There are almost no untouched corners of nature left in India. You can see all the beauty only in national parks, one of which is the Bondla Reserve in Goa. Its difference is the strict limitation of access for independent visits. It is this measure that helps preserve the nature and habitats of rare animals of this place intact. There are excursion programs for local schoolchildren, tourists and anyone who wants to see this wonderful corner of the real India.
Structure of the Bondla Reserve
It is really a very small park by the standards of the country, about 55 km from Panaji, the state capital. At the same time it is divided into two parts. The first occupies about 8 km², where the entire landscape has remained unchanged. The hilly terrain is covered with impenetrable jungle. Admission is free.
The second part is an ennobled area. It has European-style parks and a zoo. For cyclists and hikers there are trekking trails and convenient paths. You can walk around this part on your own or join a group led by one of the guides. Such a walk will be doubly fascinating, because the Bondla Reserve is the habitat of many species of animals and they are told about them in great detail during the tour.
Interesting facts about the Bondla Reserve
Goa has been a Portuguese colony for centuries, which has left a marked mark on the culture and architectural style of buildings, mixed with local traditions. This is reflected in the appearance of the national park. The zoo in southern Goa is quite traditional, its inhabitants are often found in European zoos. But the flora is unique and consists of plants-endemics. Against this background, plots and objects made in the Western style look even more unexpected.
The extensive collection of plants in the botanical garden attracts not only visitors, but also quite serious representatives of science. Predators are kept in spacious aviaries where conditions are close to natural. Birds and small animals live freely, without restrictions.
The ruins of an ancient temple were discovered on the territory of the reserve, which date back to about the 13th-16th century. Around the same time, stone slabs depicting Hindu deities were found. Supposedly they were hidden in this part of the country from greedy Portuguese colonizers. Some of them can be seen.
Those who plan to stay for a few days are offered small comfortable cottages. They are often used by ornithologists observing certain bird species in the wild, by botanists, and by people seeking peace and relaxation alone with nature. At the same time, you have to be prepared for some limitations in comfort. There are no amenities in the lodges, and you can only eat at one restaurant, whose menu consists mainly of rice-based dishes.
The inhabitants of the Bondla Reserve
In all, there are more than 45,000 plants in India. A third of them are endemics, that is, they grow only in this country. Forests cover about 20% of the entire area. Nearly 82,000 living organisms have been discovered and described, and new species are regularly discovered. How much mystery the Bondla Reserve holds in the jungle-covered part is unknown. For visitors, only the most numerous or, on the contrary, rare species are described, the information is placed on the signs at the enclosures and on the stands.
The zoo lives in the zoo:
- wild boars;
- malabar giant squirrels;
Often species are on the brink of extinction, and the Bondla Reserve was the last chance for them to recover their population. The jewels of the collection are leopards and elephants. Those who wish can ride on the back of these good-natured giants on the territory of the reserve Bondla in Goa, reviews of such walks are only rave.
Comfortable time to go to the reserve is considered the time from November to February. There is no suffocating heat and pesky insects, the flow of tourists is small and you can easily spend a day in the park. This holiday is especially interesting for families with children and active travelers. Admission is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., a ticket to the park often with the zoo costs 50 Rs.
How do I get to Bondla Park?
It is most convenient to buy a sightseeing tour and not to worry about issues of transportation and organization of time. If you want freedom of maneuver, it is better to choose the option with a rental car. It’s a relatively short drive from the state capital, with signs posted everywhere.
Bondla Reserve in Goa is marked on the map as a natural attraction, and the most convenient ways to get there are also indicated. You can also get here by cab, it’s convenient and inexpensive, but then you should think in advance how to go back or immediately order a car for a certain time.
Location on the map
Bondla Reserve is an opportunity to see and feel the unique nature of India. It is definitely worth taking advantage of this by adding it to your excursion schedule.