Are you one of those looking for things to do in Panjim? Well, your search is over! We have come up with a list of things to do in Panjim.
Panjim, the headquarter of the North Goa district is also the capital of Goa. Earlier, Panjim was a colony under Portuguese rule. Panjim has also spelled Panaji. Panjim is, in fact, a Portuguese name for the place which was replaced by Panaji in the 1980s for the revival of its cultural heritage. The present name Panaji is derived from the Sanskrit language. It is located on the estuary of the Mandavi River.
Panjim is worth visiting due to its splendorous forts, Goan culture, tranquil beaches, and several other amazing places. Panjim boasts vibrant attractions, the confluence of Indo- Portuguese traditions, joyful nightlife, and splendid restaurants. A high standard of living is prominent in Panjim. The continuous influx of tourists keeps the economy booming here. The roads are well built and well maintained by the local municipalities. The vibe of this place is largely positive thanks to the calm and composed nature of the city. The pollution level is also low here.
1. Aguada Fort
Lying on the regressing ramparts of what was formerly the most frightful and unconquerable of the Portuguese castles in India. The fellow visitors see the wide angled view of the gigantic ocean where the convergence of the Mandovi river with the Arabian sea takes place. This particular fort carries elegance due to its location which the sailors had to reach after crossing the demanding ocean routes, typically from far off Portugal around the Cape of Good Hope. This fortress is located on the Aguada- Siolim Road in Sinquerim (Candolim, Goa).
There are two ways to get to the hilltop fortress. The first one is the 4 km long passage from Sinquerim beach which is preferred by motor vehicles. The other route is a shorter 2 km path, however, the steep rise throughout the route makes it difficult for commuters to reach the top.
The Fort Aguada is open to the public on all days of the week from 9.30 am to 6.00 pm. It remains the finest conserved Portuguese fort in India at present. The Aguada Fort is a fine example of Portuguese architecture and engineering. Fort Aguada is a standard illustration of Portuguese military infrastructure constructed of durable laterite sandstone, so readily accessible all over Goa.
Part of the castle has been transformed into the Aguada Jail, which substantially houses those charged with the trade and trafficking of narcotics. This is one of the largest jails in Goa, it remains restricted to the general public.
2. Basilica of Bom Jesus
Basilica of Bom Jesus is a consequential and one of the earliest churches in India which was established during the Portuguese control in Goa. Bom Jesus means ethical Jesus or child Jesus and the church is devoted to him. The raising of the church began in 1594 and concluded in 1605. The edifice of the Church holds the remains of St. Xavier in a silverware coffin that is elegantly decorated and venerated by his admirers. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO honored World Heritage Site. It stands as a fine example of Portuguese architecture.
It’s precisely located in Bainguinim, which is around 10 km from Panjim. Time to reach the church from Panjim takes about 25 minutes. This length can be covered by hiring a taxi, or getting a rental moped or a scooter for the day. This Church attracts tourists from around the world irrespective of their religion. The relics of St. Francis Xavier are kept here.
The period between September to March is considered to be the best time to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The resplendence of the church is elegantly expressed during the monsoon season when the rainfall showers clear the surroundings. The front of the Church consists of the main balcony adjoined by two stages. The main balcony is beautified with a statue of St. Ignatius Loyola overlooking Baby Jesus.
3. Oxdel Beach
Oxdel beach is situated in North Goa which is at a distance of about 28 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station,4 km from Dona Paula, and 11 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand. Oxdel beach is a small beach in comparison to other beaches in Goa, having a stretch of just 250 m but the atmosphere here is very affable. It is located between Dona Paula and Bambolim precisely before Goa University.
The locals use this beach as a picnic spot, while the tourists avoid it due it its remoteness and small size. The presence of rocks and large sea waves makes it an unfavorable beach for swimming. The beach is worth it for those who want to relax as this beach offers peace. The clean seashore and noble trees add to the enchantress of the beachfront. One can also see the Governor’s Palace after attaining prior allowance. There’s a Portuguese Catholic cathedral situated on the right-hand side of the beach. Several couples have got married there.
