The district of Ilhas, Ribandar, as it has been called of late, is home to a relatively new suburb of Panjim and derives its name from Bandar, the port of kings. While it is still unclear as to which king is being referred to, the heritage of Ribandar speaks volumes with its numerous well-preserved churches and what is believed to be Asia’s first hospital, now the prestigious Goa Institute of Management.
Ribandar in the evening, if viewed from one of the many bridges in the area, is practically a scene out of the movies with its scenic greenery and marsh. Ribandar has managed to stay as far away as possible from any form of commercialisation. Ribandar is also very closely associated with the famous Goan priest Fr. Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvares, who has been laid to rest at the St Mary’s Orthodox Syrian Church.
Located on the banks of the river Mandovi, close to the estuary that’s formed by the unison of the Mandovi and Panjim, Ribandar is easy to access. Ample bridges connect the township to the rest of Goa and hailing a cab to get here is simple enough. If you want to enjoy the scenic beauty and the clean air or if you’re keen on visiting a couple of temples and churches, it's best you hire a bike, and do it in your own time.