Have you been to Netrani Island, famous for Scuba Diving?

Netrani Island is a small coral island off the coast of Karnataka, situated around 10 nautical miles (19 kilometers) away from Murudeshwar town. It is famous for scuba diving, snorkeling, etc. It is also rich in coral reef.

Netrani IslandNetrani Island off Arabian sea coast in India.

Sharp rocks and steep cliffs prevent tourists from entering the island. Scuba diving and snorkeling is done from anchored boats.

Netrani Island is rich in fauna. Butterfly fish, Coral,eels, parrot fish, trigger fish, shrimps, etc, can be seen here. Fish eagles can also be seen in large numbers, which feeds on sea snakes and fish. A Mongoose species is also seen here. Bats are also found in the island. Whale sharks were seen around the island, occasionally.

Netrani Island was being used by Indian armed forces for their target practice; remains of which can still be seen there. In 2012, Honorable High Court of Karnataka has issued a stay order on target practice here. Naval authorities has admitted that they are using a big rock here for target practice.

There are some shrines in the island.

How Do I Go to Netrani Island?

Murdeshwara and Goa are the nearest towns where dive shops are there. They will arrange diving trips to the island. Fishing motor boats also can take you to the island from Bhatkal Fishing Harbour.

Ideal time to visit the island is during the months of December and January.

Conclusion

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Nature Trails Inside Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Overnight Stay at the Watchtower

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Goa, India. This wildlife sanctuary was established in 1968.  Forest ranger office and other facilities are available at the Eco-tourism complex building, at entrance to this wild life sanctuary. Other facilities includes children’s park, canteen, cottages, toilets, nature interpretation center, etc.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.

Image courtesy – goa.gov.in website.

This wildlife sanctuary with an area of around 86 square kilometers has Eight routes for nature trails. They vary in trekking distance ranging from half a kilometer to five kilometers. It is Ideal for those looking for trails in and around Goa.

There is a treetop watchtower having a height of 25 meters, above a waterhole, where animals go to drink water. It is ideal to go to the watch tower in the dawn and dusk, when animals comes to the waterhole.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. Flora includes dense forest consisting of tall trees. Some of the trees here are around 30 meters in height.

Fauna includes four-horned antelope, gaur, monkey,  wild boar, hump-nosed pit viper, Malabar pit viper, Malabar trogon, white-bellied woodpecker, flying squirrel, slender loris, Indian pangolin,  velvet-fronted nuthatch, mouse deer, heart-spotted woodpecker, Malayan bittern, speckled piculet,  draco or flying lizard, Malabar tree toad, golden-back gliding snake, etc.

Many a tribal communities live in and around this wildlife sanctuary. Tourists can interact with them and know about their culture.

How Do I Go to Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary?

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Taluk, south of Goa, on the Karnataka state border. The sanctuary is at around two kilometers distance from Poinguinim, which is at around 10 kilometers distance away from Chaudi. Chaudi town is on NH 17. Buses to Karwar via Chaudi (on NH 17) stops near the sanctuary entrance gate.

Forest Department rents out one two-bedded suite room at Poinguinim. You can also stay at the watchtower in the night after getting required permission in advance from The Deputy Conservator of Forests, Third Floor, Junta House, Panaji, Goa, India.

October and March are the ideal months to visit this wildlife sanctuary.

 

How About Visiting the 6th Century Arvalem Caves and Arvalem Falls in Goa?

Arvalem Caves are located near to Arvalem falls in North Goa, India. It is also known as the Pandava caves  as it is believed that Pandavas (heroes of epic Mahabharata), occupied five chambers of the caves here, while they were in exile.

Arvalem Caves

Arvalem Caves – Image courtesy – goa.gov.in

These rustic and simple caves has their sanctum sanctuary at the northern end. Vihara  is at the southern end. These architecture resembles goes well with other Buddhist caves in the nearby areas.  Hence its is believed that these caves were built by Buddhist monks. There was also a gigantic  statue of Lord Gautama Buddha, which was found near to these cave temples.

