Goa: Panjim or Panaji, The Capital of Goa



Delimited all around by soaring mountains, the capital of Goa, Panaji is nestled in the water of the numerous rivers and ocean. It is rich in flora and fauna. Captivating waterfalls and riveting game sanctuary of Panaji along with world famous beaches pull crowds year after year. Hundreds of animated birds sing in concert to entertain holiday makers as well.

Young people flock to Panaji and Goa to get pleasure in 40 enthralling beaches, spread across 105 km of well-stretched out seashore. The entire seashore is bedecked with green bushes and tiny hills. The enchanting sea beaches are perfect destinations for enjoying sun baths and sea baths. These charming sea beaches are said to be the popular and appealing sea beaches of the world.

The stunning mangrove forest of south- eastern Asia can be best viewed from the land of astonishment, Goa. The entire territory of Goa and Panaji looks mesmerizing as these places enjoy shades of palms, mangoes, jackfruits, coconuts, cashew nuts and cinnamon trees. Homes and churches at the roadsides resemble the sumptuousness and spectacle of Lisbon. Approximately 1 Lakhs of inhabitants get an opportunity to take pleasure in the splendor of the city. Take a walk through any of the high ways which run along the city. Take a break and watch the ambience around the Qurem Creek on the way to your destination. The blue and beautiful Arabian ocean is spread from the eastern side to the western side of Panaji.

The district head quarter of North Goa, Panjim, is located on the southern banks of the Mandovi River. Go beyond the fascinating River and reach Betim at the other side of the Mandovi River. The city of Panjim is bounded by the old Goa at its eastern side, Margao at its southern side, Vagator at its north and the pretty Golden beach at the north-western side of Panjim. Avail a water transport to move to different parts of Panjim. It would be an entrancing journey which would exhibit various facades of Nature. It was once a land of fisher men. Panjim means “the land that never floods”. Enjoy the panoramic sight of the enthralling Reis Magos Fort which is located at the foothill, at the opposite side of the Mandovi River. Built way back in 1551, this ancient fort looks absorbing as it’s placed on the lap of the compelling green manor.

The stable of horses and elephants of Adil Shah, the sultan of Bijapur, on the banks of the oldest Mandovi River, was constructed during 1615. Later on, it became a residence of the Portuguese Viceroy. The Idalco Palace has now become a passport office of Panaji. The bronze idol of Abbe Faria (1755- 1819), is positioned at the opposite side of the Palace Square. The nearby Braganza Institute showcases an assortment of portraits, sculptures and furniture of the Portuguese era. Don’t miss the opportunity to look at the well maintained historical evidences in the Institute of Vasco Da Gama. The wharf is not very far away from the Institute of Vasco Da Gama. The pretty Memorial to the Martyrs in the Municipal Park, positioned at the opposite side of the wharf, was erected in 1973. The area around is popularly known to the inhabitants as the Church Square.

The “Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception” on the slop of the hill was built in 1541 for the merchants who came all the way from Lisbon. The architectural excellence of the staircase of this Church is impressive. Take a walk to the contiguous holy Mahalakshmi Temple in the proximity. To access the Altinho hill, positioned at the southern corridor of the city, walk down towards the back end of the Secretariat. The territory entirely is placed in the cool safe haven of the tamarisk, bat and gulmohar trees. The commingling of yellow, green, blue and golden color, displayed on the roadside houses recall the old memories of Portuguese epoch. Inhabitants of the Altinho hill, located at the heart of the city, are slowly but surely getting modern amenities and services. The newest enticement of the place is the Patriarch Palace which was the residence of the Vicar of Christ, John Paul 2nd during 1986. The bird’s eye view of the panoramic Panaji is a site to remember.

Tourists and throng of cultural people who love to watch class-apart collection of photographs and sculptures have to travel to the startling Panjim Museum of the Achieve of Goa, positioned on the second storied Ashirwad building at the western side of the City Center. The Patto Archeological Museum has rich and pretty collections of archeological substances. It is not very far away from the Kadamba Bus Stand.

The daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy, Dona had fallen in love with a fisher man namely Gaspar Dias and had faced a lot of problems due to the uneven relationship. Due to her ever increasing family problems Dona had committed suicide. To recall that sad historical story, a commemorative (Dona Paola) of Dona had been constructed here. An idol of Dona Paola also attracts crowds. About 7 km away towards the western side of Panaji, the Dona Paula, on the hill of Laterite stones, is one of the best places of Panaji to gaze at the attention- grabbing sunset. The colorful nature and magnificent ambience around would engross nature lovers during the sunset. The Arabian ocean at the front end of the Dona Paulo, the Zuari River at the left hand side of the Dona Paulo and the Mandovi River at the right hand side of the Dona Paulo surround the beautiful land of the Dona Paulo. Thousands of amusement items and water sports here entertain all the tourists. Holiday makers get amused riding on the water scooter and yacht. The city gradually is spreading its wings around the astonishing Dona Paulo.

About 1 km away from the Dona Paulo, at the southern side of the mouth of the Mandovi River and the Arabian ocean, Gasper Dias of Portuguese era, enjoys cool shades of Palm foliage and is now popularly known as the nostalgic Miramar Beach. This is the nearest beach of the main city premise. Tourists assemble in numbers on this beach for a pleasing evening walk. This 2 km long sea beach of Miramar is utterly covered up in dusty and silver sands.

The vista of the enthralling Aguada Bay is prominently visible from the Miramar sea beach. Many of the tourists who congregate on the Miramar sea beach don’t like shouting shop owners here. The Science Park, Musical Fountain and Fisheries Aquarium are the other interesting and coveted crowd pullers of the Miramar Beach.

The Tourism House on the Miramar Sea Beach is still under construction and it will have 18 information centers, 15 handicraft emporiums, numerous airlines offices, offices of travel agents, tourism offices of the state and central Government inside the building in near future.

The Cavo Raj Bhavan, located at an altitude of 600 meters, on the mouth of the Mandovi River, can be accessed crossing the well-known National Oceanography Institute. Once it was the residence of the Portuguese Viceroy, Cavo.

The Garrison fort, constructed by Portuguese merchants on the demolished bricks of the Garrison of the British around the Franciscan Monastery at the confluence of the Mandovi and Zuari Rivers, is now in ruins.

The Monastery later on had become the residence of Archbishop and Portuguese Viceroy. After independence, it has become the Raj Bhavan or the residence of the Governor of Goa. The nearby Gaspar Dias Fort of Portuguese was destroyed in 1885.

The tourists’ allurement of Panjim is increasing day by day but many decide to avoid the crowded city and directly travel to North Goa which is spread around the city of Margao.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located at the western tip of the Chorao Island, nestled in the water of the Mandovi and Mapusa Rivers. It is a sought after tourists’ destination for the swarms of nature lovers in Goa.

Bird lovers would thoroughly be entertained gazing at the colorful birds and listening to the melodious chirpings in the Mangrove Forest, covering 1.78 square km on the fascinating premise of Chorao Island of Mandovi.

Grant permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the Forest Department and start your journey towards the impressive Salim Ali Bird sanctuary riding on a ferry from the Ribandar wharf. A number of private travel agencies, such as, GTDC are carrying interested tourists to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary from the city of Panaji.

The riveting Carambolim Lake is another lovely place to be at. It’s situated only at a distance of 12 km away towards the eastern side of Panaji, at the mouth of the absorbing Mandovi and Zuari Rivers.

More than 125 species of migratory birds visit Carambolim and form their nests here. But, a portion of this captivating Lake has been drained due to the expansion of the Konkan Railways.

Reis Magos: The Portuguese fort, about 2 ½ km away towards the western side of the Mandovi bridge, was built by Don Alfonso de Noronha in 1551. It has now been converted into a Jail though. The oldest and grandest Church of Goa had been built in this fort during 1555. The singular and astonishing Church was reshaped and revamped entirely during 1771.

Tourists who want to stay here can book a room in Bamboo Motels Naoli’s Ark and Verem.

There are a number of travel agents who conduct tours to North and South Goa. Conducted tours are also organized by the Maharashtra Tourism as well. For a comfortable trip to Goa and places around, you can avail any of these tour packages.

