Goa is a popular destination for chilling at beaches, foot tapping nightlife and thrilling water-sports with many descending to its cool waters, clear skies and irresistible natural covers. But did you know about a long forgotten submerged village that only sees daylight one month of every year? Only now is it gaining traction as tourists line up every year to see this bizarre happening take place and learn of the history of this village. Here is everything you need to know about Curdi village in Goa.
This village that stays submerged 11 months in a year was once full of life, just like any other village. It housed over 600 families who called it their home, who earned their livelihood here itself. What happened to this village then? How come it now lies as if abandoned, underneath the Salaulim River?
Well, this drastic change was bought about by the construction of a large dam here that drove the residents and locals of the village out in order to source almost 400 MILLION litres of water to the entire South region of Goa.
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How did this come to be you ask? It was the decision of Dayanand Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of Goa. And the displacement of all the families of this village began. They were compensated through land given in nearby villages of Valkinem and Vaddem. The dam stood tall in 1986, the monsoons that year watering it and leading to Curdi’s seasonal appearance.
Now living 15 km away from their ancestral home, what is most disappointing is that the people who were driven out of their own homes cannot get the water this dam was constructed for in the first place. They still rely on tankers of the Government to supply them with water in the extremely hot months of April, May, June.
“The tap system did not come through to all villages of south Goa as promised so we do not get our drinking water from the dam,” said a former resident to The Better India in an interview
Every May they gather around their ancestral home which is visible as the waterline recedes, revealing ruins of an old town. Temples, as well as Church ruins, are visible along with long lost things you can only find inside a house. Many rituals are conducted at the ruins of these holy places now popular among the tourists whose numbers are fast growing in order to document this once in a year spectacle.
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You too can visit this village on your next trip to Goa in the month of May. Mark your calendars and go see for yourself what once was a small village full of people. What do you make of this unusual spectacle of Curdi village and the displacement of its people, one of many in India due to the same reason- construction of dams?
And while you’re in Goa, follow our personalised guide to have a blast!