Divar Island in Goa
Islands are favorite places of most of the people and it serves as a dream place away from the mainland with water on all sides. The Divar Island in Goa, India is such an island situated amidst Mandovi River. This one is situated six miles away from Panjim. It stands at a prime location with Ribandar on its southwestern part, Old Goa to its southeast and Narve towards the northern part. These parts are connected with the island by ferry services. The city of Panaji is also connected with this island on its northwestern part to the island of Vanxim. So if you want o get to the island by train then, Carambolin is the nearest railway stoppage to the island village of Vanxim.
Initially, it was a pilgrimage site with a few Hindu temples like Saptokoteshwar, Mahamaya and Ganesh temple. But later in 16th century, the temples were captured by the Portuguese and many people shifted to other places. Christianization took place in Goa and the temples were replaced by churches. The inhabitants of this island were actually residents of Old Goa. Once a very disastrous plague killed many people and some of them were able to fly in this island and started living here.
Festivals in Divar
The famous festival of the island is the Bonderam festival which is celebrated with like a carnival and tourists from all over the world show interests to attend this grand festival. It is celebrated in the monsoon season on fourth Saturday in the month of August. The festival is mainly celebrated in the memory of resolving the disputes between them and the Portuguese system. The main attraction of the festival is the floats in gaily color along with youngsters with colored dresses.
The feast of the Lord
Every year, at Piedade, a feast is celebrated dedicated to Our Lord Redeemer. It happens in the month of December on the particular Sunday that is nearer to 18th November. Devotees from many parts of Goa participate in this festival.
This is celebrated prior to Ash Saturday just like Halloween. It involves local people who wear costumes, masks, cowbells and roam around their village. On that day, they are allowed to frighten the children. Some offer drinks and snacks while others demand so.
Additional information on Divar Island
The island has got a unique cuisine, Cashew Feni known as Urak which is found in a number of bars. Fishermen and Farmers frequently go to the Damien Bar to have Urak and other local foods. The local Mayur Bar serves Urak produced by them. Rock Inn, Julio Bar, Step In, Sea view is some of the alternatives to restaurants. When it comes to staying, then the Divar Island Retreat serves as the most prominent homestay where you can stay with your family. There are 12 rooms along with attached bathrooms and all other amenities. There is also a pool and a garden in the hotel premise. There are places you can visit when your guide will take you into the depth of the island.
How to Reaching Divar Island
Free vehicle ferry services are where that would take you to the island. Old Goa also leaves ferries that approach the southern part of the island. Alternatively, there is another ferry service from Narao. Ferry services are available from 7 in the morning till 8 in the evening. You can explore the island by cycling or through a private excursion with the help of the guide.
You can experience the charm of Divar Island by cycling or walking through the village. Lifestyle in this place has not changed for many years and you can take a dip into their traditional lifestyle. The view from the hilltop is fascinating as you can have a distant view of the Mandovi River and old Goa. After reaching the island by ferry, you have to pass through the road which is laced by paddy fields and green hills into the village of Piedade. So if you are thinking to visit the island then do not hesitate to plan your tour. And yes, you can also visit the nearby Charao Island which is equally beautiful and is an example of tranquil rural Goa.