Another face of Goa

Think Goa and images of sunny sandy beaches full of tourists coupled with jazzy bars along with a good doze of liquor especially its heady Feni - coconut or cashew nut come to mind. The little known face and fortunately the lesser traversed side of Goa is its beautiful dense forests which form part of the Western Ghats with its unique bio-diversity. Goa occupies a little over 3100 sq kms of land area in India of which over 700 sq. kms consists  of dense mixed deciduous forests. At any time of the year, the area is a real paradise for nature lovers.

So here I am having signed up for the BNHS monsoon camp to join 21 other nature lovers plus our very knowledgeable resource persons, Isaac, Nikhil, Nirmal, Shushma  to experience the unique beauty of this place. The annual south-west monsoon is making its withdrawal (or so we thought) from the sub-continent. The monsoons have been abundant in this and may areas of the country this year translating into a vibrant and lively forest full of insects, butterflies, snakes, amphibians and of course the wildflowers. Our visit covers the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary where our Wildernest resort is located, Bhagvan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Bondla wildlife Sanctuary.

This blog is different from my earlier blogs in two respects:
Firstly, you see a slightly different form with pages added to the home page which you are currently reading. Various species as butterflies, moths etc. are on different pages as listed at the Bottom  of this page. To view any of these pages, please scroll down to the end and click on the page name as shown.

The second difference you will see is that unlike my earlier blogs which had photographs of birds and mammals, this time their sighting was limited due to the thick foliage around. However this was more than made up by other gems of the forest- butterflies, moths, insects & various creepie crawlies. So this was a very unique experience for me which I would like to share with you.
The map of Goa with its green area is shown below

Hope you enjoy this cyber-travel & do remember to send me your comments - good or bad. If you enjoyed this blog and are bitten by the travel bug, you may also like to visit my earlier travel blogs, a list of which can be seen on the right column of this page. Just click the place to go there - but not before you have seen the pages of this blog!
Happy viewing!!!


Our Resort - Wildernest is located 60 kms from the nearest rail-head - Thivim. The drive is through a very picturesque countryside dotted with old colonial style homes that are unique to the Goan countryside.(Goa was a former Portuguese colony that gained independence in 1961).The area is called Chorla Ghats nestled comfortably on the border of 3 states - Maharashtra, Goa & Karnataka. the resort covers over 450 sq. kms of land acquired by naturalists in a bid to save it from the ravages of mining. Nirmal Kulkarni & his co-promoters deserve to be heartily congratulated on undertaking this wonderful project. The area also falls within the Mhadei wildlife Sanctuary and each cottage and the facilities are planned keeping the natural ambiance of the place intact. You live in exclusive cottages with exciting names surrounded by forests all round. If you would like to have your own time with nature, this is surely a must visit.

Early morning trails and night trails are also a good experience in the resort and you come across some really interesting species. The first briefing Nirmal gives us to take in both the sights, sounds and even the smell of the forest to really savour it. So here are some scenes to give a visual feel!

Below are some views of the Bar Cloud 9, the Infinity swimming pool as well as inside view of the exotic restaurant - Randhan

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who can miss the Homo-sapiens (humans ha ha)?

 Some of my friends have frequently noted that I do not figure in the blogs.Well photographers especially of the wildlife category hardly get photographed! But this time my friend Anila (above) & I (below) decided to catch each other on our lenses. So here we are

 This shot below is anila posing outside our cottage - Mogra

The Resort

the local staff in their smart uniform

Randhan - the restaurant that serves ethnic culinary delights

The infinity swimming pool - no swimmers during the heavy monsoon!

Yours truly outside the cottage - Mogra Cottage. Sushma informed me the day earlier that some time back a leopard had coolly walked past this cottage much to the chagrin of the guest. No such luck this time!

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For more pictures of different species, Please scroll down to the "Pages Section" at the bottom of this blog & click on the ones you would like to see

Information & Acknowledgement

From Bombay, Thivim is an overnight train journey. Wildernest is located at Chorla Ghats and is about 60 kms. from Thivim station on the Konkan Railway. The sanctuaries, Mhadei, Mollem & Bondla are open throughout the year and each season throws up some special sights. for nature lovers this is a must visit any time of the year.

A big thank you to

  1. Bombay Natural History Society ( and especially to the Butterfly man, Isaac Kehimkar and Nikhil Bhopale who are always excellent resource persons.
  2. The Management and staff of Wildernest ( and especially to Nirmal Kulkarni and Sushma for the excellent service and the wealth of information that they shared with us.
  3. Ramesh & Prashant of Nature's Nest, Mollem who were our resource persons for the area.
  4. My sporting  fellow travelers & especially my long time friend & room mate, Anila Mistry
  5. This time it is the insects, butterflies, moths & other creepy crawlies who need to be thanked for their appearance; some of them for just a fleeting glance while others seemed to specially pose for the shutterbugs.