The residents of this estuarine island are referred to as 'Bhenddekars'.
Situated hardly 23 km from the capital of Goa, the estuarine island of St. Estevam is most famous for its splendid scenery. Apart from the breathtaking environs of this village island, tourists here enjoy visiting the St. Estevam Church and the ruins of St Estevam Fort. While visiting these places in person is a far-fetched dream in the current times, here's a virtual tour to satisfy your wanderlust!
A history lover's paradise!
Surrounded by River Mandovi on all sides, St. Estevam has earned several sobriquets such as 'Xhakecho Zunvo' (Island of Vegetables) and Ilha de Verde (Green Island). These names owe their existence to St Estevam's khazan lands and its more than 10 sluice gates that attract tourists, who are especially interested in learning about old farming techniques.
St. Estevam also has much to offer to history enthusiasts as it is home to the ruins of St. Estevam Fort. This fort was once a stronghold of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who used it to protect his territory from foreign invasions, before being abandoned in the nineteenth-century.
Another popular tourist destination of this river island is the St Estevam Church, also known as St Stevens Church. Burnt down twice and erected again for the third time, this church complex is famed to be one of the largest, located in Goa. Situated atop a formidable flight of stairs, this pristine white historical structure caters to the religious penchants of the local Christian community.
St. Estevam is famed for the cultivation of seven ridged ladyfinger, known as 'Bhendde' and this is why the residents of this island are referred to as 'Bhenddekars'. Although this virtual tour of the island is now complete, we recommend that you visit this place to at least taste the 'bhendde', whenever the pandemic recedes.