Goa's capital, Panaji, situated at the mouth of the Mandovi River, is reminiscent of a provincial Mediterranean town. Earlier a port of the Adil Shahi kings of Bijapur, it became a military landing stage and warehouse after the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510. In 1759, after a series of epidemics in Old Goa, the viceroy was forced to move his residence to Panaji or Panjim as it was then called. However, it was only in 1843 that the town became the official capital of Portuguese territories in India. The place also known by its more politically correct Marathi name Panaji - 'Land That Does Not Flood'. The city is of mid size and full of Banana trees. The main significance of the place is torrential tropical rain which soaks the place throughout the year. The city is full of fine architectures either it is white washed church, apartments or any other main structures there.
Panaji Quick facts
Panaji Geography and Climate
Geography: The state of Goa is located between Latitudes 15 degrees, 48' 00" N and between 14 degrees, 53' 54" N and Longitudes 74 degrees, 20' 13" E and 73 degrees 40" 33" E. It is 1,022 m above sea-level.
Climate: Being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, the climate of Goa is warm and humid for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, with day-time temperatures touching 35°C (95°F). The average rainfall is approximately 325 cm, the average daily hours of sunshine is nine to ten hours in summer and three to five hours during the monsoon.
Best time to visit Panaji
The best time to visit Panaji is between January to March. Because the rainfall is minimum in these months that is 2 to 4 mm and the temperature ranges between 32 to 18 degree celsius, which is comfortable.
Situated at the mouth of Mandovi River, Panjim (also known by its Marathi name Panaji) is the capital of Goa. Panaji was earlier a port for the kings of Bijapur and later became a military landing stage and warehouse after the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510. The area around Panjim harbors pretty paddy fields and wooded valleys, which attracts tourists. Today, It is not only the state capital, but also an educational, commercial and cultural center of Goa.
Panaji Near Getaways
Some 40 km south of Panaji is Margao (Madgaon), the second largest town in Goa and an important commercial centre. This is where you'll get to see the famous gaily painted, Portuguese colonial houses, with their well kept gardens and striking facades, seen nowhere else. The best thing to do would be to hire a car that will take you around the town to spot these. For a picnic away from the sea you could go to Mayem Lake, a popular spot just 35 km from Panaji. Another pleasant getaway is Kesarval Spring (22 km), whose waters are said to possess medicinal properties.
This is the capital of Goa, and the North Goa district. It is situated on the banks of the river "Mandovi". It is connected to the mainland by bridges. Area: It has a land area of 3702 sq km. It has a coast line of 104 km.
Panaji is well connected with the major cities of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation all provide services for Panaji up to the Kadamba bus stand .
How to reach Panaji by Rail
The two main railway stations is located on the southern area of Goa i.e., at Margao (Konkan Railway terminus) and Vasco Da Gama (South Central Railway terminus). Konkan Railways which was completed in 1997, running down the coast from Mumbai to link with the southern rail network at Mangalore. There is ralway reservation office upstairs in Panaji's Kadamba bus stand which is opened Monday to Saturday 9.00 to 11.30 am and 1.30 to 5.00 pm .
European charter planes and domestic flights from Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Delhi, Chennai and Tiruvananthapuram arrive at Goa's Dabolim airport. It is 29 km south of the Panaji on out-skirts of Vasco-da-Gama.
How to reach Panaji by Water
The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across the Mandovi, frequency is every 15 min Old Goa to Divar Island every 15 min.
The most popular celebrations in Goa are Christmas, Easter Sunday, Ganesh Chaturthi (Chavoth-Konkani), Diwali, New Year's Day, Shigmo and the Carnival. However, since the 1960s, the celebrations of the Shigmo and carnival have shifted to the urban centres, and in recent times these festivals are seen more as a means of attracting tourists.
Western English songs have a large following in most parts of Goa. Traditional Konkani folk songs also have a sizable following. Manddo, the traditional Goan music which originated in the nineteenth century, is sung and danced on special occasions.
