Undiscovered Goa – The trail not taken

8th Apr 2021
Photo of Undiscovered Goa – The trail not taken by Aadit Jain

A huge piece of land with a mere population of around 15 lakhs grants the citizens of Goa a spacious setting that is sprawled with villas/bungalows etc

All the villas have a nice little verandah just outside the front door for your daily casual conversations with the locals. Although humid weather throughout the year, Goa is blessed with beaches and grassland cover across its length.

Old Goa which was the initial capital of the state was burned down by the people to stop the spread of the black death or the plague which was brought from Mozambique via trade relations back in the 1800's. Post this event, the capital shifted to what we now call Panjim/ Panaji.

Many islands are surrounding Panjim like Chorao, Divar, Vanxim, etc. but only Divar is one such populated island that isn't connected by a bridge. The island is home to 3000 people and all of them protested against the proposed bridge by the government thus making the island accessible only by Ferry. It is a very close-knit community at Divar Island who does not want the place to be flooded with tourists, they want to maintain peace and tranquility and are satisfied with the local livelihood of fishery and agriculture. Some of them do take up jobs in Panjim to support their families.

Divar Island –(Shot from Ferry)

Photo of Divar Island, Goa by Aadit Jain

There is a local baker at Divar Islands who starts baking in his traditional wooden fired pit every day at 3 AM and then hand delivers them in his modified cycle across the town. You can find katricho pao, sado pao and poie at the bakery. He lives with his family next to the bakery unit and you could see his kids lending him a hand in everything he does. The bakery unit is supported by all the residents financially.

There's a cricket ground and a Church where all the resident gather and spend their time together to play and pray. All in all, Divar island is a beautiful visit on the electric bikes, especially which you could get from guided tours by B-Live.

The next ferry ride from Divar island gets you to Vanxim island or Vaschim Island as it is pronounced. In the middle of the river between these islands is a cross standing atop a rock. An unusual place for a religious symbol but the local legend says that the symbol is in the memory of a doctor who was sacrificed while doing his duty. It was midnight when a patient was in severe pain on Vanxim island and the doctor took a ferry from Divar Island to treat the patient. The patient was successfully treated by the committed doctor but on the way back to Divar Island he faced the wrath of mother nature, it was high tides and under strong waves and lighting thunder his boat capsized and the doctor drowned. The Cross symbol in the middle of the river is to remember the Doctor's commitment towards his profession.

The Cross Symbol (Between Vanxim and Divar Island)

Photo of Mandovi River, Goa by Aadit Jain

This is a very small island with a 2km radius and 30-40 houses and host to a small hotel and an old unused Church which is just as picturesque as anything can get. People on this secluded island love their space, if you look too close in from the branches of trees next to shore, you could see someone bathing naked in his boat pouring seawater on his body with the help of his jug. Uninhabited Church at Vanxim Island

The Uninhabited Church

Photo of Vanxim, Goa, India by Aadit Jain

With overcast conditions, one can truly enjoy the trails of these islands of Goa.