Location: On the banks of the Mandovi River, Tiswadi Island, North Goa
Best Time to Visit: October to April
Highlights: Dona Paula Beach, Miramar Beach, Ruins of St.
Augustine's Tower, Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount in Goa,
Main Languages: Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, English
Main Religions: Hinduism, Christianity and Islam
STD Code: 0832
Panaji is the capital city of Goa and is the third largest city in Goa.
The city of Panaji was known by the name of Panjim during the Portugal
rule. The official name now is Panaji, though it is known as Panjim
among locals even today. Though it is a small city, people travel to
Panaji just to relax and watch time go by slowly. This city still has an
old world charm about it which is what boosts tourism here. While on one
hand, it looks like time has left this place untouched and urbanization
is a word unheard of, you will find some of the most well known
educational institutes and commercial complexes here.
Panaji city is out an out an entertaining city that will keep you
fascinated for days at end. You will not find skyscrapers, fast cars and
sleek buildings here; instead you will find some of the most beautiful
churches and Portuguese style houses that have hanging balconies, red
tiled roofs and perfect gardens with tall Gulmohar trees. It is known
for its historical monuments and beaches that are a must visit for all
those who want to see the better things that a city has to offer. You
may find plush malls, showrooms, etc. in every urban metro, but Panaji
offers you unadulterated legacy that is rich in beauty, culture and
tradition. The people of Panaji sure know how to take it easy and are
extremely warm people. They know how to enjoy life and will go to any
lengths to make a guest feel at home.
Panaji Tourist Attractions
The Archaeological Museum of Goa is maintained by the Archaeological
Survey of India (ASI) and is a popular tourist attraction of Goa. It is
one of its kind in Asia and was set up around the year 1994 in a joint
collaboration between Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural
Heritage and Calouste Gulbentian of Portugal. Also known as the
Christian Art Museum, the museum displays the priceless collection of
Goa's rich art and craft, objects made of gold and precious stones,
ivory images, image of St. Francis Xavier in a silver casket, etc. A
major attraction of this museum is the depiction of Christ as a symbolic
shepherd watching over his flock.
The Adilshahi Palace is a prime tourist attraction of Panaji. Built by
Yusuf Adil Shah in 1500, this palace was built for recreational purposes
and for relaxing. Later, as time passed, it was fortified and served as
an important defense location for the Portuguese to check on external
attacks and threats. It was also the first custom check point where the
cargo ships were checked. The Palace served as an official residence for
most Portuguese viceroys who stayed here for sometime before leaving for
Portugal. Also known as Idalcao, it is now preserved beautifully with
perfectly manicured gardens adding to its splendor.
The Mahalaxmi temple at Panaji is considered to be the dwelling place
of the actual Goddess of the Shakti sect. It is a beautiful temple and
the image of the Goddess bears a striking resemblance to the Goddess
that is at Kolhapur, the main center of worship. The temple is one of
those very few temples in India that has a gallery of wooden images of
Lord Vishnu. The image of the Goddess is said to have a "Linga"
on her head and is considered to be a very peaceful form of the Devi.
How to Reach
By Air: Panaji can be easily reached by flights from major
cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Mangalore,
Bangalore, etc. The Dabolim airport is at a distance of around 30
kilometers from Panaji.
By Rail: The main railway station of Goa is at Margao and is at
a distance of around 33 kilometers from Panaji. Regular trains ply from
places like Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Secunderabad, Pune, etc.
By Road: Panaji can be easily reached by roads as highways have
been built that link it to neighboring states of Karnataka and
Maharashtra. Inter state transport is prevalent from Maharashtra and
Karnataka to Goa. Other private tour operators also run their buses