May 29, 2015

FACES OF GOA: APRIL'15 - Part 2

THE OLD GOA - DIVAR FERRY

Crossing the narrow and swift flowing rivers of Goa on a ferry is one of the things that you can never get tired of, no matter how many times you have done it in the past. Though there are many ferry crossing points in the state, most being located around the island of Tiswadi, the one connecting Old Goa to Divar is my favorite. Unlike the one connecting Panjim and Betim which perhaps is the most famous since it offers stunning view of the state's capital city, the one here is shorter and far less crowded. Moreover, the sight of the majestic churches of Old Goa rising above the towering coconut palms on the river bank as you sail along the serene Mandovi will remain with you for a long time. The mangrove fores bordering the river along the Divar island, the far away railway bridge, the men fishing in their circular boats and the mighty barges carrying minerals mined in the heartland only add to the charm. No wonder, the round trip i.e. Old Goa to Divar and back, is always on my agenda during my visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Now, a little regarding these ferries. Almost all of the ferries that operate in the state are blue and white in color and most are named either after rivers or towns. They are fairly simple, run on coal and are operated by three to four men - a driver who is stationed in the cabin on the top, one or two attendants who help maneuver the ramp as the vessel nears the banks and a supervisor who collects money from the motorists. In fact, at every crossing point, there are two ferries, each sailing in opposite direction so that the people do not waste much time in transit. Moreover, this service is free for passengers and cyclists whereas a minimal fee is charged for motor bikes and automobiles. The importance of this mode of transport is underlined by the fact that in places like Divar and Vanxim, the ferry is the only connection between these riverine islands and the rest of the world.






THE FACES OF GOA: APRIL'15

(1) The Flower Vendors of Panjim Bus Stand (Link)

(2) The Old Goa - Divar Ferry (Link)