Places to visit in Panjim / Panaji
Location : Southern Banks of river Mandovi in Goa.
Panjim is the most famous tourist destination in Goa, in terms of beaches, churches, carnivals and natural beauty. Being the capital city, it is the focal point of tourism in Goa. It is a small and charming city on the banks of silvery Mandovi River. The town has some beautiful red-blue-green-yellow roofed buildings made in Portuguese Baroque style. While its official name has been Panaji (meaning “the land that does not flood) since the 1960’s, it has been called Panjim by the Portuguese, who ruled Goa for over 400 years.
Panjim was a neglected fishing village of creeks, fields and coconut trees for many centuries. It was given the status of a city and was declared the capital of Goa in 1843. The city has tree-lined cobbled streets, pretty gardens and a beautiful promenade on the river-front.
Fontainhas is an old Portuguese district, located west of the Ourem River, near the hill of Altinho. It has been called so because of its location amidst several springs. The narrow cobbled streets, tiled red-blue-yellow-green buildings, shuttered windows and tiny overhanging balconies offer an atmosphere more reminiscent of the Portuguese days. You can visit the Church of St. Sebastian here, in the southern part.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is the main church of Panaji. Constructed in the 15th century, this church is believed to be one the oldest in Goa and is dedicated to Mary, with two altars flanking its sides, one dedicated to Jesus and the other to Our Lady of Rosary. The church is located on the eastern side of Church Square (a municipal garden or green park).
During your trip to Panaji, you can visit the museum, which is known for a marvellous collection of artefacts of the pre-colonial era, including antique furniture, temple sculptures, deities and stones. The galleries of the museum feature Christian art, Hindu and Jain sculpture and bronzes, and paintings from all over India.
Miramar is the most famous beach of Panjim, and offers all facilities relating to water sports and beach activities. Dona Paula and the Calangute Beach are other popular beaches that are frequently visited by tourists.
Other Places To See
You can also visit the Church of St. Anne at Talaulim. Located on the bank of river Siridao, this church is an excellent example of late 16th century Hindu & Christian architecture. With a cylindrical roof, it comprises of designs of lotuses, fruits, palm leaves, etc in its woodwork and walls.
Apart from the churches, Panaji offers its tourist guests some beautiful temples and mosques, including the Mahalaxmi temple, Hanuman temple, Jain temple, Safa Shahouri Masjid and Jama Maszid.
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, located on the island of Chorao (along the Mandovi River) is a perfect place for bird watching amidst the green surroundings.
Panaji offers a wide array of restaurants that serve mouth-watering Portuguese, Konkani and intercontinental cuisines. You are offered several Indian dishes and special sea food along with feni.
How To Reach
Panaji is a town worth visiting. You can easily commute by air from the Dempo Building, by Indian Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways and NEPC Ltd. There are frequent public buses from Maharashtra and Karnataka. Apart from this, many private companies offer luxury, A/C and sleeper buses from Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Mangalore. A couple of companies offer buses to Hampi as well. You can also avail buses for travelling within Goa.