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If there is one hidden treasure in Goa, it is the scenic Divar Island. Surrounded by natural scenery everywhere, this place is one of the most peaceful destinations in the beach destination of Goa. It is well-connected to all commercial parts of Goa with the help of frequent ferries. With paddy fields all over, Divar Island is a place that is straight out of a fairy tale book. The most beautiful railways in the country, Konkan Railways, pass through this island via the nearest stop of Carambolim.
There are two main types of villages here – Piedade and Malar. Piedade is the one which is located at the base of a hill which is densely forested. Above the hill, there is a beautiful church by the name, “The Church of Our Lady of Compassion”. Devotees come here to offer their prayers to Mother Mary and to also get a great panoramic view of the entire village from the top of the hill. The scintillating view of the Mandovi River, excellent and antique view of the chapels, stylish villas built using Portuguese style and other countryside structures of Old Goa should never be missed from atop the hill.
The village of Malar is blessed with abundant natural beauty. If you want to visit this place, the nearest station that you have to get down at is Carambolim through the Konkan Railways. One of the major highlights here is the Sao Mathias Church which was built in this village around 4 centuries back by the Portuguese. Apart from this, one can also find a sports club in this part of the village.
A ferry connects Divar Island with Old Goa, Ribandar and Narve on the southeast, southwest and north respectively. A ferry can be taken from the Vanxim Island in Divar to the famous destination of Panjim towards the northwestern direction. In the Malar village, there are ferry connections on the Narve-Bicholim, Divar-Old Goa and Divar-Ribandar routes on a daily basis for the benefit of locals and travellers.
Since Divar Island is one of the key tourist destinations in Goa, there are many luxury, premium and budget accommodations available for tourists here. Some of the notable places to stay here are:
- Divar Island Guest House Retreat
- Devaaya Ayurveda and Nature Cure Centre
- The Island Pool Villa
- Villa Terra Rosa
- Old Goa Residency
- Villa Riveria
Events / Festivals in Divar Island
There are three main festivals celebrated in Divar Island. They are:
- Feast of our Lord Redeemer
Bonderam – This festival is celebrated in Divar Island’s Piedade village. During every year, the fourth Saturday of August is the day chosen for this festival. This is the day when the villagers pay respects to their predecessors who opposed the Portuguese way of settling arguments and fights by throwing stones on their flags. The entire village looks colorful during the festival and many people from foreign countries come to Divar Island to take part in the festivities.
Potekar – This is probably known as the Halloween of Goa. Celebrated 3 days prior to Ash Wednesday, locals of the village dress up as scary figures, in home-made masks and strange costumes. They go around the village demanding food and drinks from the locals and scare kids away to glory.
Feast of our Lord Redeemer – Also known as the feast of the Miraculous Image of our Lord Redeemer, this festival is celebrated in Piedade, by one of the chief village families. The image is believed to have come all the way from Europe by the late Ferraro of Goltim.
Places to Visit in Divar Island
The entire island is a place of beauty indeed and it can be best explored by ferry system. Located on the shores of the historic Mandovi River, Divar Island is a picture of divinity, tranquility and natural beauty.
Climate of Divar Island
The months between November and March are quite cold and pleasant in Divar Island. April and May can be very hot with the temperatures going up to 35 degrees Celsius or more. June to August is the period of monsoons here and it is wise to avoid to travel during this time unless really necessary. During September, the soil in the island would be fresh from the rains and can tend to get very slippery. By October, winter starts setting in, making it ideal for tourists to come here.
Best Time to Visit Divar Island
The best time to visit Divar Island is the time between November and March. This is the time when the climate is really cold and pleasant. It is apt for sightseeing and adds beauty to the already scintillating view of the island.
How to Reach Divar Island
Air – Dabolim airport, at a distance of 18km from Divar Island, is the nearest to get to this place. Train – Carambolim Railway station (Konkan Railways), at a distance of 4.6km, is the nearest station to this place.x Bus – Many buses (both government sector and private sector) from neighboring states ply to Old Goa on a regular basis. From here, there are many ferries to get to Divar Island.