HOMESTAY IN DIVAR 

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Where to stay on Divar Island

MORADIA DOS QUADROS HOMESTAY 

This charming  villa has been the home of the Quadros  family for years. Located in the village  on the small and beautiful island of Divar, this place is connected to the mainland only by ferry from Ribandar and Old Goa.

The romantic villa boasts of the Portuguese architecture of the time. Made of laterite stones, the villa has bedrooms and can accommodate families. 

This Homestay Moradia dos Quadros. ..in fact is the Mansion and the adjacent cottages were built by the owner Neves for his family …

However , with a view to offer Goans first and foremost,  followed by domestic  and Oversees guests  an   opportunity to bask in the village  surroundings ….

  • Water ponds  
  • Lakes, 
  • Sluice gates , 
  • Fishing,   
  • Lush rice paddy fields , 
  • Old Portuguese Goan  houses , 
  • Peacocks, 
  • Migratory  birds , etc , 


They offer our Mansion and cottage as homestay Bed and breakfast accommodation. 

Moradia dos Quadros endeavour is to provide a platform for one and all to tap the island offerings .

Attached photos and Brochure will provide a glimpse into what Divar Island and Moradia Dos Quadros Homestay has to offer

Why do homestaying? 

If the opportunity to eat delicious, authentic, home cooked (and might add plentiful) foods or the chance to make remarkable relationships with incredible locals wasn’t enough, living with host families is bound to take your entire experience up a new level.

View from the balcony

Here, similarities outweigh differences, silence isn’t awkward, and communication barriers reign without defeating your sense of purpose. Each day is a new adventure, a new peak into life in a country, and new understanding of what it means to be a local in the country that you’re abroad in. A homestay abroad is an adventure within an adventure.

Homestay  are far from easy, and they can certainly be uncomfortable, but that’s the beauty of it. Cultivating these relationships takes work, but you’ll be better for it. You’ll walk away from your time abroad a little humbler, a little more compassionate, and, let’s face it — a little rounder

So what are the benefits of homestay programme? We’re glad you asked. 

Learn what’s to be gained from living with host families.

1. Partake in Family Traditions

Spending time with New  Host in the Goa.

Experience birthdays, holidays, night time routines, and general interactions in families. Learn the way they communicate with one another, greet each other, share meals, or where they sleep in the house. All of these things vary by culture, but may be missed in general societal settings alone. Living in a local home when in Goa gives endless opportunities to impeccably explore familial traditions of Goa.

2. You Can Ask Cultural Questions

Curious how to get from point A to point B? Where to sit and not sit? Or what clothing is appropriate for a particular setting? Living with a host family gives you the ability to ask a local while avoiding the embarrassment of asking. Not only do host families have experience in answering the questions of guests, if they have hosted guests previously, they also provide a warm, loving environment for asking important questions you may not feel comfortable asking anyone else.

3. So Many Chances to Improve Your Language Learning

Homestaying provides safe learning environments to try out new words or practice the local language. Get necessary phrases translated by your host, practice writing key words, and try out communicating in the new language with toddlers or young children in the comfort of your new home. They usually won’t be afraid to correct you, will always support you in trying to expand your abilities, and you may bond through the language mishaps as well. Sometimes host families don’t speak your language fluently, providing and encouraging even more opportunities to improve language skills.

4. You Really Get to Live Like a Local

Learn what locals like to do, where they like to go, when they like to do particular tasks or activities throughout the day, and how they like to do them. While living  in a homestay take time to learn how to cook your favourite dish, try out a native game, watch a local TV show, or enjoy a pastime. Wake up at dawn if that is what the locals do, go to sleep at five o’clock if that’s what locals do, take a nap at noon everyday if that’s what most locals do. Participate in the typical weekend or evening activities right along with your host family to fully live life like a local.

5. You’ll Gain a New FamilyFind a home away from home through staying in a homestay, host families can become one of the biggest reasons to visit again and again. Living in a family environment can help foreigners feel at home in a foreign land and especially help combat any feelings of homesickness. It also gives visitors the chance to gain siblings, aunts, or uncles they may have never had the chance to have.

6. Enjoy Locally Made, Traditional Foods

Inevitably anyone  abroad will eventually taste some dishes they have never heard of, but finding a true home cooked meal on a daily basis is not frequently possible when traveling. Homestays typically cook meals for their guests in the traditional ways of the country, giving visitors the chance to try a variety of local cuisines and maybe even learn the exact complex makeup of each dish. Many people worry about trying new foods in foreign countries, fearing stomach illnesses from poor quality or undercooked foods, but living with a homestay eliminates those worries and lets visitors fully indulge in the traditional tastes of the country.

7. Observe Cultural Practices Within the Home

And outside of the home, too!

