Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary & Mollem National Park is a 240 square kms (92.7sq mi) protected area located in the Western Ghats of South India, along the eastern border of Goa, in Sanguem taluka. The area is situated near the town of Molem, 57 kilometers (35 mi) east of Panaji, the state capital of Goa. National Highway 4A divides it into two parts and the Mormugao - Londa railway line passes through the area.
This area was first known as Mollem Game Sanctuary. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and renamed as Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary. The core area of the sanctuary covering 107 square kilometers (41.3 sq mi) was notified as Mollem National Park 1978.
Flora and fauna
This sanctuary contains pristine vegetation classified as West Coast Tropical Evergreen Forests, West Coast Semi -Evergreen Forests and Moist Deciduous Forests. The evergreen forests are mainly seen at higher altitudes and along the river banks. The predominant species are Terminalia, Lagerstroemia, Xylia and Dalbergia. The forest canopy is almost closed and the availability of grass is very limited. There are several perennial water sources in the sanctuary and the availability of water is not a limiting factor for wildlife.
Wild mammals recorded in the sanctuary include: barking deer, bengal tiger, Leopard, bonnet macaque, common langur, civet, flying squirrel, gaur, malabar giant squirrel, mouse deer, pangolin, porcupine, slender loris, sambar, spotted deer, wild boar and wild dog.
Popular birds which can be seen in the sanctuary include: Drongo, Emerald dove, Fairy bluebird, Golden oriole, Greater Indian hornbill, Indian black woodpecker, Malabar grey hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, Grey-headed myna, Grey jungle fowl, Large green barbet, Paradise flycatcher, Racket-tailed drongo, Ruby-throated yellow bulbul (the Goa state bird), Shrikes, Three-toed kingfisher, Sri Lanka Frog mouth, Wagtails. This sanctuary contains quite a few birds which are endemic to the Indian Subcontinent, specifically the Southern India.
Some of the many interesting butterfly specimen in the area are: Blue Mormon, Common Jezebel, Common Mormon, Common Mime, Plum Judy, Common Wanderer, Crimson Rose, Lime Butterfly, Plain Tiger,Southern Bird wing and Tailed Jay.It also has endemic specified like Malabar Tree Nymph and Tamil Yoeman.
This sanctuary is famous for its snakes, particularly the king cobra. Also here are: Bronzeback Tree Snake, cat snake, hump-nosed pit viper, indian rock python, malabar pit viper, rat snake, russell's viper, Indian cobra and common krait.
This sanctuary and national park contain several geological, cultural and visitor service attractions that make this largest protected area in Goa popular visitor destination.
Tambdi Surla Temple
MahadevaTemple, Tambdi Surla. This small but exquisite 12th century Shiva temple of the lord Mahadeva is an active place or worship, located 13 km east of Bolcornem village, past the end of a single lane paved road in the northern region of the park. The temple consists of garbhagriha, antarala and a pillared Nandi mandapa built of basalt. The four pillars, embellished with intricate carvings of elephants and chains support a stone ceiling decorated with finely carved lotus flowers of the Ashtoken variety.
Dudhsagar Falls (literally Ocean of milk) is a tiered waterfall located high up on the Mandovi River, at the Karnaraka border in the southwest part of the park, 10 km upstream from Collem village. At 310 m, It is Goa's tallest waterfall,India's 5th tallest, and is 227th in the world  An Aqueduct of the South Central Railways passes spectacularly through the waterfalls. This popular destination may be reached by hiking along the 10 km one lane dirt road or hiring a 4 wheel drive vehicle at Collem. Access is dangerous and restricted during the monsoon season of June and July.
This is an eerie canyon of water carved crevises downstream from Dudh Sagar Falls, created from solid rock by serpentine underwater currents. It is just off the main trail soon past the Collem entry point.
This waterfall, located about 2 km southwest of Tambdi Surla, at the Karnataka border, is equally spectacular and only slightly less tall than Dudsagar Falls, however it is rarely visited because of its difficult access by a steep, winding and irregular rocky path. A local guide is required.
This point provides a breathtaking view of the park, revealing a vast expanse of closed canopu treetops. It can be reached by park vehicles, hired at Mollem check-point, driving along a zig-zagging road carved from the mountain.
This protected area is threatened by extensive surface mining and transport of manganese and iron ores. A serious threat is the deposit of toxic wastes. In 2006, nearly 13 truckloads of sponge iron by-products had been dumped in the Mollem Wildlife Sanctuary and at Anmod Ghat, The settlement of private rights and concessions has still not been done away with. Some private lands are still within the sanctuary and need to be acquired in due course of time.
Mollem National Park,Tambdi Surla Temple, sign Permits- All visitors to the park must obtain Entry permit from the Range Forest Officer, Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, Mollem, Goa Phone: 91-832-2612211.
Accommodations- For bookings at the Forest Rest House in Mollem, contact: Chief Conservator of Forests, Forest Department, Panaji, Goa Phone: 0832-2224747 or 0832-2225926.
The Doodh Sagar Resort has cottages, dormitory and a restaurant at Mollem adjacent to the Sanctuary Headquarters. Phone: 0832-2612319 or 0832-2612238
The OM Shanti Eco-Resort near the Tambdi Surla Temple and the Shangri-la Jungle Village Resort near Anmod offer high-end foreign tourism experiences including forest trekking, elephant rides and tribal music.
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia