Spread over 240 sq km in the Western Ghats, Mollem National Park is located in Sanguem taluk in Goa close to the border with Karnataka. The reserve also has several temples dating back to the Kadamba Dynasty. The national park is located near the town of Mollem, 60 km south east from Panaji, the capital city of Goa. The Mormugao–Londa railway line also passes amidst thick jungles of the national park.
The park was earlier known as Mollem game sanctuary. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and renamed Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. The core area of the sanctuary spread over 107 sq km was named Mollem National Park in 1978. Since then the national park is called Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. Several species of snakes including the King Cobra, Hump-nosed pit viper, Indian rock python and Malabar pit viper are found in the park.
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The national park showcases a wide variety of birds like fairy bluebird, wagtails, three-toed kingfisher, drongo, golden oriole, great Indian hornbill. Some of the birds found here are native to the region. Butterflies of many species like Blue Mormon, Crimson Rose, Tailed Jay, Malabar Tree Nymph, Tamil Yoeman, Plain Tiger and Lime Butterfly are found in the region.
Jungle safaris are a major attraction of the park. Unlike other parks, vehicles are allowed inside the reserve and it adds to the experience of watching the wildlife. The park is also known for its trekking trails. The 12th century Tambdi Surla temple, Devil’s Canyon, Sunset Point and Tambdi Water Falls are some of the other attractions of the park.
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Forest guest house run by Karnataka Tourism Development Corporation is the closest that one can stay near Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. Madgaon offers a variety of budget, mid-range and luxury hotels.
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