Living in host families’ accommodations allow guests to learn about many cultural practices through simple observation. They can observe interactions between different generations, learn what unique body language implies, and see how certain phrases or actions are used and accepted. A homestay provides the opportunity to gather valuable cultural information regarding who cleans, who cooks, who makes the money, who is lazy, who never sits down, who drinks, and who eats. The types of practices that may not be easily formed into a question, but through observation can be coherently learned.

One final tip on homestays 

A homestay is not the only way to have a well-rounded, whole-hearted, and culturally immersive international experience, but it might be one of our favourites. After all, your best souvenir won’t be that magnet, that scarf, OR your photos. It’ll be the relationships you make, the friendships and wisdom you carry with you, and the inevitable snail mail you’ll send (and receive) from your family on the other side of the world.

Living with a host family by doing a homestay is a can’t miss experience. So, what are you waiting for?

Stepping off the ferry from Old Goa onto beautiful little riverine Divar Island, you have the distinct feeling of entering the land that time forgot. Surrounded by marshy waters and crisscrossed with sleepy single-lane roads, the island makes for lovely, languid exploration, and though there’s not much particularly to see, it’s a serene and seldom-visited place to take in the atmosphere of old-time rural Goa.

The largest settlement on the island is sleepy but picturesque Piedade. But Divar, whose name stems from the Konkani dev and vaddi (translated as ‘place of the Gods’), has an important Hindu history that belies its modern day tranquillity.

Before the coming of the Portuguese, Divar was the site of two particularly important temples – the Saptakoteshwara Temple (moved across the river to Bicholim when the Portuguese began to persecute the Hindus), as well as a Ganesh temple that stood on the solitary hill in Piedade. The former contained a powerful Shivalingam (phallic symbol representing the god Shiva), which was smuggled during the Inquisition to Naroa on the opposite side of the river, just before more than 1500 Divar residents were  converted to Christianity. It’s likely that the Ganesh temple, meanwhile, was destroyed by Muslim troops near the end of the 15th century, since the first church on this site was built in around 1515.

The island of Divar lies on the Mandovi River in Goa and is home to some fascinating people and cultures. Its history dates back to a time when Divar was home to the massive Hindu population of Goa. But when the Portuguese started religious persecution, its residents 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 the time.

Though now a flourishing town, remnants of its isolated era are evident in elements and places that time forgot. Not many tourists find their way here, but when they do, it’s usually around the time three major festivals take place across the four small divisions of Divar. Two of the popular festivals are Bonderam and Potekar. 

Bonderam is a carnival that takes place every fourth Saturday of August, when each part of the village takes out their floats for the parade.

Potekar, like Halloween, is celebrated three days before Lent and is a spectacle where locals roam around wearing handmade masks and bells!

If you are planning to visit Goa, and want to see more than just beaches and shacks, then Divar is precisely the place to start.

The island is about 10km upriver from Panjim. Divar Island can only be reached by one of three free 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 the Bicholim taluka (district). Another ferry operates to Ribandar from the southwest of the island. Ferries run frequently from around 7am to 8pm.

Things To observe and study in Divar Island

The ruins of Kadamba Dynasty in Piedade: Divar is divided into three villages – Piedade, Malar and Naroa; the largest of which is Piedade. This sleepy village was home to a Ganesh Temple that stood atop the highest hill in the town. The temple, along with other Hindu temples in Divar, was destroyed by Muslim troops at end of the 15th century. And Christians which followed them, acquired the place to build churches and chapels. The hill now houses the Church of Our Lady of Compassion, a cemetery with remnants of Kadamba architecture and a chapel. The small chapel tells the story of religious persecutions, as it was converted from a Hindu shrine. The carvings and stone tracery within the chapel dates back to the Kadamba dynasty in the 14th century. Though kept locked up, the priest opens the shrine when requested.

A village stuck in time: The Goan village of Sao Matia, now known as Malar, is straight out of history books. Divar was one of the first places where the Portuguese started mass conversions of Hindu Brahmins, and Malar marks the inception of the island’s religious transformation. The Sao Mathias Church, a 400-year old Portuguese church at the heart of the village, is a beautiful structure that is part of the celebrations of Bonderam every year. The Konkan Railway, which passes through Malar, makes it all the more picturesque. You can easily reach Malar through a ferry from Old Goa and Ribander.

Witness how a pilgrimage centre turned into a ghost-town: The history of Naroa, dates back to the 12th century when it was a pilgrimage site for Hindus. As the site of confluence of three branches of the Mandovi River, Naroa was deemed as a blessed site and thus became home to the Saptakoteshwar Temple. The Saptakoteshwar Temple was the holiest temple of the Kadamba Dynasty, but after its destruction by Muslim rulers and then Portuguese invaders, the bustling village of Naroa lost its relevance. Keeping the history alive are two Christian shrines (Chapel of Our Lady of Candelaria and Fortress Chapel), Naroa Fort and Koti Tirth Tali (the archaeological area which was once the site of 108 temples).

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