Panaji (Panaji, Panjim) is the charming capital of the state of Goa, in which almost all cultures and confessions of the world are mixed: it has its own Latin Quarter, a quiet river, and houses with red European roofs.
How to get to Panaji
According to clothesbliss, the nearest airport Dabolim is located in the suburbs of Vasco da Gama, 35 km from Panaji. The railway station of the city – Karmali – is located 10 km to the east, but not all trains stop there. 35 km away is the Madgaon station, which is considered the central station in the entire state. Trains come here from all over the country.
Cuisine and restaurants
Some of the best restaurants in India can be found in Panaji: Godinho’s, George Bar, Kamats and Cafe Real (vegetarian dishes), 6 restaurants at the Fidalgo hotel, Shanbag Cafe (Indian cuisine), Gujarat Lodge (delicious and inexpensive snacks).
Entertainment and attractions of Panaji
It is worth visiting the islands that are on the river. There is a ferry from Ribandar to Chorao Island, where the bird sanctuary is located (free of charge). There are also ferries from Old Goa.
There it is worth visiting the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the old district of Fontainehas, the Chapel of St. Sebastian and the architectural complex of Largo da Igreja. Kala Academy is the center of all cultural events in Goa. It is a beautifully designed modern riverside complex next to Miramar Beach.
Panaji is also famous for the statue of Abbot Faria, which has already become a symbol of the city. This famous hypnotist, who became famous thanks to the novel by Alexandre Dumas “The Count of Monte Cristo”, was born in Candolim in 1756, emigrated to France in his youth, was a professor at the University of Marseille and ended his days in the Château d’If.
Old Goa is also known as Goa Velha. In those days when the Portuguese dominated India, it was the capital of the country. The Portuguese rule was quite long, so the city has a rich heritage from this people.
In Old Goa, the architecture of the late Middle Ages, Catholic churches of outstanding beauty, as well as museums, palaces and estates, have been preserved. And also it is here that St. Francis Xavier is buried. Impeccably, he at one time converted the local population to the Christian faith.
In addition to the cultural heritage, tourists are waiting for chic sandy beaches (including wild ones), famous Goan parties, fish restaurants on the coast, and all this at fairly humane prices.
How to get there
Old Goa is located 9 km from Panaji. From there it is easy to get there by bus or taxi.
Entertainment and attractions of Old Goa
Most of the attractions of Old Goa are associated with the era of Portuguese rule. Catholic cathedrals of the late Middle Ages, palaces, and museums have been preserved here.
The largest church in India is the colonial-style Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria (aka Se Cathedral). This temple was built in 1510 in honor of the victory over the Muslims. One of its towers is still destroyed, but this gives it a special mystery. One of the main relics in the country is kept in the Se Cathedral – the font of Francis Xavier, in which he baptized the local population, converting them to a new faith. This font is said to have healing powers.
But the relics of Francis are stored in another temple – in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. They are also considered holy and healing, so the pilgrimage to these places has not stopped for many years.
The triumphal arch of the viceroys is an important place in Old Goa. It was through her that the Portuguese governors entered here, and it was here that the locals handed them the “keys to the country”.
Opposite the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria is the chapel of St. Cajetan, which is rather remarkable for its architecture: it is almost a copy of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, and the inside is decorated in the Baroque style.
Of the museums in Old Goa, the archaeological museum is interesting, which contains an impressive collection of Portuguese weapons, household items and art, as well as statues of Indian gods, as well as a museum of Christian art, the exposition of which tells about the history of religious cults of these places.
One of the most beautiful buildings in the city is the Archbishop’s Palace. It is located next to the Xie Cathedral and was built with it at about the same time. This is an example of the architecture of the “golden age” of colonial Goa, as well as the only secular building that has survived from those times.