Panjim City in Goa
The Panjim city is the capital of the state of Goa, southwest India and the beautiful tourist destination of Central Goa is situated on the banks of the Mandovi River. Panaji, also known as Panjim.
Places to visit in Panjim Goa such as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Fontainhas, Miramar Beach, Deltin Royale Casino, Goa State Museum, Statue of Abbé Faria, Altinho, etc.
You will find both famous casinos built on land or on the island at sea in Goa. Many of these famous casinos are located in Panjim, on the Mandovi River.
Panjim City History
In 1843, when it was decided that Old Goa would not become the capital, then Panjim was made the capital. It was just a minor landing area with a customs house on a hill fort.
It was surrounded by a stagnant land of the swamp. The time Panjim had been made capital, the rulers and the devastated inhabitants had run away because of the plague.
The last Portuguese viceroy did an efficient job of draining off the nearby marshy lands.
He got some majestic public buildings erected here. However, the town never could imitate the predecessor upriver.
This is the reason we find that the Portuguese nobles erected mansions in the countryside and not in the city.
After the Portuguese colonial rule ended in Goa, Panjim was incorporated into the Indian Territory.
The rest of Goa was also added along with the former Portuguese colonies. Since then between 1961 and 1987 Panaji was the capital of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman, and Diu.
Between 1960 and 1970, Panjim reached unimaginable heights of progress. This city with its atmospheric Latin Quarter, remarkably constructed neoclassic houses, and palm plinth squares, is a pleasure to walk by.
The streets welcome you with the pleasant backdrop and easygoing ambiance and it is a fine experience to be here.
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Down the Ages
Panjim – or Panjani and Khali – (panjani means boat and Khali means a small creek in Sanskrit) has been occupying a great place in history since it took birth.
In the 16th century, the palace of Adil Shah was taken over by the Portuguese.
They constructed the Viceregal Lodge in 1615. In 1843, the monument became the Secretariat.
Down the ages has seen the structure develop into the Passport Office.
With its exquisite capacity of luring a person to walk by nonchalantly, and with the pristine church towers looming large in the sky, the sense of freedom irresistible in the air, Panjim for us offers the best of the best.
A new Legislative Assembly Complex was inaugurated in March 2000. This is situated across the Mandovi River in Alto Porvorim.
Down the ages, Panjim has become the administrative headquarters of North Goa.
Today Panjim is a flourishing successful and progressive city with a lot of institutions and trade centers.
Panjim – A Rendezvous
As we enter Goa, reaching Panjim is not a big trouble.
One can reach the city just by getting down at Margao or Mapusa and by going to Panjim by bus.
It is two hours on the way to the capital of Old Goa. Panjim is not a much sought after place for tourists. They go mostly to tourist resorts.
However, its green paddy fields and the wooded valley attract many people who want to have a weekend getaway.
If someone has visited Goa, and they just want a break from the beach, then Panjim is the place to go.
There are many lush green patches, through the Panjim Bangalore highway cuts through.
Panjim city is also the place where one could reach the Dudhsagar waterfalls, a remarkable sight.
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Panjim has the unique ability to bring forth a lot of European ambiance to it.
The influence of Portuguese culture is seen in some bits and the construction adds beauty to the scene.
The Baroque style builds, the churches, the riverside with many whitewashed houses having wrought-iron balconies is the best travel kitty here.
The riverside boulevard is like a dream and the constructional elegance of the city is seen to believe.
The Passport Office, which was earlier built by the Portuguese as the Viceregal House, is also a remarkable piece of construction.
The cobbled alleys here lead us to strange little taverns and cafes and the relieving part is that they are not crowded.
This is a nice place to meet the local people.
Top Things To Do in Panjim City Goa
Panjim means the “land which does not flood”. It has a very relaxed look to it and any person coming here is immediately put at ease.
The river Mandovi on the banks of which Panjim is situated makes the place even more picturesque.
This charming place with all its historical background exudes a great amount of pride and glory.
One who comes to this place can see the following best places to visit in Panjim goa.
The Secretariat: This is Panjim or Panaji’s oldest buildings. It has sloping tiled roofs and carved coats of stone arms.
With its wooden verandahs and the amazing look, this majestic construction has been built typically in the colonial style.
It was earlier the Summer Palace of Goa’s 16th Muslim ruler Adil Shah. Then the Portuguese transformed it into a temporary rest house for the Governors who used to visit here.
It later became the residence of the Viceroy. Today, it is the house of the Goan State Legislature
The State Archaeological Museum: The most remarkable feature of Panjim is this magnificent piece of construction. With its grand look, it looks a remarkable piece.
However, the grand exterior cannot boast of an equal grand interior. Thus the bureaucrats of Goa, in their effort to erect a structure, forgot that they should also have something to put inside.
