The couple who started it all . The park is the brainchild of Dr Jyoti Heblekar . A practicing Homeopath , she finds time to manage two children , three dogs , a few cats ( too nomadic to keep count ) and a few hundred of butterflies . Yashodan , her husband , adds to those logistics.
The design and layout ( or lack of it ) is credited to Yashodan , while keeping the place up and running is Jyoti’s headache .
Tanmaye and Shrusti, their children, are the Resident experts!
A successful executive, Animesh Sahay has joined this effort in 2010 . Besides helping increase the area under conservation , his marketing acumen has helped the conservatory to work out a self sustaining commercial model. Jigisha , his better half , hopes to put to good use her hospitality industry background . She has plans to set up some eco friendly cottages in the near future.
The “About us” section would not be complete without a mention about “The House”!
While it continues to draw more attention than the park itself, the home of Heblekars is the umbilicus of the park : The harvested rain water being the source of water to the park.
The garden on the sloping roof replete with Bamboos, canes and ficus trees…
Inside the butterfly park is a puddle. A muddy wet patch littered with gravel, and salt added externally.
Just before mating the adult males smear themselves in salty mud—a behaviour known as mud puddling. The collected sodium and amino acids are then transferred to the females during mating as a nuptial gift.
Jyoti and Yashodan Heblekar, proud owners of a butterfly park in Goa call the mud puddle “a butterfly café—a royal treat where butterflies of various kinds find solace and salt”.
It is a gathering for tired wings and thirsty probes— where the male clan gather and exchange notes on failed matings and broken thoraxes, they say.
Butterfly needs two types of plants. Nectar plants for adults, and larval host plants for caterpillars. The growth of a butterfly depends entirely on the larval stage: if the larva is well fed, the size of the adult will be bigger. As such, female butterflies are picky on which leaves to lay eggs on. Some, for instance, would want their offspring caterpillars to be fed only on lime leaves. Each species has a distinct palate for nectar.