Complete India Travel Guide

"Panaji, the capital of Goa and headquarters of North Goa District is a small charming city on the left bank of silvery Mandovi river. It has red-roofed beautiful houses, built in Latin style, well laid gardens, statues and avenues lined with Gulmohar, Acassia and other trees."
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Places to Visit in Panjim

Panaji Bus Station, Goa
Panaji Bus Station, Goa

Panaji, built on the south bank of the Mandovi River, is one of India`s smallest and most pleasant state capitals. It became the capital of Goa in 1843 when Old Goa was finally abandoned.

Each year on Sabado Gordo (Fat Saturday), a colourful carnival is organized with attractive floats. The carnival begins with the arrival of King Momo, who orders his subjects to forget their worries and have a good time.

Panaji is worth a visit, though most travellers just pass through the city on their way to the beaches or to Old Goa.

Quick Getaways
Vasco da Gama
Old Goa
Dona Paula Beach
Se Cathedral
Church of Lady of Rosary
Church of St Francis of Assisi
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Goa Marriott Resort
Cidade de Goa
Other Attractions

Fontainhas & Sao Tome

These old Portuguese districts, located west of the Ourem River, are Panaji's most interesting areas. The narrow cobbled streets, tiled buildings, shuttered windows and tiny overhanging balconies offer an atmosphere more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than of India. Local men sip feni in tiny bars. Some of best guesthouses of Panaji are in this quarter.

The Chapel of St Sebastian stands at the end of a picturesque street in Fontainhas. It dates only from the 1880s and has a number of interesting features, A striking crucifix that originally stood in the Palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa is one such interesting piece.

Our Lady of the Immaculate conception

This striking edifice in Panaji is its main church. It stands in the main part of town. It was consecrated in 1541. Panaji was the first port of call for voyages from Lisbon. Hence, Portuguese sailors visited this church to give thanks for a safe crossing before continuing to Old Goa. Mass is held here daily in English, Konkani and Portuguese.

Goa State Museum

This modern and well-laid out museum in the town is worth a visit. It. has several galleries featuring Christian art, Hindu and Jain sculpture and bronzes, and paintings from all over India. It is near the bus stand and open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 1.15 pm and 2 to 5.30 pm (free).

Few Other Attractions

The 16th century Secretariat Building was originally the palace of Adil Shah, ruler of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, In 1759, it was the viceroy's official residence. Nearby is the statue of a man, apparently about to strangle a woman. It is of Abbe Faria, a famous hypnotist, and his assistant. Born in Candolim in 1756, the Abbe emigrated to France, where he became a celebrated hypnotic medium.

The modern Mahalaxmi Temple is the holy place of worship of the Hindu community in Panaji. Walk up to the Altinho district to have a good view of the town. Walk south from Fontainhas or following the road up past Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church to reach there.

Getting There

By Air

Indian Airlines is at Dempo Building, D Bandodkar Marg, on the river- front. Air India is next to the Hotel Fidalgo on 18th June Rd. Other airlines with offices in Panaji include Jet Airways, and NEPC Ltd.

By Road

Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka state road transport corporations (STRCs) all operate services out of Panaji`s Kadamba bus stand. Typical timings are; Mumbai (17 hours), Bangalore (14 hours), Belgaum (five hours), Hospet (10 hours). If you miss the Hospet bus you can easily take a bus to Hubli (seven hours) and get onward transport from there. From Hubli to Hospet is another 4:30 hours. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) also has direct services to Bijapur, Badami and Shimoga.

Many private companies offer luxury, air-con and sleeper buses to Mumbai. There are also daily private buses to Bangalore, Pune and Mangalore. A couple of companies offer buses to Hampi, although these are only laid on when there`s sufficient demand. There are several private operators` offices just outside the gates of the bus stand.

For journeys within Goa, there are frequent buses to Vasco da Gama, Margao, Old Goa, Calangute and Mapusa.


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