Panaji Religious Places
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception: This was reportedly one of the first Churches to be built in Goa, estimated around 1540's. It was rebuilt in 1619. After Panjim became the capital city, the great bell of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Old Goa or the "Bell of the Inquisition" was moved to this church from Aguada in 1841. The interior is simple and is dedicated to Mary. There are two altars on either side, the one on the left dedicated to Jesus and the one on the right to Our Lady of Rosary. On either side is a statue of St Peter and St Paul.
Mahalaxmi Temple: This is located in the city of Panaji, off Dada Vaidhya road. It was the first Hindu temple allowed to be built by the Portuguese in Goa after 300 years. It was approved by the Portuguese authorities in 1818 after a long delay and built subsequently. It was most recently renovated in 1983.
Hanuman Temple: This is a modern temple located in the heart of the city.
Aguda Fort in Goa: A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there, giving it the name "Aguada" (meaning 'water' in Portuguese). On the northern side, it provides a harbour for local shipping. The fort, at present, houses the central jail. A 19th century built lighthouse is situated inside the fortress. Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders, it is home to several natural springs, the first source of drinking water available to ships arriving in Goa after the long sea voyage from Lisbon.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls: The famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls measure 600 m and lies in the Goa-Karnataka border. When the water levels are at their highest, froth like foam is created at the bottom which is why the Konkani name, Dudhsagar, meaning 'sea of milk'. This place is accessible only through a jeep or by foot. The view is absolutely exotic and breathtaking.
Goa is the best place in India to visit, if you love to fun & frolic throughout the day and the night. Nightlife in Goa is exciting and there are many ways to spark up the evening. The people of Goa are fun lovers and it is very common to find families going out for a night of fun & merriment. There are places where, almost every third house has a bar-cum-restaurant.
Kidding around Panaji
For a picnic away from the sea you could go to Mayem Lake, a popular spot just 35 km from Panaji.
The shopping experience in Panaji is a blend of the exotic and the modern. While the local markets are a treasure trove of indigenous handicrafts, the upscale shopping malls teem with designer boutiques and international brands. The Miramar beach, located 3 km away from the city, is another shopping hub thronged by locals and tourists alike. The ideal place to shop for trendy beachwear and hammocks.
Famous To Eat at Panaji
It is renowned for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Pork dishes such as Vindaloo, Xacuti and Sorpotel are cooked for major occasions among the Catholics.
Panaji Museum and Hill Stations
Institute Menezes Braganza Location: Panaji, North Goa district How to Reach : Local transport in Panaji Highlights : 250 original works of eminent European and Portuguese artistes of the 19th century; the Inquisition table Established in 1871, the Institute Menezes Braganza is a repository of valuable paintings and antiques dating back to the Portuguese rule. Originally called the Institute Vasco da Gama, this century-old institution was later renamed after Menezes Braganza, an eminent Goan freedom fighter. The Menezes Braganza museum boasts of a priceless collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. It also houses over 50 collections of Indian masters like Laxman Pai, Prafull Dahanukar, M F Hussain, Souza, Raza, etc.
Gardens and Parks at Panaji
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: Along the north from Panaji on the road to Belgaum, is a sanctuary that covers 240 sq km. Thick forest clad the slopes of the Western Ghats that is rich in wildlife and a paradise for bird watchers.
Lake at Panaji
Mayem Lake: It lies at about 35 km from the city of Panaji. Mayem Lake in Goa, a charming tiny lake is situated at Mayem near Bicholim, in Bicholim taluka, North Goa. It is quite a popular picnic spot as well as a hot favorite visiting arena for the tourists. Fame of the lake has eventually increased with the introduction of the boating facilities at the lake.
Miramar Beach: On the way to Dona Paula, 1 km ahead of the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Mandvi River, under the palm shade, is "Gasper Dias" or Miramar Beach and is just 3 km away from the capital city of Panjim. In Portuguese language 'Miramar' stand for viewing the sea. Situated on a good location for evening walks, the coast is spread upto 2 km, having a fine silvery sand bed. From here one has an excellent view of the Aguada fort just across the Mandovi River.