Thus, the only rarities that are found here are a couple of beautiful Jain bronzes.
This came from the customs and excise officials. There are photos of prehistoric carvings of the rock at Usgalimal.
All the same, it is necessary to see just for its stupendous construction.
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The Church Squares
The Largo Da Igreja Church Square is a good example of the Baroque style of Portuguese construction.
Church Square: This rectangular park is opposite the Indian Government Tourist Office. It is known as the Church Square.
It is found in the center of the city. To the east of the Church Square, we can find the toothpaste white constructional marvel is seen to be believed.
The Braganza Institute has the tiled frieze. This shows the mythical representation of how Goa was colonized by the Portuguese.
Panjim Interesting Areas
Portuguese Quarter: This picturesque place is Panjim’s beautiful locale and with its long straight streets, it is obviously a major landmark in the city.
Fontainhas: This Panjim, the capital of Goa is an intriguing and interesting area. It is found to the west of Pato.
The Qurem creek with its oily green coating is in front of it. Many neoclassical houses have cropped up from the footbridge to the bus stand.
Their terracotta rooftops lend beauty to the surrounding. The houses are up the sides of the Altinho hill. There is a siesta time here.
During this time, woman just exchange pleasantries and the streets are all idle and deserted. The verandahs are leafy and the windows are big.
The Portuguese normally coat a coating of ochre, pale, yellow, green or blue. This is found here.
The Portuguese insist that every Goan building should be color-washed before the monsoon begins.
This is another lovely residential place where the streets weave up the magic with the roof tiled house and overhanging balconies.
This place looks like it is in Spain or Portugal. A person visiting this place would be amazed to see the different kind of construction that exists here. This is the best places to visit in Panjim Goa.
Avenida Dom Joao Castro: This stretches across the Post Office and Secretariat Building and then proceeds to the waterfront.
Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception: This church was built in 1541 for the sailors who used to arrive here from Lisbon.
The tired sailors used to rest in the quay here and thanked God for the safe journey before going to Old Goa.
Old Goa is the original home of the enormous bell that hangs at the central gable. It is another elegant and picturesque construction, which was built in 1541 AD.
It was built on top of a crisscrossing stairway. This white constructional beauty has a huge bell that is built between tow Baroque styled delicate towers.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is considered one of the best places to visit in Panjim Goa.
The Chapel of ST. Sebastian: This is found in South Panjim.
The clear, pure whitewashed chapel of St. Sebastian is one of the many churches in Goa, which have remained devoted to the old colonial decree.
There is a lively annual street fiesta observed here and this is held by the Fontainhas local residents.
There is a lifelike crucifix in the chapel and it is very eerie to look at it. It was brought in 1812 and was hung in the inquisition in Old Goa.
Here the Lord Christ’s eyes are open. It is believed that it is done so that the people being interrogated here would get scared.
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Statue of Abbé Faria: This is situated a 100m from the Secretariat.
It has a strange statue of a man holding his hands over the body of a hypnotized reclining woman.
This is Abbe Farin a Goan priest who came from France. He is one of the world’s professional hypnotists.
This is the best places to visit in Panjim city Goa.
Miramar Beach: This is near Panjim. The Sai Tome Ward is another quarter, which lies to the north of Fontainhas.
This lies on the far side of the Emilio Gracia Road.
If one wants to go for a bar crawl then this is the place. The taverns along the road give the place a different effect altogether.
There are also still measures of rocket fuel “Feni” under small lights and beautiful Madonnas walking around. ‘
Thus, with all its greenery, banana trees, and local transport hustling by, this city gets annually drenched with the kind of torrential rain here.
The summers are with a fierce heat. Yet with these entire normal look and the fact that earlier one could see Panjim or Panaji from the decks of a steamer engine as it came into the dock at the ferry ramp.
Today this ferry ramp does not exist anymore. Today, people normally go by road to Panjim.
However, there are facilitates to reach it by train (Konkan Railway) and by water (Damania’s catamaran service) There is a Ferroconcrete bridge that covers the Mandovi estuary.
Panjim can also be accessed through the NH 7, which connects Panjim with the airport and with Vasco Da Gama.
The Kadamba Bus Terminus is the main terminus at Pato, so one has to pass this while going to Panjim.
The Qurem Creek has to be crossed to reach proper Panjim.
Thus, Panjim is the place to be if you want to see something different, feel different and do something different.
As they say, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Put Panjim in the idle mind, you would never be idle.’
Panjim City Information
Location: Western India, Central Goa
Also known as: Panaji
Best time to visit: October to March
Local Transport: Auto rickshaw, city buses, minibuses, rented bicycles.
Places to See: The Church of Our Lady of Rosary, The Largo Da Igreja, The Braganza Institute, Church Square, The Secretariat, Fontainhas, Chapel of St.Sebastian, Miramar beach, State Archaeological Museum.