The beautiful island of Divar is surrounded by the Mandovi river, that creates mesmerizing scenes. Due to the abundance of water, the island is lush green. Growing up near the island, I have always found myself being more attracted to the waters of this heavenly island than the usual beaches, also because it is the best place to go for fishing mud crabs, although there are crocodiles lurking in the waters. But not to worry about it, as they are averse and afraid of humans, they will stay away.
Staying at old Goa, I first had to catch a 10-minute ferry to Divar. Just after the bus stand is a bandh(mud road), eventually that goes to the Manos. After getting my own bike, I have begun exploring scenic Divar, where earlier I would get lost quite often. Gladly that does not happen anymore, as I have familiarised myself with the roads. On one of my recent expedition, I found a temple situated at one end of the island, overlooking the backwaters. Once in awhile there is a ‘Yatra’, that occurs on an island opposite to this one during which there is a ferry provided in order to get there. Besides the magnificent temple lay an embankment with water lapping against the rocks. This picturesque was accompanied by a minuscule shelter of plastic and coconut palms, inside which gill nets were cramped-placed.
Washing away all my worries, as I splashed water with my feet. I discovered a protected heritage site of an old Hindu Temple with steps which are submerged under water. I am really curious to find out what lies beneath, hopefully, in the summer the water dries out.
In the central area of Divar, there is a church on top of a hill from where you get a panoramic view of old Goa and all the other neighboring places. If you were to head towards the Ribandar ferry en-route there is a small mud road that takes you to another beautiful view of the vast backwater areas. There is a boat that organizes water activities here. If you continue to walk on the mud road you will eventually reach another Manos where there are a hut and a small cross.
Being the monsoon season the road was obstructed by water that did not let me go any further to the Manos. during my entire time spent in Divar, I saw many species of birds. If you head towards the interiors of Divar you can hear; peacocks communicating with each other, ducks can be seen diving in the water and at intervals, they come up for air, or up with a fishy treat, the endless backwaters harbor many fishes.
I also caught a glimpse of a man using a paguer (round net with weight on the ends). I sat there for about 15 mins, just observing him casting the net with such perfect technique. The casting of this net requires great strength and precision that comes only through practice. When thrown, it spreads out in a circular manner then sinks to the bottom, to the weights on the end. Everything on the surface and the bottom get caught in it. In order to retreat the net, the man sent his friend into the water to make sure the fish escape, slowly and steadily he retrieved the net making sure he captures all the fish. After repeated attempts, he had caught quite a few pearl spots and mullets locally known as kaundra and shotai, he also had caught some decent size prawns which I think he would use later, as live bait for fishing as live prawns makes excellent bait, for catching big strong fish.
Divar is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle, we hear in our day to day life, everything about Divar is so peaceful right from the sounds of the water flowing, the birds chirping and whispers of the wind. As the sun starts to fall you slowly start to hear the frogs croak, occasionally one can hear trains passing by. It is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Hi, this is Nolan Lobo, let me give you a short introduction about myself; I love to train and work hard at the gym. Then head off to peaceful places to calm my mind. I happened to live in Old Goa; a small village filled with beautiful churches and multiple islands close by. I am just a ferry away from Divar, Et Estavam and Gaundalim, Each more beautiful than the other.
TEXT & IMAGES: Nolan Lobo