rainfall. Irrespective of when you visit this Tiger Reserve, the weather here will leave you rejuvenated and certainly longing to return.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Mhadei Tiger Reserve is between Decembers to February.
Places to Visit
Mhadei Tiger Reserve is well known for its waterfalls. Hence if you are visiting this reserve, you must visit the Virdi Falls and Varza Sakla Waterfalls in Chorla Ghats. You can also visit Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem National Park, and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary which lie to the south of Mhadei Tiger Reserve in Goa.
How to Reach
Mhadei Tiger Reserve is located in Goa which is well connected by road, rail, and air.
The main railway station Margao which is popularly called Vasco-da-gama, is close to the main city. The station is well connected to other main cities by different trains.
Dabolim, an international airport is located in Goa which is 29 kms away from the main city. Regular flights operate from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore together with other important cities.
Kadamba bus stand is one main bus station in Goa.
On reaching Goa through any of these modes, you can hire a private cab and reach this tiger reserve.
Flora and Fauna
Scared groves were once commonly found in this region. Now days you will get to see shidam, creepers like garkani, Ashoka, Pandanus frucatus, variety of edible mushrooms – shringar, roen, sonyali, khutyali and alami and a popular pencil tree called Euphorbia tirucalli.
Mhadei Tiger Reserve is well known for its biodiversity.
Some popular mammals which one can see here are – Black Panther, bonnet macque, slender loris, Indian pangolin, black faced langur, flying squirrel, giant squirrel, Indian hare, wild boar, mouse deer, jungle cat, dhole, small Indian civet, Asian palm civet ruddy mongoose, common leopard, Sambhar deer, barking deer, Indian gaur, sloth bear etc.
Some commonly found birds in Mhadei Tiger Reserve are Crimson backed sunbird, white bellied blue flycatcher, Rufous Babbler, Grey headed Bulbul, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Malabar Parakeet, and Nilgiri Wood Piegon. There are in total 53 different species of birds found here.
Snakes of different species can be found here.
Mhadei Tiger Reserve is rich in its biodiversity. It has some rare species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Apart from these animals one can spot rare species of butterflies here.
Where to Stay
If you want to put up at Mhadei Tiger Reserve, you can put your stay at Forest Department rest houses located in Keri and Valpoi. You can also look for nearby hotels and resorts which are economically priced.