Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Canacona Taluka of South Goa. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from October to December. The sanctuary is open from 0700 till 1730 for people. The sanctuary has eight well placed out nature trails criss-crossing it. There are six observation towers in the sanctuary. Also there is one 'tree top', it is situated about 20 meters high on a tree overseeing a waterhole. Both the Gal and Talpona rivers of Canacona Taluka originate from the sanctuary.
At the arrival to the sanctuary there is an ecotourism complex which houses the nature interpretation centre, cottages, toilets, library, reception area, rescue centre, canteen and Range Forest Office. The lesser-known animals in the nature preserve include the Flying Squirrel, Slender Loris, Indian Pangolin, Mouse Deer, Four-horned Antelope, Malabar Pit Viper, Hump-Nosed Pit Viper, White-bellied Woodpecker, Malabar Trogon, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Speckled Piculet, Malayan Bittern, Draco or Flying Lizard, Golden-back Gliding Snake and Malabar Tree Toad.
Cabo De Rama Fort
Long land that protrudes into the sea, takes its name from the hero Ram of the Hindu epic, "The Ramayana", hence the name Cabo De Rama. Not far from Agonda beach is Cabo de Rama, untouched by most of the tourists in this region. The atmosphere of the fort creates a sense of history and drama that very few would fail to appreciate. According to the local legends, Rama remained here with his wife Sita during the period of 12-year exile. This place has a very short coastline bordered by the remains of the fort and hence very rocky and not suitable for swimming.
Conco Island (Canacona Island or Monkey Island)
Conco Island is a woody island, which is pre-aged to the bay of Palolem. The island is also under the name of Canacona Island or Monkey Island, since over there monkeys live, which withdraw themselves into the adjacent forests. The island can be reached at low-tide simply by a very short swim or by wading across in knee deep waters during low tide. Also there are regular boat rides to Monkey Island, for those who don’t want to get their feet wet.
Talpona River originates in the dense, mixed jungles of RavanDongor (Demon Hill) in between Nane and Kuskem on the Sahyadri Mountains. It comes down by passing Bhatpal, fed by the tributary, and drains into the Arabian Sea near the village of Talpona in Canacona Taluka. The river develops a length of around 31 kms. It has three other tributaries named Nadke, Gaondongrem, and Khalwade.
The place neighbouring the Chapoli Dam in Canacona is a delightful eco – tourist spot. Chapoli in Canacona is blessed with natural beauty. This is a very small dam bounded by small rolling hills in the background. Lot of fishing activity goes on about these dam waters.
The Mallikarjun Temple is at Shristhal, some 2.5 km away from Chaudi on the main-road leading to Karwar and is one where devotees head for advice from oracles called the 'kaul'. The advice of the oracles is taken either from priests in a trance or by them interpreting the way flower petals drop down. Locally, Mallikarjun is a prevalent deity, as noticeable from the names of local educational institutions. This centuries-old temple was renovated in 1778.
Chaudi Saturday local market
Chaudi also known as Chauri or Canacona is situated at about 33 km south of Margao. It is the main centre of the Canacona district. It is mostly visited when one wants to get to Palolem, which is situated 2 km west. To the northeast of the town at about 1.5 km stands the new railway station.Chaudi has a church known as the Saint Theresa of Jesus Church. It also has a well-known market where one can get a lot of spices and all other necessary supplies. There are a number of restaurants that serve good South Indian food and other tasty dishes and drinks. There are some good hotels also for accommodation nearby.
Dolphins frequent the waters around Palolem and can often be seen displaying off their aerobics from the beach. Dolphin trips can be planned where the boat trip organizers can guarantee a sighting - if you are lucky enough you may even find them swimming in the sea with you!
A little ahead of Butterfly Beach lays another exotic cove hidden brilliantly between two hills. Locally and popularly known as Honeymoon Beach because it is not accessible by foot and only the adventurous few venture to discover it. This hidden beach is preferred amongst lovers and newlyweds because the whole beach is to oneself where one can dare to do skinny dipping, full body tan or just do something wild amidst nature.
The area is full of legends of Pandava’s. On the southern end along the stream there is a large cup shaped rock. This is known as Pandava's drum. Have to hire a dug out wooden canoe to take you in the backwaters to this Pandava’s drum. People throw stones at it, if they hit a particular spot, a resonating sound comes.
In Palolem village you will come across Figueiredo House. This Goan house was built in early twentieth century by Figueiredo family. It now commercially exists as a hotel. Must visit if you like to appreciate Portuguese architecture.
Towards the north along the waters lies a natural marvel called the Butterfly Island. The distance from the main land is not more than 200 m and a short boat ride is good enough to reach the island. The isolation acts a blessing in disguise as the island offers a secluded beach to the visitors all with its solitary charm and the thrills of any other Goan beach sans the overcrowded and over polluted stretches of sand. The dolphins are extra acrobatic in the waters surrounding the island. Low tides would create a vast canvas on the beach which is painted by the designer footsteps of crabs and goldfishes. Canoe ride along the tiny water streams on the island provide a thrilling ride.
Between Palolem Beach and Agonda Beach lies a couple of hidden coves having natural rock formations which must have taken millions of years to get created naturally with the lashing of the sea waves. One can take a short hike during low tide from the right side of Palolem Beach in front of Conco Island. Natural small rocks and boulders make it an interesting walk along the coastline. Another way to see the rock formations is to hire a dugout canoe fitted with an outboard motor, cruising at a slow speed while soaking in the visual delights and virgin beaches like Butterfly Beach and Honeymoon Beach.
Exclusivity of this place is that its visit astonishes nature lovers who see it encircled through green forests that make it astonishing. Those willing to discover some adventure in their lives can enjoy some time here through involvement in various activities including trekking and night camp firing besides spending best time in the waterfalls here. Its name Dudhsagar Waterfall is derived from the Hindi word Dudh which means milk. This name is given because of the milky color of its water.
St. Anne’s Church
Reach at Agonda road entrance to sightsee the St. Anne’s Church behind here. The Portuguese had built it during their rule. The astounding architecture of this monument is so imposing that you won’t stop sharing its beauty with your beloved. The site of this Church next to Agonda Bus Stand can be reached easily. The church also runs an institute whose main purpose is to support the slum children for their educational uplift. Of course this structural design is a definite beauty whose appreciation can’t be ignored. With the display of true baroque architecture this church showcases great religious identity of Santana in Goa. According to Western calendar the feast day of Anne falls on July 26 July while the Eastern calendar records it July 25 for this mega event.
Well-known turtle beach situated at certain distance there is known for the Olive Ridley turtles and most importantly their eggs are seen there. The forest department of the state government preserves it specially takes care of it for theirsafety. Trained bird watchers come to enjoy time here. Watching Olive Ridley’s Turtle is a good experience. Locally this island is named Galgibaga beach. Hatching over 3000 eggs yearly makes good fun. It is an excellent Olive Ridley nesting area that marks a big fervor for environment friendly features.
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