The Salim Ali bird sanctuary though sprawls over a small area of about 1.8 square kilometers it houses more than 400 species of birds, both local and migratory. This bird sanctuary which is the abode of a myriad of bird species is named after one of the most famous and renowned ornithologist Dr.Salim.Apart from diversified rare and exotic varieties of birds, at times if you are lucky can also get to witness wild animals like crocodiles, foxes, and jackals. Though the bird sanctuary remains open throughout the year it is best to visit during the winter season for it is the time avian of different species migrate and come to this place from different parts of the world. Prior permission has to be got from the Chief, Wild Life Warden of the Forest Department situated in Junta House in Panaji-Goa. The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is situated in the island of Chorao and can be reached by a bus or a cab from Panaji to the Ribandar ferry wharf and then take a ferry across the Mandovi River to the island of Chorao.The sanctuary is within walking distance from the ferry wharf at Chorao.Apart from the forest department there are also local guides who will take the tourists around the bird sanctuary in their canoes fitted with outboard motors. The Salim Ali bird sanctuary is predominantly of mangrove vegetation which helps as breeding grounds for several varieties of fish and insects which forms the first level in the food chain. Another main attraction of the sanctuary is the watchtower from where one can get a good view of the avians.It is possible to travel around the sanctuary by boat but because the area is intertwined with many waterways, travel in this way is restricted to high tidal times.
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located at the western tip of the Chorao Island along river Mandovi near Panaji.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The ideal time to visit this sanctuary is between the months of October to March.
PLACES OF INTERESTS
The flora of the sanctuary along the Mandovi and Mapusa River largely consists of mangrove and its associated scrubs.The Cumbarjua Canal is also populated with mangrove forests.
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary boasts a wide variety of species of avians including the native and the migratory birds like coots and pintails. It is a paradise for bird-watchers where you can see categories from water fowls to other exotic migratory birds. The wildlife here includes flying foxes, jackals and crocodiles which are found in the sanctuary. The chirpings of the birds keeps the sanctuary alive throughout the day and night and all seasons.
Bhoothathankettu and Edamalayar
A short drive from the sanctuary will take you to this popular picnic spot. A dam and a children's park are major attractions of this place.
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HOW TO REACH
Dabolim is the nearest airport, 29 km from Panaji.
Ernakulam is the nearest railhead, connected by daily trains from Delhi.
To reach from Kochi, take the NH47 to Aluva. From here, follow the state highway 16 to Kothamangalam via Perumbavoor from where a state road will take you to Keerampara. Finally, take a ferry ride to the sanctuary.
Take a bus or a cab from Panaji to the Ribandar ferry wharf and then take a ferry across the Mandovi River to the island of Chorao.