Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary Overview

Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Sanguem district of Goa, about 70 km away from the main city. It covers a total area of 240 square kilometers, out of which 170 square kilometers is dedicated to the Mollem National Park built at the core of the sanctuary. Located in the Western Ghats, this green zone constitutes of moist deciduous and tropical evergreen forests that create a nurturing habitat for various endangered species of flora and fauna. In fact, the tallest waterfalls called the Dudhsagar waterfall, elevated at a height of 107 feet lie within the sanctuary and attract many avian fauna that sustain off water.

This isn’t only a haven for endangered plant and animal species but also butterflies, reptiles and plants .The sanctuary shares its eastern borders with Karnataka and inhabits various varieties of flora and fauna, including carnivores like tigers, black panthers, and leopards. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the Panjim Belgaum Road, and so it is not uncommon for travelers to encounter animals en route Panjim. They may come across elephants, gaurs, deer, or leopards. It is advisable to drive at a minimum speed on this road.

Within the sanctuary, there aren’t only safaris that help you wander, but also in-built trekking and hiking trails with guides having an in-depth knowledge of the terrain, animals, and plants residing in each area.

History of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary resides in South Goa and was built to protect the enriched wildlife around the Western Ghats. Earlier, it was referred to as the Mollem Game Sanctuary but got its title of being a wildlife sanctuary by the authorities in Goa in the year 1969. It was renamed to Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in the same year.

The sanctuary covers a sprawling area of 240 square kilometers. However, the core of the sanctuary where a rich diversity of flora and fauna was declared a national park in the year 1978. The area comprises a total of 107 square kilometers of the entire sanctuary and is popularly known as the Mollem National Park. Now, it attracts several tourists due to its safari expeditions.

Flora and Fauna at Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

The biodiversity of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary covers a massive land with exotic and authentic flora and fauna residing in it. Here is a detailed description of the species that you can encounter during your safari sojourn:


The forests here are surrounded by the pristine vegetative trees of West Coast tropical evergreen forests, West Coast semi-evergreen forests, and deciduous forests. The primary species of flora found here are Dalbergia (timber trees), Terminalia Xylia and Lagerstroemia (crepe myrtle). There are over 128 plant species and 722 flower species blooming within the periphery of the sanctuary.


One can easily spot various animals like sambar, deer, hog, spotted deer, barking deer, and mouse deer. The carnivores inhabiting these forests include tigers, panthers, leopard cats, jungle cats, and toddy cats.

How To Reach

From Panaji: Panaji is located at a distance of 70 km from the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. This distance can easily be covered via hired cars or taxis. If you are in the mood for a bike trip, then there are several shops that rent out mopeds, scooters, and bikes with a deposit rate. You can also catch a bus from the Panaji Bus Stand to the Kullem district.

From Dabolim Goa International Airport: The Dabolim Goa International Airport is 65 – 70 km away from Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. The road connectivity between Mollem, a town about 6 km from the sanctuary, and the airport is excellent and can be covered via hired taxis or rented cars.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is from November to March. This is the post-monsoon or winter season in Goa. The rains have rendered the surroundings clean, and most of the animals come out from their nooks and corners after the showers to build nests again or find new homes. This makes spotting wildlife easier. Other than that, the sun is soft on the skin, and the temperature ranges from 18 – 23 degrees Celsius, thus making the climate amicable.

Other Essential Information

- Location: Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Sanguem district, South Goa

- Safari Price: One can explore the flora and fauna at Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary through safari expeditions for a cost of INR 150 per person.

- Safari Timings: The safari is open on all days of the week from 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM.

- Entry Fee: Adults are charged INR 20 as an entry fee while children are charged INR 10.

- Types of Safaris: There is only a jeep safari that takes passengers into the sanctuary to explore the various flora and fauna inhabiting the forests.

Places to eat near Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

Being far away from the city side, one may not encounter many restaurants en route Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. However, there are a few places that offer Goan delicacies in their most exotic taste on platters. Here is a list of the places that you can eat at, near Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary:

1. Gopi Restaurant- Gopi restaurant is a Goan Dhaba style restaurant serving sumptuous curries and rotis. The restaurant is openly constructed overlooking the main road and serves sweet lassis with meals upon request. Many stop here for tea or coffee and snacks, especially during the monsoon that adds on to your experience in Goa.

Location: Panjim – Belgaum Road, Sanguem district, South Goa, India

2. Fo Restaurant- The surrounding lush green pastures of Fo restaurant are what has made it a popular sought after restaurant for foreigners and localities alike. They serve prawn curries, crab curries, and various fish snacks. In the evenings and mornings, Fo restaurant sells tea and coffee for those who are either en-route visiting the sanctuary or coming back from it.

Location: Fo restaurant, Dharbandora Sanvordem Road, Mollem, Collem, South Goa, India

3. Nature’s Nest- Nature’s Nest is an exotic restaurant situated near the Ragada River. The sound of the gushing water only adds on to the experience of culinary treats. Their popular dishes include clam sukka, Goan fish fry, and chicken xacuti. These are some of the renowned dishes in the cultural food of Goa. They usually attract families and couples due to their buffet system dining. A reservation at this place is a must before arriving. There is also a kid’s area with swings attached to it and a space for private parties too.

Location: Nature’s Nest, near Ragada River, Dharbandora Sancordem Road, Molle, South Goa, India

Tips for visiting Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

1. There are several things one must keep in mind before visiting the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary:

2. Do not forget to carry sunscreen and mosquito repellents with you. The forest is a hub for various species of insects, bugs, and mosquitoes that may make your journey vexing.

3. Carry sunglasses and hats for protection from the sun, or the scorching glare might hinder with your sightseeing.

4. Don’t forget to carry a pair of binoculars. Several endangered bird species may not come close to the vehicles or passers-by, but can be looked at with the help of binoculars.

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