Tourist Attractions in Panaji
Panaji is a city to savour on leisurely strolls, especially
true in the atmospheric Sao Tome, Fontainhas and Altino areas.
Some of the popular tourist attractions in Panaji are the Goa
State Museum, Campal, Secretariat Building, Miramar, Chapel of
St. Sebastian, Church Of Our Lady Of The Immaculate
Conception, Mahalaxmi Temple and Maruti Temple.
The campal is a riverside boulevard with picturesque views
across the Mandovi.
Largo da Igreja
Largo da Igreja, the main square, is behind the Secretariat.
Church of Our
Lady of The Immaculate Conception
centre piece of the Panaji is the Church of Our Lady of
The Immaculate Conception, originally consecrated in
1541, which stands above the square in the town centre.
The Church Of Our Lady Of The Immaculate Conception is
built in the Portuguese Baroque style and modeled on the
church at Reis Magos. Panaji was the first port of call
for voyages from Lisbon and newly arrived sailors would
visit this strikingly whitewashed 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
An eclectic collection of items awaits visitors to the Goa
State Museum which is situated in a rather forlorn area
southwest of the Kadamba bus stand. Christian arts, Hindu and
Jain sculptures and bronzes, and paintings from all over India
are displayed in the museum. Some other items include an
elaborately carved table used in the Goa Inquisition, and,
just to prove that wasting money on the lottery isn’t recent
phenomenon, an antique pair of rotary lottery machines. There
is also a small wildlife conservation gallery.
Dating from the 16th century, the Secretariat Building was
originally the Idalcao Palace of the Muslim ruler Adil Shah
before becoming the viceroy’s official residence in 1759. The
Portuguese rebuilt it in 1615 and until 1759, it was the
Viceregal Palace. In 1843 it became the Secretariat and now it
holds government offices. Immediately to west, the bizarre
statue of a man apparently about to strangle a woman is of
Abbe Faria, a famous Goan hypnotist, and his assistant.
The Jama Masjid lies near the square and has no dome.
The ornated, salmon-pink Maruti Temple is dedicated
to the monkey god, Hanuman. The temple's veranda
provides fine views towards the Mandovi river.
The Hindu Mahalaxmi Temple is further up Dr Dada Vaidya
Rd on which all these places of worship are situated.
Institute Menezes Braganza
On the west side of the Azad Maidan, the
institute houses Panaji Central Library and is worth popping
into to see the pretty blue-and-white azulejos (glazed
ceramic-tile compositions) in the entrance hall.
The closest beach to Panaji is at Miramar, 3 km southwest of
the city along Dayanand Bandodkar Marg. It’s far from the
cream of Goa’s beaches but is pleasant enough for a sunset
stroll and is a good short bike ride out the city. On the way
you will pass the Goa Marriot Resort, where you will find
Barracuda Diving, one of the state’s most professional diving
Chapel of St. Sebastian
The Chapel of St. Sebastian was built in the 1880. Its most
striking feature is the crucifix that originally stood in the
Palace of the Inquisition in Old Goa.
On the eastern border with Karnataka, Dudhsagar Falls (603 m)
are Goa’s most impressive water falls – and the second highest
in India. However, reaching them is expensive and
time-consuming, and they are really only at their best during
the monsoon – when they are inaccessible and immediately
after. To get here take an infrequent local train or taxi to
Colem station, then a jeep. The simpler option is to go on a
full-day tour from Panaji or Calangute.