You can avail the sunset cruse spending 150 rupees per head to travel to various parts of Goa. This tour is completed in one hour. You would be able to witness the very own dance form and folk songs (Suran gani) of Goa while moving around on the ship. For an enticing experience you can be a part of the cruse team of “Santa Monica”. You can enjoy a lovely evening along with a dinner party on the ship on every Wednesday, Saturday and on holidays spending 450 rupees each.

With the assistance of GTDC you can start the voyage on a boat spending 250 rupees each on selective days (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday Morning) to watch the playful dolphins. Five hours would be sufficient to complete the tour of the Old Goa, about 10 km away (water transport) towards the eastern side of Panaji.

If you are interested to spend an entire day watching crocodiles and flying kingfishers, then you have to avail a boat which runs through the Mandovi Backwater. Countless numbers of other native and wandering birds spread color here as well. The well stretched out territory of the captivating mangrove forest can be viewed while traveling on the boat. For assistance tourists can feel free to contact the Crocodile Station @0832- 2550334. Dotted Islands, such as, Divar, Jua, and Cumbarjua in Mandovi and Mapusa Rivers have their very own charm and appeal.

Enjoy an agreeable water travel in Goa through 256 km water ways. You can also hire a ferry for 3 hours to travel from One Island to the other in the Mandovi River. You can explore the gripping greeneries while moving on the boat. The Santa Lucia House boat of GTDC is the newest attraction. It offers you everything that you need to spend few days in water lavishly. Assortment of entertainment items are scattered everywhere on the Santa Lucia. Ships are plying to Betim as well from Panjim.

The Communication Building in Church Square houses the office of the ITDC (Government of India Tourists Office).

The tour of Panjim is incomplete if you don’t take pleasure in water sports (Hovercraft, Aqua bikes, rowing and Paddleboats etc). You can hire a car from the Goa Tourism to move in and around the city of Panaji.

Dudhsagar Waterfall:
September- December.

The feral and untamed water stream of the Mandovi River with the name of Dudhsagar waterfall is coming down ferociously from a height of 603 meters kissing the trunk of the undulating Western Ghat hill. It is only 25 km away from the Kolem railway station. The harsh sound of this ruthless water stream breaks the silence of the valley.

The color of the water stream of this waterfall is completely white and hence it is aptly named as Dudhsagar or the ocean of milk waterfall. Watching the natural grandeur around and the absorbing sight of the waterfall would be a charming experience for all the tourists and nature lovers. This is a site to remember forever.

Passengers who travel to Margao from Londa get up in the morning in train with the enormous sound of the waterfall. The train reaches the Dudhsagar railway station at the crack of dawn. Trains cross the station and moves through the railway track placed on the Western Ghat hill range. Train travel slowly through the darkness of innumerable small and big tunnels. You can relax and sit comfortably on your seat inside the train and look around to watch appealing natural sumptuousness. The train marks its way through the twisting railway tracks. Numerous waterfalls would greet you on this way. It’s a wonderful sight to stare at.

How to reach: You can avail a tour package of GTDC from Panjim to Dudhsagar. If you travel to Goa by the train of Konkan railways, then you would not be able to witness the spectacular Dudhsagar.

Where to stay: It’s better to stay at Panjim and visit Dudhsagar (60 km away from Panjim) from Panjim.

How to reach Panjim: The enticing attraction of Panaji, the Dona Paulo, is accessible availing a bus from the Kadamb Bus Stand. These buses ply to the desired destination crossing the wharf, tourists’ hostel and Miramar beach. Frequent ferry services are available to the Vasco, located at the opposite banks of the Dona Paulo, from Dona Paulo. Vasco is not more than 31 km away from the Dona Paulo. Vasco is well connected by many spots both by trains and by air.

Margao railway station, about 33 km away from the heart of Panjim, is located on the railway track of Konkan railways. Tourists mainly flock to Margao from Mumbai. Margao is a popular fort city of Goa as well.

Where to stay at Panjim: Goa Marriott Resort & Spa, Swimsea Beach Resort Panaji, Hotel Salmor, Marigold, Prainha Resort by the Sea Panaji and L Hotel Eden Panaji.

Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.

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