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DESTINATIONS » WEST INDIA » GOA » PANAJI
 
 
 
Panjim or Panaji as it is also called, is one of India's smallest and most pleasant state capitals. Built on the south bank of the Mandovi River, it officially became the state capital when Old Goa was finally abandoned in 1843. It was only a small fishing village four centuries ago. It is still a midget town, but one of the most beautiful in India. Rising on the wooded terraces of the Altinho Hill, the town slopes down to Mandovi river on one side to the Arabian Sea on the other. The old town has preserved its Portuguese heritage remarkably well; there are narrow winding streets, old houses with overhanging balconies with red tiled roofs, white washed churches and numerous small bars and cafés. Though there are no great attractions in Panjim, the city does have enough character to make a pleasant visit and an ideal base to explore the state.
 
  Place To See  
  Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Goa State Museum, Fontainhas & Sao Tomé, The Secretariat, Dona Paula, Miramar, Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna,Chapora & Vagator, Arambol & Terekhol, Bogmalo, Colva Beach,Benaulim, Shri Mangesh Temple, Shri Mahalsa, Shri Nagesh Temple,Shri Shanta Durga Temple, Shri Bhagavati Temple, Shri Chandranath, Safa Masjid.  
  Things to do  
  Water skiing, sun bathing, para sailing, frolic at carnival, visit cathedrals, temples, enjoy night life.  
  How to reach  
  By rail, road or boat.  
     
     
 
DESTINATIONS
 
     
 
  Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception   Goa State Museum   Fontainhas & Sao Tomé  
             
  The Secretariat   Dona Paula   Miramar Beach  
             
  Sinquerim Beach   Candolim Beach   Calangute Beach  
             
  Baga Beach   Anjuna Beach   Chapora & Vagator  
             
  Arambol & Terekhol   Bogmalo Beach   Colva Beach  
             
  Benaulim   Shri Mangesh Temple   Shri Mahalsa  
             
  Shri Nagesh Temple   Shri Shanta Durga Temple   Shri Bhagavati Temple  
             
  Shri Chandranath       Safa Masjid  
             
 
     
     
 
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception
 
 
Destination Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Pilgrimage/Place of worship
It is Panjim's main church and a very striking edifice. It stands above the square in the main part of the town and is reached by several intersecting stairs. The original consecrated in 1541. Panjim was the first port of call for voyages from Lisbon, so Portuguese sailors would visit this church to give thanks for a safe crossing before continuing to Old Goa. Mass is held here daily in English, Konkani and Portuguese.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Goa State Museum
 
 
Destination Goa State Museum
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Museum
Activities Visit Museums/ Libraries
Opened in 1996, this modern well laid out museum has several galleries featuring Christian art, Hindu and Jain sculptures and bronzes and paintings from all over India.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Fountainhas & Sao Tome
 
 
Destination Fontainhas & Sao Tomé
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Native Life
Activities Heritage sight seeing
Located just west of the Ourem River, these are old Portuguese districts and are Panjim's most interesting areas. The narrow cobbled streets, tiled buildings, shuttered windows and tiny over hanging balconies present an atmosphere more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than of India. At the end of the street in Fontainhas is the Chapel of St. Sebastian. Although it dates only from the 1880's, it contains a number of interesting features in particular a striking crucifix that originally stood in the Palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa.
 
 
 
 
     
 
The Secretariat
 
 
Destination The Secretariat
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Heritage Site
Activities Heritage sight seeing
It is an interesting building. Dating from the 16th century, it was originally the palace of Adil Shah, the ruler of Bijapur and in 1759 it became the viceroy's official residence. There is a bizarre statue of a man apparently about to strangle a woman nearby. This is the statue of Abbé Faria, a famous hypnotist.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Dona Paula
 
 
Destination Dona Paula
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type  
Activities Sun Bathing,Water scooter
4km from Panjim, it is located near the rocky point between the Mandovi and Zuari rivers at the place where these two rivers meet the Arabian Sea. The town has grown up around a fishing hamlet. There is a small and peaceful palm fringed beach with casuarina groves. It is named Dona Paula de Menezes, the Viceroy's daughter who reputedly jumped from the cliffs when refused permission to marry a fisherman. It is a secluded bay with a fine view of the Zuari estuary and the Marmagao harbour and an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe. Water scooter facilities are available here.
 
 
 
     
 
Miramar Beach
 
 
Destination Miramar Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Beaches
Activities Sun Bathing
It is the nearest beach to Panjim City, about 3kms. It is lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees and is one of the most popular beaches. From here one has an excellent view of the Fort Agauda fort just across the Mandovi river.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Sinquerim Beach
 
 
Destination Sinquerim Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Beaches
Activities Para Sailing,Wind Surfing,Sun Bathing,Swimming/Bathing,Scuba diving,Fishing
13km from Panjim is the beach below Fort Agauda. It is one of the best beaches in Goa with international class facilities for water-skiing, para-sailing, fishing, scuba diving and windsurfing. It also has a magnificent 17th century fort, which has now been converted into a prison, the Agauda Jail. The Fort was built in 1612 to keep the Dutch Navy at bay. It is the strongest of the Portuguese coastal forts.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Candolim Beach
 
