Panaji: A tiny village in Goa, which is known for its scenic beaches and Portuguese-era structures, is attracting tourists for a different reason as it is visible only for a few days while remaining submerged under dam water for rest of the year.
Tourists and the original inhabitants of Curdi village come to visit the place in the month of May, when the water- level recedes, exposing the village and ruins of an old Lord Shiva temple to the outer world. Locals host a traditional festival in the temple's remnants, much to the delight of domestic as well as foreign visitors.
Once the monsoon rains pick up, the low-lying village gets submerged, making those displaced sad again. Nestled amid the Western Ghats in South Goa district, Curdi was once a flourishing village bustling with over 600 families. However, its natives agreed to "sacrifice" their home in the late 1970s when the then chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar announced the construction of a dam on the Selaulim river flowing nearby, an old local resident told PTI.
As per official records, the dam construction started in 1976 and was completed in 2000. Prakash Kurdikar (60), who was earlier a resident of Curdi, recalled that by 1986, the village started going under water. "It was an emotional moment for the villagers who sacrificed their homes for the sake of Goa. It is the greatest sacrifice anyone can make," he said.
Its residents were rehabilitated in the nearby Vadden and Valkini villages. State water resources department's executive engineer K K Ravindran said streams around the village have started getting filled up due to the pre-monsoon showers. "If it rains properly for 10 days, then the village will be get submerged. It will be visible only after 11 months next year," he said. This year, the monsoon has been delayed in Goa and the rains have started picking up now, he said.
"So, if it rains for next seven days, then by the end of this month, Curdi will disappear," Ravindran said, adding that the village is located five km away from the catchment area of Selaulim dam. Locals claim that before getting submerged, the village turns into an island for a few hours and then slowly disappears under water.