Monday, May 9, 2011

four out of seven "natural wonders" of Goa fall in or around the Canacona-Quepem area.

around palolem

Dr. Nandkumar Kamat says four out of seven "natural wonders" of Goa fall in or around the Canacona-Quepem area.

Morpila Sacred Grove.
Ancient, sheltered forests are plentiful in interior Goa. Kamat feels the one at Morpila in Canacona's neighboring Quepem Taluka as the "most interesting of all". It protects the starting place of a mountain stream.

Chandranath Hill
Chandranath hill is another topographically-interesting feature. It comprises two hillocks of near-uniform contour height. One hillock is 300m and the other is 350m high. Scientists suggest a meteorite fell on Chandranath Mountain during the pre-historic period.
Chandranath Temple
Shree Chandranath temple is located on the summit of the 350 meters high hill of Chandranath, at Paroda, Quepem. Chandreshwar was the deity of Bhoja kings who ruled South Goa before the Portuguese till the middle of the 8th century. They had furthermore named their capital Chandrapur after the deity. A rock is there within the temple precinct which exudes artistic splendor whenever rays of full moon fall on it. Some claim that milk oozes from the Shiva Linga at this special celestial event. A shivalinga is also carved out from this rock. The temple is so designed that Linga receives moonlight on every full moon. The temple commands panoramic view and also its surroundings are very charming. The temple’s ancient chariot is well known for its woodcarvings that are visited by lot of people. 'Chandrashila', the iron-meteorite worshipped in the temple, further adds to the mystery of this place. (View more Photos)

South Goa's straight coastline.

The coastline of South Goa according to Dr. Nandkumar Kamat is of a peculiar linear shape which stretches from Majorda to Betul, just north of the Canacona-Quepem coast. This could be a much "younger" coast (around 6,000-15,000 years young) compared to the rest of the Goan coast, and is a "trekker's dream-stretch".

Partagal Mutt Temple
This Mutt headquarters earlier existed at Bhatkal in 1476 AD. Later (after the Samadhi of Swami Shrikanta Tirtha) shifted to Partagali village on the banks of the sacred river Kushavati in Goa known as  Gokarn-Partagali Mutt. This place is popularly known as Bramhasthan. After Swami Jeevothan Tirtha the Mutt is also called Jeevothan Mutt.  Present pontiff Vidhyadhiraj Tirtha succeeded to the Peetha in 1973. The Mutt has its headquarters at Partagali, Poinguinim, and Canacona in Goa. Close by is the banks of the Talpona river. (View more Photos)

Largest Banyan Tree in Goa
There is a giant Vatavriksha (Banyan tree) about 200 meters to the north of the Partagal Jeevothan Mutt with 220 aerial roots and total area admeasuring 235 feet x 225 feet and is believed to be 2000 years old. It can accommodate about 1000 people in its shade. (View more Photos)

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located 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 visitors. The sanctuary has eight well laid out nature trails traversing it. There are six watchtowers in the sanctuary. Also there is one 'tree top', it is situated about 20 meters high on a tree overlooking a waterhole. Both the Gal and Talpona rivers of Canacona Taluka originate from the sanctuary.

At the entrance 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 sanctuary 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 juts 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 visitors 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 stayed 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. (View more Photos)

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