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Hidden Gems of Goa : Netravali Bubbling Lake and Usgalimal Rock Carvings


In the series of Hidden gems of Goa we have explored some unseen beaches, forts, temples, spice plantation, dam, sanctuary, etc but in this blog we are visiting two very fascinating places in South Goa. One is Netravali - A bubbling Lake also known as Budbud Tali and Usgalimal Rock Carvings. Both the places are unique and one of its kind.

As soon as we heard about Netravali we had an exciting urge to see the place. We visited this place just after the strict lockdown was over in the country and it was not at all crowded. The road to this lake/pond is very picturesque and smooth for a long drive. As we were staying at Vasco we took around 2 hours to reach this place. We left at 11 A.M and reached Netravali by 1 P.M. The place is quietly tucked away in Netravali wildlife sanctuary. The lake is adjoining a Gopinath temple and surrounded by greenery on all sides giving it a serene and Zen effect.


Tip : Carry your own snacks and water since you will not find any shop or restaurant near the lake.

The lake/ pond open for tourist at 8 am and closes at 6 pm. As we ventured into the premises all we would hear were birds chirping and our own footsteps. We reached the lake/pond and to our dismay, we did not find any bubbles as read on the internet. So we decided to enjoy the surrounding, just then we saw some bubbles coming up from the ground from one place than another and they kept on coming on short intervals and causing ripples on the surface of the lake. It was an amazing sight and we enjoyed watching it for a while.

There are different versions for the origin of the bubbles in the lake and all are fascinating. Some claim that they are the work of the local deity, while others say that they are due to carbon or sulphur dioxide gas. The theory that attributed to methane has been disproved because of the presence of plenty of fish in the lake. It is also said that if you clap or make sound, the vibration also creates bubbles in the lake though we personally tried it and had no results. So, the true origin of the bubbles still remains a mystery.

Thankfully when we visited the place, it was quiet and had no visitors but on a regular basis kids from the nearby villages come to the lake for a swim and enjoy the bubble bath. The water in the lake is so clean and clear that you can see the ground from the surface above.

After scrutinizing the lake we visited the adjoining Gopinath temple. The Krishna temple is an ancient and simple structure donning a beautiful krishna idol. The 14th century original Gopinath Idol is now shifted to Goa state museum, Panaji.

On the same road and Just 15 kms from the Netravali Lake is a place called Usgalimal Rock Carvings. The carvings are ancient and said to be 10000 years old. Various carvings are done on the rocks including that of animals, birds, dancing girls, mother - child, hunting animals etc and the carvings are depicting the day to day life of the people back in 8000 BC. This site is worth a watch with great historical importance and it is a pleasure to see.

The carvings were first discovered in 1993 by the nearby villagers and then the same was informed to the archaeological department and is now a famous tourist spot. The Rock carvings are also called as Petroglyphs (Rock Art). The special thing about these rock carvings is that the said carvings are done on hard rocks and not soft rocks.

Tip : Do not visit this place in monsoon since most of the carvings are submerged in the water. We visited this place in October so we could see all the cravings clearly.

The site also has a huge pond like structure where a scene from the movie Driysham (Hindi) was shot. The scene in which the car of Tabu's son is disposed off, is the same pond.

So when you next visit Goa, make it a point to visit these two beautiful spots in South for an offbeat experience.


Radhika Thankar.


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