Panaji, the capital of Goa, lies on the banks of the Mandovi River. The photos below document a section of the river – stretching from the Mandovi Bridge to Miramar Beach. This area accommodates fishing boats, fishing trawlers, tourist boats, offshore water based casinos, and passenger ferries. The commercial and cultural activities that take place on this stretch of the river have significant economic and environmental implications for Goa.

Photo by Maya Costa-Pinto
Fishing trawlers negotiating the Mandovi River. The Mandovi Bridge that connects Panaji to Porvorim (where the Goa legislative Assembly is located) is visible in the background. The bridge collapsed in the 1980s and was subsequently rebuilt.

 

In May 2016, the fishing community in Goa held a protest to call for a ban on LED lights on fishing trawlers (there are concerns among the fishing community that the use of these lights could lead a reduction in the fish stocks). Part of the protest took place on the river with fishing boats parked between the Mandovi Bridge and the Panaji Ferry point.
In May 2016, the fishing community in Goa held a protest to call for a ban on LED lights on fishing trawlers (there are concerns among the fishing community that the use of these lights could lead a reduction in the fish stocks). Part of the protest took place on the river with fishing boats parked between the Mandovi Bridge and the Panaji Ferry point.

 

Canoe boats and nets (used by artisanal fishers on the Mandovi River) stationed at the Panaji ferry point. In the background is Dayanand Bandodkar Rd, which leads to (among other places) Miramar Beach.
Canoe boats and nets (used by artisanal fishers on the Mandovi River) stationed at the Panaji ferry point. In the background is Dayanand Bandodkar Rd, which leads to (among other places) Miramar Beach.

 

Fishing at the Panaji Ferry Point.
Fishing at the Panaji Ferry Point.

 

Boarding the Ferry Boat at the Panaji ferry point.
Boarding the Ferry Boat at the Panaji ferry point.

 

Traveling from Panaji to the Betim Ferry Point. The ferries are a significant part of the public transport network of Goa. The ferries are operated and maintained by the River Navigation Department. Some places in Goa, such as the Island of Divar are (as of 2016) only accessible by ferry.
Traveling from Panaji to the Betim Ferry Point. The ferries are a significant part of the public transport network of Goa. The ferries are operated and maintained by the River Navigation Department. Some places in Goa, such as the Island of Divar are (as of 2016) only accessible by ferry.
There are a number of different tourist activities that take place on the Mandovi River. These include various evening cruises offered by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation. Water sports and adventure boat trips have also become increasingly popular.
There are a number of different tourist activities that take place on the Mandovi River. These include various evening cruises offered by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation. Water sports and adventure boat trips have also become increasingly popular.

 

Miramar beach - a popular tourist spot - is where the Mandovi River joins the Arabian Sea.
Miramar beach – a popular tourist spot – is where the Mandovi River joins the Arabian Sea.

Photography by Maya Costa-Pinto

(Maya Costa-Pinto is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology with
research interests in South Asia (particularly Portuguese India), Indian Ocean world; waterways (oceans and rivers), cities, urban ecologies, transnationalism, and legal anthropology.)