basalt rock cut temple

two places off the goa tourist map: budbudi tali & tambdi surla

we started the day early (atleast by goan standards). we had to cover great distances in one day, and had to get cracking, immediately. water bottle filled to the brim, camera battery charged, petrol filled in the car we headed out from bogmallo towards the south of goa by 10am. we were traveling right across the state!

one must say that the roads in goa are brilliant. they are beautiful – winding in and out, going up and then dipping down, large green trees flank the roads, monsoon weeds and creepers run amok along the side of the road and there are spacious stretches, followed by tight one-lane roads right through the town with bungalows on both sides… and monsoon makes all of this just sing with that greener green of the plants and the blacker black of the roads. added to that, the roads are not ‘pot-troughed’ bombay ones but smooth & shiny-black tar roads; and after a daily life of grinding against cement roads in bombay, tar is such a welcome change… (how i miss the good ol’ tar roads)… if thats not enough, goa has NO traffic in the monsoons! do NOT listen to the local goan who might think even that is ‘traffic’. its bliss, trust the aching clutch-foot of a mumbai driver.

while the ride is a long one, it is a peaceful and easy one. only issue being goa makes you want to laze, there is just something in the air that injects drowsiness… so fighting that off we made our way across the state…

stop 1… budbudyanchi tali or budbudi tali … the ‘bubbles’ tank: 

this is a tank that is next to a gopinath temple in the far south of goa, in a village called netravali on the banks of the river netravati. one goes via madgoa to quepem and then even further south to the sanguem taluka. it takes a good two hours to reach there from panajim. and if you are expecting something spectacular then do not make this journey.

gopinath temple

this is a simple rectangular pond that sits next to an old temple. budbude means bubbles in konkani. as one observes the pond you will see bubbles rising to the surface at different points across the pond, they reach the surface and break into concentric circles… that look beautiful… hence the name bubudyanchi tali or budbudi tali…

budbudi tali
budbudi tali

there is no understanding about the origin of these bubbles or what they are. they might be methane bubbles, but i have no clue what are the signs one must look out for around such a place. when i tried to dig deeper into methane bubbles, i came across data that said fish won’t survive; but there were a lot of fish at the budbudi tali. some scientists have said that this could be caused by sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide or limestone! short of long: its mysterious, as no one really know the reason! go there if it intrigues you…

the bubbles under the surface
the bubbles under the surface
bubbles as they reach the surface
bubbles as they reach the surface
bubbles at the surface
bubbles at the surface

when i reached, it began to rain… the wind blew away my umbrella leaving me scampering after it in the rains. plus the bubbles disappeared under the ripples created by the raindrops. after around 10 minutes of heavy rains and dollops of patience from my side, the sky cleared up and i could go down to the pond for some bubble-time…

after the tali, we made our way back to madgaon before turning to the east for tambdi surla. we had lunch at the quaint ‘lounginos resturant’ that oozes old world charm…. more about that in another post!

stop 2… tambdi surla:
now, this is even further away, you go so close to the karnataka border.. so close that we starting having two worries: 1) whether our car papers were in order  (as we had hired a car from a local person in goa… and there was nothing official about that!) & 2) whether people would understand marathi or hindi anymore… or would they now want us to speak in kannada? solpa adjust maadi… 

cobbled stones and ashoka trees
cobbled stones and ashoka trees

this is a basalt rock cut temple is a 12th century temple dedicated to shiva. this temple sits snugly in the midst of a green lawn, by the banks of the river surla. the temple is named after the village where it is situated – tambdi surla. the cobbled approach path lined with ashoka trees on either side, the well maintained lawn and the temple itself gives proof of the goa government’s investments in heritage structures around goa…  the temple is simple and almost basic, but pretty in all its simplicity… the basalt rock is weather resistent and one hardly feels that its been around for centuries. it is said to have survived the invasions and goa inquisition due to its remote location in the middle of a forest…

tambdi surla

while we were there we met a conservation & restoration engineer mr d’costa who was in-charge of the repair work being done on the roof. a couple of years ago, there had been some restoration work and that team had put a lot of cement on the roof. mr. d’costa was most frustrated by the lack of desire for preservation and education on preservation of heritage monuments. he had been roped in by the government to salvage the situation.

and salvaging it, he is… almost done removing all the cement from the roof, he has finished the repair work… the water doesn’t leak into the main temple area now. he has also restored one part of the temple wall and says that its even more weather resistant now… he hopes to win the contract to restore this entire temple from the archaeological department… with a dream and desire to restore all forgotten monuments in india, mr. d’costa has a vision for india that one hopes many more will have…

hats off mr. d’costa, so glad we bumped into you. and fingers crossed that you get that contract…

basalt rock cut temple

the famous dudhsagar waterfall is close-by… and the locals are most enthusiastic in pointing you in that direction. it is a short trek to the falls… but, we were tired and decided to call it day and headed back to panjim…

at the ponda junction we saw a guy selling bhutta (roasted corn on the cob) by the road… could life get any better we thought? the incessant rains, the long drive and hot, spicy, tangy bhutta at the ponda junction… we twiddled our fingers as we waited for him to roast it on the coal… well… it was bad… terrible… and with that i denounced all corn in goa as bad! someone prove me wrong…

the nitty gritty:
its a long drive – around 230 kms in total… panjim-budbudi-tambdi-panjim… be mentally and physically prepared…
hire a car if you can, public transport might just not make the trek to either of these points worth it… and i don’t even know if there are options. we hired a car, but self-driven. made for a nice long and green drive
go if you are a history or science buff… or if you love traveling.. don’t expect gold at the end
there are  no decent restaurants close to either of these sites, unless you pause mid-way at madgaon… so, carry some snacks + water. and your litter bag so that you don’t dirty these sites!
the clean loo guide: the closest is at lounginos, but its not clean. its a dirty loo… hold your nose if you are brave or if you are like me, hold your pee and don’t drink any water.

my route:


15 thoughts on “two places off the goa tourist map: budbudi tali & tambdi surla

  1. I feel like I have been there…or someplace similar. Your detailed description of the place here, makes me visualize it well. Also reminds me of another tali…at swantwadi…at the Maharashtra border, while coming from Goa.


  2. yeah… sawantwadi is very pretty too. a small lake surrounded by hills on all sides… lovely place. thats in the middle of the city. this one is far away and out.. no civilisation around! almost 😀


  3. awesome! loved this post…saving it for later reference…ll definitely go here..especially the bubbling pond 🙂 Thanks, keep posting abt such unexploited places


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