Location Panaji City: On the banks of the Mandovi River, Tiswadi Island, North Goa
Best Time to Visit Panaji City : October to April
Highlights of Panaji City : Dona Paula Beach, Miramar Beach, Ruins of St. Augustine's Tower, Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount in Goa, Archaeological Museum
Main Languages of Panaji City : Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, English
Main Religions of Panaji City : Hinduism, Christianity and Islam
STD Code of Panaji City : 0832
Panaji is the capital city of Goa and is the third largest city in Goa. The city of Panaji was known by the name of Panjim during the Portugal rule. The official name now is Panaji, though it is known as Panjim among locals even today. Though it is a small city, people travel to Panaji just to relax and watch time go by slowly. This city still has an old world charm about it which is what boosts tourism here. While on one hand, it looks like time has left this place untouched and urbanization is a word unheard of, you will find some of the most well known educational institutes like Goa University and commercial complexes here.
Panaji city is out an out an entertaining city that will keep you fascinated for days at end. You will not find skyscrapers, fast cars and sleek buildings here; instead you will find some of the most beautiful churches and Portuguese style houses that have hanging balconies, red tiled roofs and perfect gardens with tall Gulmohar trees. It is known for its historical monuments and beaches that are a must visit for all those who want to see the better things that a city has to offer. You may find plush malls, showrooms, etc. in every urban metro, but Panaji offers you unadulterated legacy that is rich in beauty, culture and tradition. The people of Panaji sure know how to take it easy and are extremely warm people. They know how to enjoy life and will go to any lengths to make a guest feel at home.
Panaji Tourist Attractions
The Archaeological Museum of Goa is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and is a popular tourist attraction of Goa. It is one of its kind in Asia and was set up around the year 1994 in a joint collaboration between Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and Calouste Gulbentian of Portugal. Also known as the Christian Art Museum, the museum displays the priceless collection of Goa's rich art and craft, objects made of gold and precious stones, ivory images, image of St. Francis Xavier in a silver casket, etc. A major attraction of this museum is the depiction of Christ as a symbolic shepherd watching over his flock.
The Adilshahi Palace is a prime tourist attraction of Panaji. Built by Yusuf Adil Shah in 1500, this palace was built for recreational purposes and for relaxing. Later, as time passed, it was fortified and served as an important defense location for the Portuguese to check on external attacks and threats. It was also the first custom check point where the cargo ships were checked. The Palace served as an official residence for most Portuguese viceroys who stayed here for sometime before leaving for Portugal. Also known as Idalcao, it is now preserved beautifully with perfectly manicured gardens adding to its splendor.
The Mahalaxmi temple at Panaji is considered to be the dwelling place of the actual Goddess of the Shakti sect. It is a beautiful temple and the image of the Goddess bears a striking resemblance to the Goddess that is at Kolhapur, the main center of worship. The temple is one of those very few temples in India that has a gallery of wooden images of Lord Vishnu. The image of the Goddess is said to have a "Linga" on her head and is considered to be a very peaceful form of the Devi.
How to Reach
By Air: Panaji can be easily reached by flights from major cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Mangalore, Bangalore, etc. The Dabolim airport is at a distance of around 30 kilometers from Panaji.
By Rail: The main railway station of Goa is at Margao and is at a distance of around 33 kilometers from Panaji. Regular trains ply from places like Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Secunderabad, Pune, etc.
By Road: Panaji can be easily reached by roads as highways have been built that link it to neighboring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Inter state transport is prevalent from Maharashtra and Karnataka to Goa. Other private tour operators also run their buses regularly