Panaji : The Capital of a Paradise
On the banks of the gorgeous Mandovi River estuary, you will find Panaji, the capital of Goa. Originally called Panjim by the Portuguese, the spirited city has its own original brand of languidness. The Portuguese tool great care of this city which they planned quite exquisitely. The present inhabitants have adapted to the European legacy and made it their own. The architecture of the city is unlike anything else you will encounter in India. More often than not it seems that Panaji has been lifted straight out of any Portuguese town. However the Indian influence is unmistakable as you will encounter colorful Hindu temples, a short walk away from whitewashed churches
How to Get There
Goa’s airport is Dabolim which is 29 kilometers south of Panaji. The airport is connected with all major destinations in the country. This airport has chartered flights which usually come in from Europe and from major parts of the country such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore.
The Panaji railway station is part of the Konkan Railway network. Trains run between Panaji and prominent cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. The Vasco Da Gama railway station is 30 km away from Panaji.
The Kadamba Bus Terminal in Pato, 1 km east of the main square, is a busy bus Junction with buses coming in from neighboring Goan towns and long distance buses from Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Dona Paula Beach
Chapel of St. Francis Xavier
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Shanta Durga Temple
Sri Devaki Krishna Temple
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
Do not be fooled by the small size of the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary. Within its small area, it contains a remarkable collection of flora and fauna. The scenic sanctuary allows you to get close with some of the most fascinating species to grace the glorious land of Goa. Thick with evergreen and deciduous forests, the sanctuary contains various specialized areas. You can take a trip through the mini zoo to get to these creatures a bit better or you can head over to the Rose Garden to get intoxicated in the beauty and fragrance of the lovely flowers. Some of the more interesting animals that live here are panthers, snakes, crocodiles and a collection of deer species. In the air, you will find a colorful vista filled with kingfishers, hornbills and woodpeckers amongst other species.
Goa offers you some spectacular beaches and natural sights. It is also capable of giving you some fascinating examples of heritage architecture. One of the most spectacular pieces of such heritage can be found in the Arvalem Caves. These caves are spectacular to look at and are rich in history. Taking a walk through these ancient caves is like steeping into a mythological tale. Also known as the Pandava Caves, these caves have been hewn and cut from rocks. Some of them date back to the 6th century. According to the Hindu mythology of the Mahabharata, these caves provided shelter to the five Pandava brothers during their period of exile. There are five caves with shivlingas here which serves as proof of this story. However, some claim that the caves were built by Buddhists. They point out to the presence of a giant statue of Buddha which looks stunning against the wild landscape. Whatever be its origin, the fact remains that the caves look enchanting in the wilderness.