4. Shree Mahalaxmi Temple
This Temple is located in the megacity of Panaji. It was the earliest Hindu temple permitted to be erected by the Portuguese in Goa after 300 years of resentful defiance. It was approved by the Portuguese authorities in 1818 after a long period of being prevented and constructed afterward on contributions made by the devotees.
The deity of the temple initially came from the village of Taleigao and was relocated to Bicholim in the 16th century to flee Portuguese annihilation. The god is Goddess Mahalakshmi formed of pitch-dark stone is placed in a silverware covering.
Late Shri. Raghavendra Kamat Mhamai found that this place chosen by the Having Brahmins to hide their deity was endangered and, therefore, shifted it to his opulent residence. The locality where the current temple stands belongs to the Late Purshottam Prabhu Sinari of Raibander. Donations were collected for the construction of the temple.
The collected donations amounted to around 1006 sharafi at the time. During this period monarchy was prevailing in the Portuguese governance, therefore, Narayan Kamat Mhamai particularly got acceptance from the monarch of Portugal for the construction of the temple.
This place has tremendous spiritual importance for the Hindus in particular because they were deprived of their religious customs and rituals for centuries by the invading Portuguese forces. In addition to that, numerous prominent Hindu temples were desecrated by the Portuguese to wash off the native culture of Panaji. The Goddess Mahalaxmi is the consort of Lord Vishnu.
The temple is filled with intricate carvings of Hindu gods. The walls of the temple host beautiful paintings describing various traditional folklores related to Hinduism.
5. Goa Archaeological Museum
The Goa Archaeological Museum was constructed in 1964 by the Archaeological Survey of India. The Museum records Goa’s history as a consequential maritime trade juncture since medieval times. Portuguese ships are displayed in the navigation gallery of the museum. To add up to the excitement of the tourists, the gallery also has a brilliant library of prints, religious antiquities, and other similar covert gemstones. Apart from prints, the museum also has several sculptures depicting Hindu deities.
The gallery also boasts a grand organized group of objects acquired and maintained for the study of prints and religious artifacts. The tourists can also view the antiquated native currencies and the Escudo, a Portuguese currency that was phased out in 2002 in favor of the Euro in Portugal. This museum consists of eight galleries in total. These galleries exhibit a wide range of artifacts related to the colonial Portuguese rule in Goa.
The portraits of the former viceroys of Goa remain the top attractions of the museum. This is the best locality to look at the excavations relating to the annals & chronicles of the Goan civilization.
6. Casino Pride (Majestic Pride)
The Casino Pride is situated on the banks of Mondovi River in Panjim. The vicinity of the casino is considered to be one of the most charming places in all of India. This casino is owned by the Casino Pride Group. This casino has been there for a very long time, 14 years to be precise. The fact that this casino is operational throughout the week makes it convenient for visitors to Goa.
Casino Pride offers exceptional gaming experiences to its clients. Live performances once in a while by celebrities also take place. It is the ideal place for celebrating occasions. It aims to provide memorable experiences at reasonable rates. The facilities at the casino are at par with world-class casinos. The responsibility of providing selfless service is in the hands of the well-trained staff of the casino.
There are astounding packages for each type of budget here. Points of interest include roulette, blackjack, and Mang Patta. Casino Pride can be reached by taking a taxi as it is just 1.8 km from the local bus stand of Panjim. Whereas the best time to visit the casino is concerned, the whole year can be considered as the best time as the casino remains functional and operational throughout the year. Talking about the prices, the ticket prices remain on the lower side during weekdays and on the higher side during weekends.
7. Church Of The Immaculate Conception Of The Virgin Mary
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is situated atop a hill in Panjim. The congregation at the church takes place every day in three languages, English, Konkani, and Portuguese. Each year on 8 December, a festival is held at the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. The church is colorfully decorated on this occasion. A fair is also conducted apart from the festival. A chapel dedicated to St. Francis Xavier is also present within the premises of the church.
8. Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is a natural habitat for several species of birds. This sanctuary is named after a prominent ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali. The sanctuary was named after him for honoring his contributions in the field of avian survey for which he is regarded as the ‘Birdman of India‘. This tourist place shouldn’t be missed by those who are interested in exploring the wildlife of India. The sanctuary is situated on the embankment of the Mandovi river.
The presence of a large number of aboriginal and migratory birds makes this place one of the best for bird watching in particular. This bird sanctuary is spread across 440 acres. The bird sanctuary is encircled by thick mangrove forests.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is between December to January. This place is ideal for families, friends, couples, solo travelers, bachelors, and students. As per ornithologists, morning is the most suitable time of the day for experiencing what the birds have to offer. Walkways are paved for providing convenience to the visitors.
9. Goa Science Centre
A science museum named Goa Science Centre is situated in Miramar, Panjim. It is spread across 5 acres of land. This place is one of the latest additions to the city of Panjim. It was established in 2001. Principles of physics are demonstrated here in a variety of interactive exhibits. This science center aims to promote edutainment which refers to the combination of education and entertainment through the latest mediums involving planetarium auditoriums and theatres. The science center is operational throughout the year except on religious holidays like Holi and Diwali.
It remains open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm on all days of the week. The price of an entry ticket is Rs. 10 per person. The diversity in terms of interactive exhibitions helps in educating children about the fundamental principles of science. These programs are also geared towards instructing adults about the principles of science.
The fully-equipped air-conditioned theater at the science center is designed to seat up to 140 people. This theater is used for conducting forums and seminars and for the screening of shows which are scientific in orientation.
Taramandal – Themini-planetarium boasts the latest dome technology. The planetarium can seat up to 50 people at one time. Generally, shows are held where stars, planets, and other celestial objects related to space are displayed here.
10. Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral is a UNESCO world heritage site. The prodigious cross makes Se Cathedral one of the largest cathedrals in Asia. Visit to Se Cathedral Church is free for tourists. Alexandria Saint Catherine was a pastor of Se Cathedral. She made an outstanding contribution as a philosopher defender of the Christian faith during her tenure as a pastor. This church is constructed in honor of Alexandria. This attractive structure is 115 feet in height.
Five bells of artistic saints are placed in the interior of this church. The completion of this church took around 90 years in total. The church is primarily built using red bricks. It is also the largest church in India. Se Cathedral has a prominent bell, which is regarded to be the largest in Goa. This bell is called the ‘ Golden Bell‘. There are 14 altars in total. Each altar is beautifully sculpted with gold.
11. Statue Of Abbe Faria
There is a bronze statue installed in Panjim depicting Abbé Faria hypnotizing a woman. Abbé Faria was an acclaimed hypnotist. The statue was sculpted by Ramchandra Pandurang Kamat in 1945. Abbe Faria, born in Goa, India was a Luso- Goan Catholic monk. The statue can be visited on any day of the year. The statue was erected in the honor of Faria.
It is located near the Secretariat Building in Panjim. Abbe Faria was involved with the French revolutionaries in the french revolution during his stay in France. He was consequently arrested in Marseille and sent to prison. Faria is known for developing his theory of Hypnotism. This statue is placed in the middle of the road but unfortunately, it gets ignored by passersby.
Panjim has become a go-to destination for tourists exploring Goa. The confluence of Goan culture with the sight of past colonial rule is a terrific contrast here. The place offers a pleasurable tang to the customs and heritage of Goa. It has an abundance of Portuguese architecture. You must reside as a temporary guest in Panjim if you want to chill and clear out the bustling metro life. The above-mentioned places are the most tourist-friendly of the places to go to in Panjim. Make most of your time while you are here, so, that you have wonderful memories of Goa when you leave.