Travel is food for the soul; a journey to discover yourself in the process. A visit to the island of Divar offers plenty of soul stirring moments and countless memories. Once you’re there, you want to keep returning to the endless green pastures, lose yourself to the charming surroundings with Indo-Portuguese homes sitting pretty next to each other or take a few minutes to pause and reflect under the old iconic mango tree.
Divar is a storehouse of history, much of it still hidden and unexplored. It has been home to several Goans who have excelled in the field of literature, music and business. The chunk of land cocooned by the river Mandovi encompasses the communidades of Piedade, Malar and Goathias.
It’s said that the inhabitants originally came from Old Goa, inhabitants who fled the then capital after the plague.
How to get there
To get to Divar, you can either hop on the ferry at the Ribandar ferry wharf or go up to Old Goa.
What to see
Ruins of Saptakoteshwar temple: The ancient Saptakoteshwar temple once served its devotees but it was moved during the Portuguese regime to Bicholim. The ruins still remain and are a worthy visit.
Church of Our Lady of Compassion: Given Divar’s multi-cultural diversity, the island has some of the most iconic churches in Goa. Belonging to Piedade, this hillside Church of Our Lady of Compassion is one of the best in the area. It was built somewhere around the 1700s by a Goan priest.
Temples: There are a few modern temples on the island. The larger one dedicated to Ganesh is close to the Church of Our Lady of Compassion.
Sluice Gates: The ingenuity of our ancestors can still be admired today when one visits the sluice gates. These old mechanisms helped maintain the tidal pressure on the island and prevented it from floods. These gates can be seen at various parts of the island. There’s one such gate behind the famous Devayaa retreat.
Divar will enthrall all with its charm and mystique.