Some of the remote villages in Goa have the potential of being developed into sustainable tourism models given their natural and cultural bounties.
One such village is Shigao, which is situated on the Goa-Karnataka border and in the close vicinity of the green and abundant Western Ghats.
With beaches holding no lure for many tourists who want to explore the hinterlands, the residents have realised that Shigao can be developed as a tourist attraction due to its rich cultural and natural heritage.
They are now demanding that the village be developed from a tourism perspective so that job opportunities are created for the locals.
It is evident from archaeological discoveries of artefacts from the stone-age era that humans had settled in the village thousands of years ago. This Stone Age relevance has not been explored fully from a tourism point of view, even though many archaeology buffs visit the village to learn about it.
The world-famous Dudhsagar waterfall in Collem-Shigao panchayat is well-known among both domestic and foreign tourists. However, this waterfall is over-exploited and it's
time the interior natural and cultural aspects of the village are explored in a sustainable manner.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
Shigao village has several places of worship like ponds, temples and archaeological structures. Temples of deities such as Kalay Malay, Sateri Devi, Mahadev, Ajoba and Maruti are famous. Similarly, Tirtha Panto, Siddha Ped, Pandavanchi Xita Vaalni (cave) are some of the archaeologically important places that have the potential to attract tourists.
This is a sacred place where a Ganesh idol is carved on stone, and hence villagers have conserved it for centuries. On the day of Gokulashtami, devotees have a holy bath in the Dudhsagar River and drink its water which is considered sacred.
Some of the educated youth and village elders want the Goa government to develop the village to explore its tourism potential and create jobs for the villagers.