Chorão also known as Choddnnem or Chodan, is an estuarine island located in the backwaters of the Mandovi River and it is the largest among other 17 islands of Goa (yes! Goa have 17 islands in total). Chorão is divided by creeks and backwaters that have tidal variations, a network formed from the Mandovi and Mapusa rivers and the Cumbharja canal. You can reach Chorão Island either by ferry from Ribander or take a picturesque long road route crossing the whitewashed churches, green fields and beautiful Portuguese Villas from Mapusa. Definitely it will put you into time travel. Chorão Island is famously known for the largest bird sanctuary of Goa – Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The reserve has got its name from the famous Dr. Salim Ali – an Indian ornithologist and naturalist who sometimes referred to as the “Birdman of India”. There is a paved walk which takes you within the sanctuary and the mangroves can be explored by a boat which navigates through the narrow passageways.
A LITTLE ABOUT CHORAO ISLAND…
I read this somewhere that “Chorão island have emerged from diamonds that were thrown away by the Mother of Lord Krishna – the Goodness Yashoda.” But the word Choddnnem in Goan means ‘jewelled headwear’ and it was rechristened to Chorão by the Portuguese who also called it Ilha dos Fidalgos translating to the ‘Island of Noblemen’ (because it was inhabited by Portuguese nobility who lived in luxury surrounded by flower gardens).
A trip to Chorão Island is incomplete without a visit to the little Chorão Village. Witness the existence of both Indian Brahmins and Portuguese colonizers here and the whitewashed churches and Hindu temples are still standing strong though little ruined. One of the famous churches here is the St Bartholomew church. It was constructed in the Neo-Roman architectural style. It was built in 1569 by the Religious of the Society of Jesus.
DR. SALIM ALI BIRD SANCTUARY
I really love to do island hopping in Goa. The best way to stay close with nature. The 440 acres of sanctuary is the prime interest of Chorão Island. It is exactly located at the ferry drop off point. I decided to visit the sanctuary a little late. No! actually really late. It was 10:30 in the morning and wasn’t a good time to watch birds because they usually visible early mornings (06:30 AM to 08:00 AM) when there is low tide.
But to be surrounds the nature and zero air pollution is something we all craving for, right?. Here the established mangrove vegetation occupies about 2.5 km square of the island and it looks soothing <3. We (me and my mother) decided to explore the sanctuary by nature walk. Walking on narrow passage ways need a good shoes and we always put the best walking shoes while traveling.
Here you will found boards while you are walking. You will learn about the bird sanctuary more. About the mangroves, the birds, other habitat on the island. Suddenly all the book reading makes sense. The nature has all the cure you need.
I didn’t found crocodiles or birds here but could listen to nature voice and I tell you buoy! It was the best feeling ever. I spotted jelly fish, mud crabs and few butterflies though. Would love to go back of course! to watch birds. I spent 3 hours here and time flies.
WARNING!! THE ECOSYSTEM IS UNDER THREAT!!
Coastal areas and near-shore marine areas are among the world’s most productive yet highly threaten ecosystems. The ecosystems provide immense services toward the sustaining capacity of the environment for human well-being as compared to the environment for human well-being as compared to most other system. It is constantly have been interfered by human activities, the trash we are shamelessly throwing it out there and it has been increased to higher level leaving the ecosystem dying really fast. The global warming have already added the dangerous pressure on this ecosystem. The ecosystem on Chorão Island is fragile.
It is not yet too late to contribute to the protection and conservation of coastal ecosystem. You still can be a part of saving the ecosystem by helping collecting trash from the river/ocean/land near you and dump it in its place. Segregate the re-usable items. Help to spread the awareness. Start from a small scale like stop using plastic products on its first place. Sign up petitions to ask the governments to ban such products which result damaging the environment around us. Be the part of the revolution that helping to protect the mother nature before it’s too late.
THE MYSTERIOUS INHABITANT ‘MANKULE ISLAND’
During the latter portion of the 1970’s, a natural mudflat was formed in the middle of the Mandovi River, wedged between the Chorão and Divar Islands due to the depositional activity of the river. This small mudflat island has no vegetation until the early 1980’s, however with the passage of time, the mudflat has been covered with vegetation and is grown over with different species of mangrove tree. As a part of ecological study, the diversity of the mangrove species and the epibenthic fauna were accessed, and the site was taken as a reference site outside Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
Goa never fail to surprise me ya’. That’s it for today folks!! I hope you all are enjoying reading my travel experiences. Do let me know on comment below. Have a great day and see y’all super soon!!