Ribandar is a very serene and beautiful village nestled between the main city of Panjim and Old Goa in the district of Ilhas or Tiswadi. The Rio De Ourem separates it from Panjim and forms a large marshy estuary along the Mandovi. The sole causeway that links Ribandar by road to Panjim was built way back in 1633 under the reign of a Portuguese Viceroy, Count of Linhares, after whom this causeway has obtained its name.
Ribandar has obtained its name from Bandar – port or docks of Rayas – meaning Kings, thus an abbreviation of the name Ribandar, although the identity of the kings still remains a mystery. There were many Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese rulers who ruled Goa in patches due to constant wars with each other. Although separated from Panjim, it is incorporated as a part of Panjim in recent times.
Ribandar boasts of some famous historical places as is the case with most places in Goa. Some of the places of interest are 1) O Igreja De Nossa Senhora de Ajuda or the Church of Our Lady of Help – which derives its significance from the fact that the body of St. Francis Xavier was given a canon salute at this church on 14th March, 1554 and is an architectural wonder, its shape resembling that of a ship. 2) The Santa Casa de Misericordia also known as Holy House of Charity – It was also referred to as the Royal Portuguese Hospital but presently is the Goa Institute of Management. Being a heritage structure, it has not been modified under any circumstances and is known to be Asia’s first hospital.
The other significant part of Ribandar’s history is the life of Fr. Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvarez who was associated with the Jacobite Orthodox Church based in Kerala or Malabar coast and was bestowed the honor of being a Bishop of the rank Mar Julious – I as Archbishop Metropolitan for the Archdiocese of Ceylon, Goa and the entire part of India. Most old Catholic bishops claim apostolic succession from him. After his death, he was buried in a Jacobite church which is still maintained by the Jacobite preists from Kerala.