The origin of the caves dates back to the 6th century or so. The caves here are situated on a laterite rock. These caves are also called Harvalem caves.

Carvings and the artifacts of the caves gives credibility to another belief, that this caves were the work of Brahmins, the Hindu priest caste  in India. There are granite Shivlings with carvings similar to those found at Ellora Caves and Elephanta caves.

There is a sculpture in the second cave, which is dedicated to the sun god. The inscriptions here dates back to 600 A.D. It is similar to those prevailed during the reign of King Kapalivarman of Bhoja period.

Arvalem waterfalls on Cudnem river is situated very close to the caves. You need to hike around 1 kilometer or so to reach this beautiful falls.

How Do I Go to Arvalem Caves / Arvalem waterfalls?

Sanquelim or Sankhali  is the nearest town,  at around 2 kilometers distance. Bicholim alias Dicholi, the mining heartland of Goa and the district headquarters, is at around 9 kilometers distance.

Panaji, the capital of Goa, is at around 31.5 kilometers distance. Dabolim Railway Station is at around 41 kilometers distance from Harvalem caves. Indian railway along with Konkan railway, connects Panaji with the rest of India.

There is an International airport at Dabolim in Goa, at around 40 kilometers away from these cave temples and falls at Arvalem.

Arvalem Caves Timings

These caves are open from 9.00 am to  5.00 pm; with a break in-between from 1 pm to 2 pm.

Baga Beach and Creek and Nightclubs, Water Sports, Dolphin Cruise

Baga Beach is the most popular beach in Goa. The Beach and the Baga Creek are located at Baga town. The Creek empties into Arabian Sea.

Baga Beach at Goa
Baga Beach at Goa

Baga is known for the nightclubs and discotheques. The Beach is a tourist’s paradise for all types of beach activities.

This Beach is famous for water sports. Jet skiing, Paragliding, Para-sailing, Windsurfing, Banana ride, etc, are to name a few. Dolphins can see seen at around 1 to 2 kilometers from the beach. Dolphin cruise is a major activity here.

Baga Beach is contiguous beach along with other beaches like Sinquerim beach, Candolim beach, Calangute beach.

The Beach has a lot of beach side shacks and restaurants, serving the needs of the tourists.

How Do I Go to Baga Beach?

Baga town is under the jurisdiction of Calangute, Calangute is located 2 kilometers south of Baga. The beach is well connected by roads to other parts of Goa. The bridge over the creek connects northers parts with Baga.

There is an International airport and a major railway station at Goa, which connects Goa to other parts of the country.

12th Century Intricately Carved Brahma Temple at Goa

Brahma Temple is one of the oldest temples in Goa with an intricately carved 12th century Brahma idol as the main deity.

Brahma Temple or Brahma Karmali Temple as is known officially, has the deity of Lord Brahma, the supreme creator of the holy trinity as per Hindu belief. The deity belongs to 12th century, Kadamba Dynasty period. The Kadambas were good at art, architecture, etc. The deity Brahma is shown in the form of “Trimurti” (combination of three); Trinity of Lord Brahma the creator, Lord Vishnu the preserver and Lord Shiva the destroyer or transformer.

During the Portuguese invasion and subsequent rule of Goa around five centuries back, the idol was taken out of the original temple at Karmali alias Carambolim village in the island of Tiswadi. The idol was later installed at Sattari and then at Valpoi and finally at a small shrine at Nagargaon, on the banks of a stream in a dense forest.

Brahma temple is Goa’s most famous temple.

How Do I Go to Brahma Temple?

Brahma temple is located at the Nagargao village, at around 7 kilometers from Valpoi, the headquarters of the Sattari Taluk in Goa. The temple is at around 60 kilometers from Panaji, the capital of Goa state.

Goa is well connected by all modes of transport. There is an international airport and a major railway station at Goa. Goa is connected by roads to other parts of the country.