At a distance of 10 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 30 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 22 km from Mapusa, Divar Island is situated in North Goa.
Divar Island is situated on the Mandovi River near Chorao Island in Goa. The Divar Island derived its name from the word 'Dipavati' which means a 'small island' in the Konkani. The largest settlement on the island Piedade is spread at the bottom of a small-forested hillock. There is the Church of Our Lady of Compassion. The island is dotted with well-maintained, elegant Portuguese villas. From the top of the hill superb panoramic views of the surrounding countryside including Old Goa, Panaji, Mandovi River and the bridges across can be seen.
The Divar Island was a famous site of Hindu pilgrimage and hosted the ancient temples of Shree Saptakoteshwar, Shree Ganesh and Shree Dwarkeshwar besides others. Portuguese activists irreversibly destroyed these in the 16th century in their drive for Christianization of Goa. It is likely that the Ganesh temple was destroyed by Muslim troops near the end of the 15th century, since the first church on this site was built in 1515.
The Church that occupies the hill today, the Church of Our Lady of Compassion / Peity is in fine condition. It combines an impressive facade with an engagingly simple interior. Just behind the church, a small cemetery offers one of only a few fragments of the once grand Kadamba dynasty. The small chapel in its grounds was converted from an older Hindu shrine and the carving, painted plaster ceiling and faint stone tracery at the window all date from before the death of the Kadamba dynasty in 1352.
The famous Bonderam festival on the 4th Saturday of August is celebrated in Divar Island with great pomp and festivity. 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.
Divar Island can only be reached by one of three ferry services. A boat from Old Goa (near the Viceroy's Arch) runs to the south side of the island, while the east end of the island is connected by ferry to Naroa in Bicholim Taluka. Another ferry operates to Ribandar from the southwest of the island. All ferries run every 30 minutes from 7am to 8pm.