Panjim

Officially known an ‘Panaji’ and popularly known an ‘Panjim’,  is the capital of the state of Goa. During the Portuguese era it was known as Nova Goa which was later changed after the 1960’s after the Indian administration took over.  ‘Nova Goa’ or ‘New Goa’ was then replaced by the Portuguese as the capital city of the state from the earlier ‘Goa’ that is now known as ‘Old Goa’.

Panjim lies on the banks of the river Mandovi and has a population of 114,759 residents. The city has a number of very interesting tourists hot-spots that are visited by many. The banks of the Mandovi is where one can enjoy a sunset cruise or every try chances with lady luck on the many off-shore casinos that float along the river Mandovi.

The Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church that is located in the heart of the city of Panjim is iconic landmark to the city. Built in 1541 by the Portuguese the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church has the architecture that Baroque styled.  The bell of the church is the second largest bell in Goa after the church bell of the Se Cathedral in Old Goa.

Kala Academy is another highly popular point of interest especially for those that are fond of art and theater.  Kala Academy is located in Campal and is an institution run by the Government of Goa. It’s origin stretches as early as 1970 and was designed by Charles Correa. The aim of the institution is to promote local artists and programs. Kala Academy hosts a variety of local theater performances and art exhibits all throughout the year.

Miramar is the nearest beach to the city of Panjim. Miramar is located just 4 kms from the capital city and has a coastline that stretches nearly 7 kms. The beach is a beautiful location to watch the sunset and also catch a glimpse of the traditional fishermen that cast their nets every evening. Neighboring Miramar is another popular location called Dona-Paula. Dona-Paula is a beautiful jetty where one can spend time simply lazing around as the relaxing cool breeze of the Arabian sea refreshes and relaxes you or even participate in a few water sport activities that are available around the jetty.

If you are a foodie, Panjim has a variety of restaurants that you can try out. From savory Portuguese meals dished out by restaurants such as Viva Goa to delicious burgers and pizzas served-up at Route 66 opposite the Old Patto Bridge. If you are in the mood for Asian cuisine ‘Goenchin is a must visit. Other popular eateries among many include Black Sheep Bistro, Café Bodega, Delhi Darbar and Hotel Venite.

There also are a number of festivals that celebrated in the months of Febuary and March; Carnival and Shigmo are cultural themed festivals that rope-in crowds from near and far. A series of themed floats which are accompanied by dance and live performances are the main attraction.

Other points of interests also include the Altinho Hill which is the hillock overlooking the city that has breathtaking views of the river Mandovi and also of many parts of the city. Altinho is also where the Bishop’s Palace is located, a historic monument that was built in 1893.