The spring at Kesarval is located 22 kilometers away from Panaji, near the Verna plateau, off the main National highway road which goes on towards the town of Margao. The spot can be reached soon after crossing the bridge on the Zuari river and passing through the village of Cortalim.
There is dense undergrowth surrounding the site and above its gorge the hills stretch out in the east and south. A little further down the slope of this ridge to the east, surrounded by the tropical woodlands and waving betel-nut palms is the celebrated spring of Kesarval.
The word “Kesar-val” is derived from the Indian word for eagles that used to maintain a colony here among the magnificent forested slopes. Unlike earlier when a stony zigzag trail was the only route to reach the spring, steps were built in the 1950s below the hill so that bathers could reach the spring without difficulty.
The spring has a reputation among the locals and the bathers who come from faraway places, of having medicinal properties in its waters. It is a very popular spa, where bathers go to wash out ailments once a year by a course of “healing waters.”
Many middle-aged people are seen giving a “pep-up” to their ailing bodies with a good bath. Some folks still swear that the spring waters have magical curative properties, which can heal skin and eye ailments.
The Tourism Department has designated the Kesarval spring as a tourist spot. The spring is at its resplendent best, during the monsoon when it tumbles forward in a dashing cascade. But during the sweltering Goan summer in April-May, when the hills above are parched for water, the flow of the spring is broken and weak.
Kesarval, with its rolling terraced hills, running down to the forested countryside is a place where time stands still.