Sun, sea and sand is usually what comes to your mind when you think of Goa. Stepping away from the coast, we explored an inland route past old Goa towards the river island of Divar.
Driving along the Mandovi river we made our way to the Ribander Ferry point. The timing was perfect and we drove straight onto the ferry.
Across the river bordered with green shrub like trees was the island of Divar which is accessible only by ferry. The ferries run frequently (from around 7am to 8pm) and from three different points. Only four wheelers are charged a nominal fee of Rs.10.00.
Divar Island is a slice of laid back Goa. Surrounded by marshy waters, it is quieter, sleepier and more picturesque than villages on the mainland. From the ferry point, it’s a drive through paddy fields to the village of Piedade
It’s got well laid out roads, making it ideal to explore the island by bike or car. There isn’t much to see if your looking for touristy sights. There’s hardly anyone on the roads and no sign of the tourist crowd. A Kadamba bus shuttle operates between the ferry point and the village, so if you decide to visit it’s a good idea to have your own transport.
The island is dotted with well-maintained old Portuguese styled houses.
From a distance you can see the church atop a forested hillock, which I think is the highest point on the island. The hill top offers a scenic view of the surrounding countryside dominated by the winding Mandovi river. A short walk downhill leads you to a temple.
At some point you will wonder why they haven’t built a bridge to make the island more accessible to the mainland. But after spending a few hours here, driving through paddy fields and the serene countryside, it isn’t difficult to figure out why the locals aren’t keen on the idea. Divar Island has a rhythm of its own quite different from the mainland – a slice of rural Goa.