Panaji or Panjim is the ever hot and happening capital city of golden Goa. Being the capital and a major town, you are bound to get here if you ever be there in Goa. Its not just the status of the capital that makes it special, but the city itself is special in many other ways .
Lets go through a brief history
Panjim or ‘Ponnje’ as it is locally called is built on the banks of river Mandovi . It was made the capital of Goa, Daman and Diu in 1843. Panjim Recently completed 175 years of being the capital. What an achievement!
Places to see and experience.
Being overly attached to this place, and having spent a major period of my life till date here is a list of a few things you should not miss about Panjim.
Fontainhas houses the famous old latin quarters. The colourful houses painted bright red blue and green and designed in the Portuguese style with narrow lanes and beautiful balconies makes it an ideal location for pictures.. along with that it also has some amazing cafes and restaurants you gotta try. Take a walk around or just laze out at the eateries , both give you equal joy. Some of my favourite Being Hotel Vineet, Bombay coffee roaters, gallery Geetanjali for the ambience.
Hotel pakiza and Anandshram for traditional Goan Thali, Down the road viva goa for some scrumptious food. Also try marcao artifacts for some amazing souveiners to take back home.
Altinho which means ‘high ‘ in Portuguese, is a hill near the panjim church. Its housed the elites in the past. The thick green cover, neat clean roads and the ambiance of the place evokes a sense of peace and tranquility . Places to experience here are café Bodega for great deserts and the Bishops palace(though this one is not a tourist attraction). Altinho also has some great piece of art work painted around the city.
–Pontes de Linhares
The 384 year old causeway built in 1633-34 was said to be the longest bridge (3.2 kms) when it was completed in 1634. Built between Panaji and Ribandar under the viceroy of portuguse goa, Minguel de Noronha, 4th count of Linhares after whom it was named. It runs along the river mandovi, and gives a fascinating view and a pleasureful ride, mostly you pass through this while on the way to the churches of Old Goa.
-British cementary and palacio De Cabo
The lesser known side of this Donapaula. After the tourist flooded Donapaula jetty, give this a try. The old British cementary is of historic importance and the fortress, well it’s now converted into Raj Bhavan I.e the governors palace. It has a chapel which is open to the public only on 15th of August. The location gives out a magnificent view of the meeting point of three water bodies and also of fort Auguda and the port town of Mormugao, the fortress being built for the same purpose. Though the fortress wall is much easily accessible with an opening to the shore.
–Krishnadas shama central library
The oldest public library in India, was stablisted in 1832. In the pre liberation era itself it had 35000 volumes of collection and many many more were added later. It’s a fantastic place for book lovers, or just some time to spend around admiring their applaudable collections. Take a look at the history section , with all the old Portuguese manuscripts on display.
The most recent initiative taken by the government of Goa, this is the latest attraction. Built right next to the central library, this long walkable route is build to showcase the glory of the mangroves and is constructed without destroying them. Watch it for yourself. Though crowded since it’s a new thingi, it definitely makes you awe with excitement and calmness at the same time .
–Goa state museum
Just besides the state library is the state museum. A visit is a must if you like all things history.
Religious places to visit.
Built on the hillside of Altinho, this temple is dedicated to lord Hanuman. Watch it for its majestic beauty especially during the night. The fully lit temple is a sight to behold. Also the view from the temple is breathtaking.
-Church of our Lady of Conception
Probably you must have heard or been to this place already. Located in the heart of the city, it was amongst the firsts to be built in Goa (1541). It’s a magnificent Portuguese structure.
Places to eat
Ritz classic – for their delicious Goan thalis.
Café Bodega– try their red velvet and amazing pastas.
Café bhonsle and café real– for local snacks.
Bhel in Miramar– the bet I best.
George– a restaurant with the most amazing Goan Portuguese cuisine.
Kokni canteen– for lipsmacking delicious food.
On a end note I feel and would say and that the best way to know and experience this city is to opt for heritage walks for better knowledge and experience of the city. Trust me it is indeed a beautiful city with rich history and hidden secrets .
How to get there
Panjim is well connected by road to all the places so its not a mystery to reach her, a cab or even a local bus will be good enough.
So no rules to be followed. Experience it the way you want it..