Looking for an escape from all the hustle and bustle of daily life? This scenic and quiet island located on the banks of River Mandovi in Tiswadi taluka can be that good escape you have been looking for.
It is located just around 5 kms from the Panjim city and one has to take a ferry ride from Ribandar to get there.
This island was previously known as Choddnnem, which means ‘jeweled headwear' in Konkani. It was rechristened to Chorao by the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for around 450 years. They called it as 'Ilha dos Fidalgos' which means island of noblemen. The inhabitants of this island are called Chodankars or Chodnekar. The island is also know as Chodan or Chorao.
The island attracts national as well as international tourists for its flora and fauna. It is best known for its bird watching paradise -- the Salim Ali bird sanctuary. Let us check out all what you can see here:
1. Salim Ali bird sanctuary
This sanctuary is an estuarine mangrove habitat, which has been declared as a bird sanctuary. Nestled on the western tip of the Chorao island along the River Mandovi. It has derived its name after Salim Ali, the eminent Indian ornithologist.
There are a number of birds that have been spotted at the sanctuary. You can spot an array of migratory birds and also crocodiles at times, which is rare though. The mangroves of this place form an ideal ecosystem for various kinds of fish and insects.
The sanctuary has a watch tower from where one can see birds. The best time to visit the sanctuary is the early morning hours when sighting birds is guaranteed. It is open till 6 pm and one has purchase a ticket which allows access to all corners of this bird habitat.
TIMINGS: 6 am - 6 pm
2. Chapel of St Jeronimus
The chapel of St Jeronimus is located at Madel in Chorao. It is the only remaining relic of the Chorao seminary. The chapel is circular in shape and has a dome at the top. It is considered to be a protected monument as per the ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains act 1978 and rule 1980.
Since this chapel is situated on a hill, one has to trek for a kilometre uphill on to get there. On your way to the top, you may spot peacocks if you are lucky. On reaching the top, you can see the scenic view of river Mandovi and surrounding greenery. Once on top, you will realise it was worth the trek.
3. Shri Devaki Krishna Temple
The Shri Devaki Krishna Bhumika Mallinath temple is located in Chorao. It is one of the biggest temples in the area. It is said to have been rebuilt in 1934 after original structure was destroyed by the Portuguese.
The architecture of the temple is simple and appealing to the eyes. The famous celebration of Chodna homkhand takes place at this temple every year.
4. Our Lady of Grace Church
This church was built by Jesuits in 1551. The interiors of the church are magnificent. It has three altars dedicated to Our Lady of Grace (main altar), Bom Jesus and Saint Roque.
The feast of this church is celebrated every year on the third Sunday of May. There is a seminary that was established in 1761 and it belongs to Our Lady of Grace Church parish.
5. The Yoga Institute
This institute was founded by Shri Yogendraji back in the year 1918. It has an ideal location surrounded by all the peace and quiet of the Chorao island.
Known for its holistic service, this institute offers a number of programmes that include training courses, better living retreats and customized offerings.
The institute has facilities like infinity pool, mediation centre, gazing tower, kids play area, nature trails etc. Here, you will find yourself in breathtaking surrounding and experience harmony within.
WHERE: Near Our Lady of Grace Church, Madel, Chorao
CONTACT: 9307047148 / @theyogainstitutegoa
So, if you are looking to find your true self, hop on to that ferry and head to Chorao.