Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Augustin Fernandes
The beautiful Divar Island is situated across the Mandovi River from Old Goa. It is the neighboring Island to Charoa. A ferry connects the southern end of the island with Old Goa.
The ferry spot is situated near the Viceroy’s Arch at Old Goa from where visitors can pick up a ferry to reach the island.
About Divar Island
There is also another ferry that links the northern end of the Divar Island to the Narve or Naroa village in Bicholim. This spot is known for the Saptkoteshwar temple that is one of the most sacred temples for the Hindus in Goa.
Even though there is not too much to see at the island it remains a serene and seldom-visited place to take in the atmosphere of the old time rural Goa.
Divar is divided into four villages namely; Piedade, Malar, Goltim and Naroa.
The largest of which is Piedade as mentioned earlier, you will have a spectacular site of Old Goa from here.
History of Divar Island
The island of Divar is home to a lot of wonderful and variety of cultures. Its history dates back to a time when Divar was home to the massive Hindu population of Goa.
But the Portuguese later started religious persecution, and therefore the residents on the island escaped to other parts of Goa, leaving behind ruins of temples and monuments of religious significance.
Another reason behind the abandonment of Divar by the people of Old Goa was a plague epidemic that spread at all around the area during that time.
5 Places to visit in Divar Island
The picturesque “Piedade” that has a hill top church built in the early 16th century is called the Our Lady of Compassion Church. This remains Divar’s main and largest village. Here one can view all of the marvellous churches of Old Goa.
2. Saptkoteshwar temple
The Saptkoteshwar temple that is one of the most sacred temples for the Hindus in Goa. Constructed in the 12th Century.
The Saptakoteshwar Temple was the greatest and holiest temple of the Kadamba Dynasty in Goa, but after its destruction by Muslim rulers and then Portuguese, the beautiful village of Naroa lost its relevance.
3. Old Portuguese Houses
4. Bonderam festival
The Divar Island is also well known in Goa due to a festival celebrated here known as the Bonderam festival.
The villagers observe this feast on the last Saturday of August. This feast is also known as the feast of the harvest or the festival of flags.
Thousands of tourists and locals attend this festival. Each section of the village has a float at the parade.
Melodious music could be heard throughout the village and it is worth attending.
Here after returning home the emigrant workers wave the flags of their adopted countries while marching through the village.
5. Potekar Festival
The Potekar festival began before the Portuguese era, and is always celebrated three days before the beginning of the lent. It occurs during the exact same time of the carnival in Goa.
The meaning of potaker fits perfectly after the fancy dress of men in dress and masks. There is a long thread of beliefs behind the festival. Some believe that the task of intimidating children with scary masks in Potaker was to teach children morality and values.
Divar island is surrounded by marshy waters and with sleepy single lane roads. The island paves the path for being a lovely place to explore by people.
How to reach Divar Island
The island of Divar is located approximately 10 km from Panjim.
The Island is connected to Old Goa on the south-east side, Ribandar on the south-west side and Narve on the north side, all by ferry.
Ferries run frequently from their take off spots from around 7am to 8pm daily.
7 places to visit near Divar Island
1. Basilica of Bom Jesus Church
Basilica of Bom Jesus, the ancient, historical Portuguese Church located in ‘Old Goa’, was India’s first known Basilica.
This church is loved by the locals as well as the tourists who especially travel to Old Goa to have a look at this famous Basilica.
2. Se Cathedral Church Old Goa
Se Cathedral Church of Old Goa is one of the oldest and biggest churches to be seen in Asia. The construction of this magnificent masterpiece began in 1562 and was completed in the year 1619.Se Cathedral Church
3. St. Augustine Church Goa – Historical landmark in Goa
This magnificent piece of ancient architecture was the site of the monastery of the Augustinian order, which was attached to the enormous church of Nossa Senhora da Graca (Our Lady of Grace). However, the prominent figure of the St. Augustine Church Goa, is perhaps the largest construction in Goa,
4. Church of St. Francis of Assisi
The Chapel of St. Catherine is located in the western side of St. Francis of Assisi Church and is dedicated to St. Catherine. It was built by Alfonso De Albuquerque in 1510 when he defeated the local Muslim ruler Adil Shah.
5. Archaeological Museum of Old Goa
The convent, adjoining the church of St. Francis of Assisi, was converted into a museum and was set up by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1965.
6. Church of St. Cajetan Old Goa
The spectacular and beautiful Church of St. Cajetan, lies about half a kilometer away to the northeast of the Se Cathedral.
7. The Viceroy’s Arch Old Goa
The archway into Old Goa, known as the Viceroy’s Arch, was erected by Vasco da Gama’s grandson, ‘Francisco da Gama’, who became viceroy in 1597
FAQ on Divar Island
How do I get to Divar Island?
The island of Divar is located approximately 10 km from Panjim. The Island is connected to Old Goa on the south-east side, Ribandar on the south-west side and Narve on the north side, all by ferry. Ferries run frequently from their take off spots from around 7am to 8pm daily.
Where is Divar Island in Goa?
The beautiful Divar Island is situated across the Mandovi River from Old Goa. A ferry connects the southern end of the island with Old Goa. The ferry spot is situated near the Viceroy's Arch at Old Goa from where visitors can pick up a ferry to reach the island.