The Netravali Lake goes by many names, like Budbud, Budbudyachi Tali, and Bubble Lake. Situated in the peaceful and serene village of Netravali the lake is famous for its bubbles. These bubbles rise continuously to the surface in various places in the lake. Strangely enough, they also appear to respond to certain sounds and rise faster if you clap!
Though it is called a lake, it is more of a pond, with granite steps leading to it. There is also a huge granite pedestal in the centre of the lake. The lake/pond is a place of religious significance for the local peoples, not merely for the lake, but also for the nearby Gopinath Temple.
Where to Go
The village of Netravali where this wonder is located lies in the Sanguem Taluka of South Goa. The village where the Budbudyachi Tali lies is about 80km from Panaji and 50km from Margao.
When to Go
In season and out, the bubbles continue their journey from the bottom of the lake to its surface. The lake is open all days of the week from 8.00am to 8.00pm. The best times of the year to visit would be during the cooler months (October to March) or during the monsoon season to get the full benefit of the greenery and scenic surroundings.
The Bubbling Lake
The lake itself is a beautiful natural marvel. The word ‘budbud’ means bubbles in Konkani. The bubbles rise at regular intervals from the lake bed and bursting at the surface form fascinating concentric circles, or ripples in the water. The mesmerizing site is often patronized by the local children who enjoy watching the bubbles rise through the clear waters of the pond until the break on the surface.
The explanations for the origin of the bubbles are many and varied. Some claim that they are the work of the local deity, whilst others say that they are due to carbon or sulphur dioxide gas. The theory that attributed to methane has been disproved because of the presence of plenty of fish in the lake. The long and short of it is that the true origin of the bubbles still remains a mystery.
Another fascinating and unexplained phenomenon of this lake is the fact that the bubbles appear to speed up when someone claps near the pond. The locals say that acoustics have something to do with the formation of the bubbles; however, no scientific explanation has been given, yet.
The government of Goa has also undertaken a massive project to beautify the lake and its surroundings, to make it more attractive to tourists both national and international. Their plans include improving the access road to the lake by widening it and placing street lamps at regular intervals, also providing parking. The plans also include a swimming area near the existing step well, an additional masonry wall and seating, gazebos, lighting, etc.
The Gopinath Temple
The nearby Gopinath temple is also worth a visit. The temple houses an idol of Lord Krishna, who was the Lord of the Gopis, and is therefore known as Gopinath. The original idol that was in this temple since the 14th Century has since been moved to the Goa State Museum in Panaji. The current idol depicts Lord Krishna playing the flute under the ‘kalpavriksha’; the divine, wish-fulfilling tree in Hindu mythology.
The temple itself is a simple and ancient structure. The four pillars are carved with motifs in the Silhara-Kadamba pattern which are similar to those found at Tambdi Surla. Behind the temple are rock carved niches where Shivlings are kept and worshiped by the local people.
Also in vicinity are the Usgalimal Stone Age rock carvings which have great archaeological and historical significance. Executed as they are on the ground itself, the carvings are quite unique and pre-date all else in Goa.
Other aquatic attractions in this area include the Salaulim dam and the Savari and Mainapi waterfalls. In the same taluka, but some distance away lies the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and it’s most famous attraction, the Dudhsagar Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in India.
The famous Jama Masjid is also located in the Sanguem taluka, and is a popular Muslim place of worship in Goa.
The Netravali bubbling lake represents another of Goa’s less well-known attractions, with which the state abounds. This is a great place to go for a day trip or even just for a short visit.