The state capital of Goa is Panjim and is popularly known as the seat of the Government. It also houses the head offices of most business concerns. Panjim is also known as Panaji and is one of the India's smallest and pleasantest state capitals and is located on the south bank of the wide Mandovi River. The town has preserved its Portuguese heritage remarkably well and parts of it still consist of narrow winding streets, old houses with over hanging balconies, red-tiled roofs and numerous small bars and cafe's.
Signs in Portuguese can still be seen over shops, cafe's and administrative
buildings. Fontainhas, transfers you back into the Portuguese days since it
has retained its old charm and character. Within the commercial heart of the
city rises majestically, the white-washed 'Church of the Immaculate
Conception' founded in 1540.
On the Riverside is the 'Secretariat', formerly the summer palace of 16th
Century Ruler, Yusuf Adil Shah. Nearby is the statue of the famed 'Abbe
Faria' a goan priest renowned for his hypnotic powers. 18th June Road is a
bustling business area and shops here sell everything from cashew nuts to
leather goods to household items. The "Azad Maidan Square' houses a
beautiful pavilion with classical Corinthian columns and is a place for
political and cultural programmes. There are numerous bars and cafes in
Panaji and the best way to experience the place is to take a walk or just
watch the sunset on the long boulevard along River Mandovi's edge.
The charm of Panaji is a that it is very small city, and has little scope
for growth as it is bordered by Altinho (a hillock), on one side, the
Arabian sea on the other Mandovi River on the third side, and Ourem Creek on
the fourth so the city will always retain its charm and beauty.
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