Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles! The mere sound of bubbles is enough to spark joy and happiness. Be it a little child or a full grown adult, I am sure that at some point or the other bubbles have given you a delightful experience. Just when I heard about this place I was fascinated from the start. It's not everyday you come across a pond that naturally bubbles by itself. We have been placing artificial aeration systems in our aquariums to keep ornamental fish in our homes. Who would have thought that God has one of his natural aquariums in Goa? I know natural aquarium is an oxymoron. Nevertheless, this case is an exception.
The Netravali Bubbling Lake/Pond known as Budbud Thali by the locals lies on the outskirts of the Netravali wildlife sanctuary. Although it is called a lake, to me it looks like a Temple Pond. Rectangular in shape with a little pedestal in the center. The water is clear with a tinge of greenish blue. It has earned the name because of a mysterious phenomenon of bubbles rising from the bottom of pond. These little bubbles pop on reaching the surface causing concentric circles that flow away from the center. I found watching these circles engaging especially because you never know where the next bunch of bubbles would appear. Without science, the local myths are several such as a demon that lies under the pond who gets disturbed with loud sounds, by chanting 'OM’ since there is a Shiva Temple nearby or by clapping aloud. However, the relation between clapping and intensity of bubbles hasn't been proven scientifically. The closest explanation could be the acoustics intensify the sound waves thereby resulting in vibrations which in turn displace the entrapped bubbles that then rise to the surface. How's that for an explanation by an engineer?
Beside the pond is a Gopinath Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. The name Gopinath means Lord of the Gopikas who were cowherd women. The idol that originally stood in the temple around the 14th century is now preserve in the Goa State Museum in Panjim. Even the current temple is of modern design. Rebuilt after it had been destroyed. As this spot is away from the commercial hot spots of Goa, it is clean, quiet and peaceful. Also the entry is free to all.
The bubbles are methane and carbon dioxide that probably form after decomposition of organic matter under a layer of sand beneath the pond. Again, this hasn't been proven. It's a theory. Due to the aeration of the water, there are hundreds of little fish in the pond. You could get your free pedicure if you wish as the fish swarm at your feet once you step into the water. I could identify the tiger fish being in majority. Although I wouldn't recommend it, people do get into the water and take a dip as it is clear and fresh.
It's best to visit this spot around the monsoons because the view is pleasing and the ride is refreshing. Greenery all around, the ride will be cool and on your itinerary you could include the Savari and Mainapi waterfall nearby. If you're in the South near Canacona do make a trip to witness this wonder of nature.