Curdi – Wikipedia

Village in Goa, India

Kurdi or Curdi is a village in Sanguem taluka of Goa. The village was submerged in the 1980s by the reservoir of the Salaulim Dam. Every year, at the peak of summer during April-May, parts of the submerged village rise above the water level for around one month.[1] During this period, the original villagers come back to relive their memories and gather around their respective places of worship.[2] Most of the villagers were rehabilitated to the nearby villages of Valkinim and Vaddem, and have since spread all across Goa.[3][4]


The village is located in Sanguem taluka, and is accessible by bike via the Curchorem-Ponda road. It is located approximately 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from Salaulim Dam’s catchment area and has become a tourist destination when above the water level in May.[5]


Curdi village in the early 1920s

Kurdi was a prosperous agricultural village with a population of approximately 3,000. It had a main Hindu temple, smaller temples, a Christian chapel, and a Muslim shrine.[1]

In the 1960s, Dayanand Bandodkar, the then Chief Minister of Goa, decided to build the Salaulim dam to supply water to a large part of the state. Understanding that the villages of Curdi and Kurpem would be submerged by the reservoir, he offered the villagers rehabilitation in the nearby villages of Valkinim and Vaddem. The families were compensated with 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft) of agricultural land by the government. With all plans in place, the people of Curdi began moving out by 1971, making way for the construction of the dam by 1975.[6]

The reservoir submergence involved 20 villages which were partially or fully submerged. 3000 people (over 450 families) were displaced and resettled.[7] The 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in) tall figure of Mother Goddess (dated to 5th century BC), a 16 tonne image, in the village was relocated to Verna.[8] Another temple (dedicated to Mahadev), archaeologically dated to the 10th–11th century of the Kadamba period, at Curdi, Angod, was also relocated to a site 17 kilometres (11 mi) away. The relocation was done by dismantling of the original temple and then reassembling it at the new location after methodically numbering each stone, over a period of 11 years.[9]

The village also has a 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) long irrigation canal that was cut through laterite stone and is more than 10 metres (33 ft) deep at most parts and winds its way through the religious structures. The canal’s water was diverted by bunding it annually, until a man named Bosle built the permanent Bosle bund 150 years ago.[10]

Devabhag, Stristal, Karemal, Unan, Akrimal, Dhapode, Talsai and Kaman, among others, were the various smaller colonies of the village. Of these, Talsai and about half of Kurpem were not submerged by the reservoir.[6]

In 2017, the remains of a temple dedicated to Ganesha were discovered about 500 metres (1,600 ft) away from the Shree Someshwar Temple. The temple’s existence was not known as it was covered with thick vegetation before the submergence of the village.[11]


In the initial days of relocation, the original inhabitants of Curdi village had to survive in rehabilitation homes provided by the government in the town of Vaddem. To date, they face problems with drinking water, irrigation, healthcare, employment, network coverage and electricity. This is partly due to the fact that the village does not receive water from the Salaulim Dam project.[4][12]

Annual gathering[edit]

When parts of the submerged village appear above the water level during May, the original inhabitants go back with their families to picnic at the various standing structures of the village. They celebrate the feast of a chapel, which lies just above the water line on a hillock.[3] The original villagers also celebrate the utsava of the Someshwar Temple in this village.[13] A Muslim shrine is also present here.[2]


In 2016, young filmmaker Saumyananda Sahi chose to make a documentary about the village, after reading the thesis on the village written by Venisha Fernandes, whose family originally hails from the village. Fernandes chose her ancestral village as the subject for her dissertation as part of her Masters in Sociology at Goa University. Titled Remembering Kurdi, it is produced by the Films Division of India and has interviews of the original inhabitants interspersed with the scenery of the village when it is above the water level in May.[14][15] It also has excerpts from a film shot at the village in 1977 by Vinay Dhumale, titled Gana Tapaswini. It features the Someshwar temple, the house of Mogubai Kurdikar, and village plantations. Sahi also organised a screening of the film for the original inhabitants living at Vaddem.[16]

Notable individuals[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Vohara, Supriya (9 June 2019). “The underwater Indian village that emerges once a year”. BBC News. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b Vasudev, Chetana (29 September 2016). “A land full of memories”. Deccan Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Lourenco, Jose (2 May 2013). “Curdi – A Goan Atlantis”. Archived from the original on 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b Mendis, Isidore (8 October 2017). “Vadem in Sanguem: Vadem – Giving the displaced a new life”. The Times of India. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ “Tourists throng Goa’s Curdi village that remains submerged for 11 months in a year”. The Hindu. PTI. 16 June 2019. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 17 June 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ a b Naik, Sachi (19 May 2016). “A tale of two submerged villages”. The Navhind Times. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  7. ^ B.R. Sinha (2003). Encyclopedia of Professional Education Volume 7. Sarup & Sons. p. 268. ISBN 978-81-7625-410-6.
  8. ^ Robert Bradnock; Roma Bradnock (May 2002). Footprint Goa Handbook: The Travel Guide. Footprint Travel Guides. p. 171. ISBN 978-1-903471-22-7.
  9. ^ “The Mahadeva Temple, Kurdi – Goa”. Exoticgoa. Archived from the original on 29 January 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  10. ^ Barretto, Abel (2 June 2019). “Curdi amcho ganv An emotional return to their true home”. oHeraldo. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  11. ^ Kamat Maad, Govind (11 May 2017). “Submerged for a century, a lost temple rises in Kurdi”. The Times of India. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  12. ^ M., Johnny (3 March 2018). “Displaced by Selaulim dam, locals thirst for water”. The Times of India. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  13. ^ “Curdi villagers reunite, at their submerge village…”. Goa365. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  14. ^ D’souza, Nupur (25 September 2016). “Houses, fields and a way of life lost forever come alive in a documentary on a Goan ghost town”. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  15. ^ Nathan, Archana (6 October 2016). “A river through reality”. The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  16. ^ Monteiro, Lisa (24 August 2016). “Once upon a time, a village”. The Times of India. Retrieved 16 May 2019.

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