Panaji is the capital city of Goa. In Konkani it is often pronounced as ‘Ponnji’. The Portuguese name for it was ‘Pongim’, from which originated the other name by which it is known – Panjim.
The city lies on the banks of the Mandovi estuary, in the district of North Goa and is built around a church facing a prominent square. Panaji is known for its beautiful Portuguese Baroque style buildings and enchanting old villas and is the third largest city of Goa after Vasco and Madgaon. Panaji became a capital of Goa after its elevation to statehood in May 1987. Dappled with brightly whitewashed houses made of wrought iron balconies, the riverside offers a fine view and adds to the scenic beauty of the place known for its ethnic style.
Panjim is a walker’s city. Tourists take a stroll across the road and over the New Patto Bridge to the river cruise boats for an unforgettable journey on the tranquil Mandovi River. The Adil Shah Palace which housed the Secretariat of the Government of Goa, the Immaculate Conception Church dominating the calm buzz of the church square, the Kala Academy, the Jama Masjid and the Mahalaxmi Temple all makes the City special and a tourist hub. The colourful Panjim Market engulfed with noise and the fisherwomen with their prized catch of seafood – an item that Goans prize more than gold and jewels, offers a special experience to the travelers.