The beautiful Divar Island that is rarely visited is situated across the Mandovi River from Old Goa. A ferry connects the southern end of the island with Old Goa. The ferry wharf is situated near the Viceroy’s Arch at Old Goa.
Another ferry links the northern end of the Divar Island to the Narve or Naroa village in the Bicholim subdivision which is known for the Saptkoteshwar temple that is one of the most sacred temples of Hindus in Goa. From Panaji to visit the Mayem Lake the Divar Island offers a shortcut.
The picturesque Piedade that has a hill top church built in early 16th century called the Our Lady of Compassion Church is Divar’s main and largest village. Here one can have views of the churches of Old Goa. Also during the Kadamba time on this site an ancient Ganesh temple existed.
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. Here after returning home the emigrant workers wave the flags of their adopted countries while marching through the village.
Located at a distance of 10 km from Panjim in Goa, Divar Island is a slice of heaven tucked away in dense woods amidst the beauty of nature. Connected to Old Goa only through ferry service, this island is synonymous with natural beauty, serenity and tranquillity. Commonly recognised as a ‘village stuck in time’; the area is still unexplored and unexploited by tourism or commercialisation as it is disconnected from city life.
Divar Island is dotted with vintage houses built in Portuguese style, littered with traditional churches and is surrounded by evergreen paddy fields. Unlike the loud and hippie party culture of Goa, this place provides the contrasting peace and environment to the wanderers to make them want just to explore it. The term ‘divar’ is derived from the word ‘dipavati’, which means ‘small island’ in Konkani. The term is pronounced as ‘divaddi’. Although Divar Island hardly has any particular sightseeing spots, the innate beauty and charm of the narrow winding roads, the tiny tea stalls and overall aura will make you want never to leave the island.
How to Reach Divar Island
Goa is well connected to major cities of the country like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. The Divar island is at a distance of 10 kms from Panjim, the capital of Goa. Divar can only be reached by one of the 3 ferry services. You can get a ferry from old Goa near Basilica of Bom Jesus, to Divar island. The Divar island is connected to two other ferry points of Goa.
Piedade/ Goltim terminal at south-east between Divar and Old Goa: 6:00 AM – 2:15 PM
Navelim/ St. Pedro terminal. Connects to Ribandar: 6:30 AM – 12:45 PM
Naroa terminal in the north: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Amboi terminal. Connects to Vanxim Island: 6:00 AM – 11:35 PM