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GoaCentral > Sightseeing > Panaji

Panaji

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. 

History

The origin of the name Panaji or Panjim has many explanations. Some of them include it being the corrupted version of "Ponjy" said to mean "the land that never floods" and also "Panch yma afsumgary" or "Five magnificent castles" which reportedly belonged to Sultan Adil Shah. The Portuguese called the city "Panjim" and after liberation it has seen its name changed to "Panaji".

It was a small fishing village  with lots of coconut trees, creeks and fields. For centuries it remained so  and was a neglected ward of Taleigao village  with the only massive structure, the Adil Shah Fort by the Mandovi river.  In 1632 the then Viceroy, Count de Linhares, Dom Miguel de Noronha  built the 3.2km causeway linking Panjim with Ribandar village. It exists even today and is known as the "Pointe de Linhares" and at the time it was constructed, was the longest bridge in existence.  Around this time,  against the backdrop of the decline of Old Goa, the idea of Panjim becoming the Capital of Goa slowly gained momentum. On December 1 1759, the then Viceroy, Dom Manuel de Saldanha de Albuquerque, Count of Ega, shifted his residence from Panelim (near Old Goa) to Panjim. He moved to the newly re-modeled Adil Shah Fort, since known as "Idalcao's Palace" .  The "Father of Panjim" is a title that is said to belong to the Viceroy, Dom Manuel de Castro de Portugal ( 1826-1835 ). He began the process of  slowly reclaiming land, initiated public projects, drainage systems and was also responsible for many of its government buildings and set the stage for Panjim to evolve into a magnificent city. By a royal decree on March 22, 1843  its status was elevated to a "City" and  became the capital of Goa and was called "Nova Goa". The  city was electrified in 1931. Over time it has undergone many changes under different administrations.

There are two old sections of the city existing today,  one called "Fontainhas" and the other "San Thome". The hillock overlooking the city is  called "Altinho". 

Panaji today

Today, It is not only the state capital, but also an educational, commercial and cultural center of Goa. The Goa Medical College used to be situated here (since moved to Bambolim ) and so does the Goa College of Pharmacy, the Goa College of Art, and the Government Polytechnic. The Dhempe College of Arts and Sciences is situated in nearby Miramar. Some of the important parts of the city are discussed separately in the links below. It boasts of a cultural center-The Kala Academy, and a number of theater complexes. 

Photos

MandoviBridge1.gif (802981 bytes) MandoviBridge2.gif (630613 bytes) MandoviBridge3.gif (901116 bytes) MandoviSunset.gif (582118 bytes)
Mandovi Bridge Mandovi Bridge Mandovi Bridge Sunset over the river
PanajiMarket.gif (1003471 bytes) PanajiPattoBridge.jpg (891846 bytes) PanajiMandoviRiver.jpg (867490 bytes) PanajiCustomsBuilding.jpg (1080589 bytes)
Panaji Market  Patto Bridge View across the river  Customs Building
PanajiDBBandodkarStatue.jpg (990263 bytes) PanajiStatue.jpg (975786 bytes)
Bandodkar memorial  Statue memorial

Approach

The main transportation hub is across the "Pato bridge"  over  the Rua de Ourem creek at the Kadamba Bus Station . From this  Bus station buses take off  regularly to other Goan cities like Margao, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa , Ponda and other  towns in Goa and to neighboring states.
The nearest train station is Karmali, near Old Goa.

Accommodations

Panaji has some great places to stay. 

Sight Seeing

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Important Buildings and Monuments
Secretariat building, Panaji
Abbe Faria statue, Panaji
Institute Menezes Braganza and Central Library, Panaji
Goa State Museum, Patto, Panaji
Altinho, Panaji
Goa Medical College, Panaji

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Churches
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Panaji.
Church of St. Ana, Talaulim

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Temples
Shree Mahalaxmi Temple, Panaji

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Masjids
Jama Masjid, Panaji
Aga Khan Jamatkhana, Panaji

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Wild life Sanctuary
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Chorao

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Nearby Beaches
Miramar, Bambolim, Dona Paula.

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Nearby Towns and Cities
Old Goa,  Mapusa,

Local Infrastructure

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Restaurants in Panaji

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Banks in Panaji

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Hospitals  - Goa Medical College Hospital, Panaji & Bambolim. Tel: 223026 (casualty)

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Ambulance - Tel: 102. GMC Bambolim -Tel: 223026. Red Cross, Panaji - Tel: 224601

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Drug store / Pharmacy - GAPL Pharmacy, GMC complex, Bambolim - Tel: 233590. Jeevan Rekha Medical stores, Panaji -Tel:435946 / 230655

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Police Station - Police Headquarters, Panaji - Tel: 226482

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Post Office - GPO Panaji, Patto.

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Internet Cafes

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Misc.

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