The question often arises – what remains if you split Goa from its beaches, parties and booze? Well, the answer is one that you will have to witness for yourself. Experience the Goan monsoons as they unfold a gloriously vivid side of Goa and whisper its many beautiful secrets to its visitors. Here is a guide for all nature lovers visiting Goa during the monsoons:
Goan mangroves and backwaters
The glorious five rivers of Goa, namely Chapora, Mandovi, Zuari, Sal and Talpona, together form the backwaters. These backwaters form an unadulterated Goan experience where you can embrace the tranquillity of nature at its best.
These water bodies will surprise you and surround you with much-needed peace and serenity in this chaotic world. Backwaters and mangroves go hand in hand, and you can find a number of mangroves in Chorao, Divar, Chapora and Betul.
What all can you do along these backwaters? Going birdwatching on a boat, kayaking your way through the waters, tagging along with local fishermen to spot crocs or catching crabs using homemade netted traps are some of the options you can try for an adventure-filled experience.
Meet the wild
If backwaters or mangroves are not your thing, no worries! Listen to the sounds of wildlife calling out to you and head to Goa’s forested estate to embrace the wild side of nature.
The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is said to be home to misty mountains, cascading falls and a range of exotic wild animals. And, if you are in luck, taking a soothing drive to the sanctuary through Valpoi will also present the opportunity to spot wild animals wandering around.
Some of the most common animals that one can spot are black-faced langurs, leopards, wild boards, deer, sloth bears and giant squirrels. And we can’t forget the wild monkeys that are generally swinging across the trees as you drive by.
Butterflies and flora
For those who didn’t know, Goa is home to several butterflies. Not too far from the city of Panjim is a butterfly sanctuary located in Ponda taluka.
This butterfly conservatory called Mystic Woods is an NGO that is dedicated to restoring different species of butterflies and allowing them freedom as nature would have it.
There are no enclosures restricting the butterflies, but instead, a careful selection of plants is grown based on the butterflies’ need to feed and breed. A unique and informative initiative, there is so much to learn about these beautiful species.
When it comes to the flora found in Goa, you will spot some real beauties. No matter where you are, be it by the beach, river, on a hike up a hill or simply riding along the road, you are bound to stumble upon some attractive wildflowers.
The most common flowers that you can spot are Mimusops elengi, locally known as ovala; Jasminum malabaricum, locally known as kusar and Eranthemum sp, locally known as dashmuli.
Since we are currently in the rainy months, a few monsoon flowers that you can spot are Impatiens balsamina, Wild til, also known as Seseme orientalis and Celosia argentea, also known as silver cockscomb.
And, of course, there is an abundance of flowers that we will leave for you to explore. This guide is sure to enrich your senses with the range of flora and fauna this wonderful state of Goa has to offer in the monsoon season.