 
Destination Candolim Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Beaches
Activities Cuisine
The least developed part of the beach north of Agauda. If you, wish to be away from the crowds but within reach of good food, try the beach near D'mello's & Oceanic just north. The beach itself is long & straight, backed by scrub-covered dunes with little shelter.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Calangute Beach
 
 
Destination Calangute Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Beaches
Activities Swimming/Bathing
It is the busiest beach and one of the most popular beaches in Goa. It was once the Mecca of al expatriate hippies.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Baga Beach
 
 
Destination Baga Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Beaches
Activities Houseboat Backwater / River cruise,Fishing,Water skiing,Yachting/Sailing
Sandwiched between Calangute and Anjuna, has a little more character and interesting landscape. It is a secluded and pleasant beach, with good recreational facilities like river cruises, water-skiing, yachting and fishing. It is handy for those wanting to commute to the nightlife at Anjuna and Vagator.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Anjuna Beach
 
 
Destination Anjuna Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Night Life
Activities Shopping,Cuisine
This is one of Goa's most popular beaches known for its night beach parties and the rave scene. It's famous for its Wednesday Flea Market, worth exploring for jewelry, souvenirs and ethnic clothes.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Chapora & Vagator
 
 
Destination Chapora & Vagator
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type  
Activities Trekking
This is one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of Goa's coastline. Much of the inhabited area nestles under a canopy of dense coconut palms. The Chapora Village is dominated by a rocky hill on top of which sits an old Portuguese fort. The views from its ramparts are excellent. Secluded sandy coves are found all the way around the northern side of this rocky outcrop. It is a relatively quiet and laid-back area, though it can sometimes get crowded with day-trippers.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Arambol & Terekhol
 
 
Destination Arambol & Terekhol
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type  
Activities Heritage sight seeing,Swimming/Bathing
These are the northern most beaches of Goa. Terekhol has a wonderful fort, which has now been converted into a rest house. Arambol is quite a remote beach but the seashore is beautiful and the main beach is a good place to swim. There are also attractive bays further north.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Bogmalo Beach
 
 
Destination Bogmalo Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Beaches
Activities Sun Bathing,Swimming/Bathing
8kms from the town of Vasco and 4kms from the airport, is a small sandy cove dominated by a five star Park Plaza resort. The southern beaches are less distinctive than those of the north. Government regulation have kept all the hotels back from the sea, but the character of the unbroken wide sand nonetheless also varies.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Colva Beach
 
 
Destination Colva Beach
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type  
Activities  
6km from Margao, Colva is the pride of Salcette and the only rival to Calangute in its scenic beauty and grandeur. The beach has beautiful sand, coconut palms gently swaying in the breeze and the blue - green waters. It's the longest beach, about 20km, in Goa.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Benaulim
 
 
Destination Benaulim
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Native Life
Activities  
It is the tranquil and pleasant end of Colva. It is a pretty fishing village, with quaint old Portuguese houses, a secluded beach and perfect for a quiet little break. The small Church of St John the Baptist, on a hill beyond the village is worth a visit.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shri Mangesh Temple
 
 
Destination Shri Mangesh Temple
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
22km from Panjim, near the inland town of Ponda, this 18th century temple is located on a hillock. This is one of the most important Hindu temples in Goa and a local landmark with its lofty white tower. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple complex is architecturally typical of the highly distinctive Goan Hindu temple style.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shri Mahalsa
 
 
Destination Shri Mahalsa
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
1km from the Mangesh Temple, this temple is popular with people of all faiths because the deity Gomantaka is believed to fulfil the wishes of all her devotees.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shri Nagesh Temple
 
 
Destination Shri Nagesh Temple
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
Dedicated to Lord Shiva as Nagesh (God of serpents), this temple is situated in Bandora village, about 4km to the east of Ponda. The temple has a gallery on both sides that contains exquisite specimens of intricate woodcarvings of the events of Ramayana on one side and wooden images of Astadikpal and Gandharva on the other.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shri Shanta Durga Temple
 
 
Destination Shri Shanta Durga Temple
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
Set in a picturesque forest clearing on a hillside at Queula, this temple is 3km southwest from Ponda. It is one of the largest and most famous of Goa's temples dedicated to the consort of Lord Shiva as Shanta Durga (Goddess of Peace). The form of Durga was so named because she mediated in a great quarrel between Shiva and Vishnu, and brought back peace in the universe. This temple sports an unusual, almost pagoda-like structure.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shri Bhagavati Temple
 
 
Destination Shri Bhagavati Temple
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
Located 26km from Panjim City, this temple is believed to be 500 years old. Two life-sized images of elephants carved from black stone guard its entrance and there is an imposing statue of Goddess Bhagavati Ashtabhuja to whom the temple is dedicated.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Shri Chandranath
 
 
Destination Shri Chandranath
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
Located at Quepem this temple is built on a 350m high hill of the same name, the Chandranath Hill. The main attractions of this temple are the rock-carved Shiv lingas from which water oozes on a full moon day.
 
 
 
 
     
 
Safa Masjid
 
 
Destination Safa Masjid
Location Panaji
State Goa
Destination type Pilgrim Centre/Holy Place
Activities  
Located in Ponda, is the oldest and most famous of mosques in Goa. It was built by Adil Shah of Bijapur in 1560. Near the mosque is a well-constructed masonry tank, surrounded by an extensive garden with many fountains. The festivals are celebrated here with great pomp and show and attended by a large number of people.