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Panjim is one of the best planned cities in the country, with a neat network of main avenues and connecting roads, a sewerage system, gardens and excellent Indo-Portuguese architecture. Panjim is a microcosm of Goa with a river and the Arabian Sea lapping at its feet, Khazan and salt pan lands which have now turned into the bus terminus and Patto Plaza the corporate district of Goa., from the salt pans to the coconut groves and Panjim rises up in an extremely picturesque manner to its hilltop at Altinho.

Panjim was originally a small fishing village with lots of coconut groves between creeks and fields. This capital city was a ward of Taleigao village. It so enamoured Adil Shah that he built his summer palace surrounded by a moat which was later filled up by the Portuguese when they came in to power and left Old Goa with its pestilence and disease to build a new city or Nova Goa as Panjim was called. But it was only during the early 19 th century that the city was enlarged, public sewerage, tree-lined avenues, gardens and ornamental park benches etc. The city was elevated to the status of city and became the capital of Goa by a royal decree and was known as Nova Goa.

The magnificent edifices of Old Goa were dismantled and the stones were reused to build smaller but very elegant houses for the people of Panjim and sturdy but again, elegant government buildings. Panjim with its broad tree lined avenues, gardens and beautiful buildings earned her the sobriquet, “Princess of the Mandovi”.

But all things must end, especially those who had to protect this beautiful city from the ravages of time. After Liberation the buildings of Panjim, began to lose their sparkle as those entrusted with their maintenance allowed the city to go to wrack and ruin.

Now Panjimites realize the value of its heritage and the Goa Heritage Action Group has been in the forefront of restoring Panjim to its earlier glory.

Architect Raya Shankwalker has taken photographs of some of Panjim’s old structures which have been renovated. His photographs prove that sometimes city fathers and city people can come together to bring a city to life. Raya too has played a large part in the beautification of Panjim city.

Goa Statistics

Co-ordinates: 15o29’35’’N 73o49’05’’E / 15.493oN 73.818oE

Area: 3702 km2

Capital: Panaji

Official language: Konkani

Altitude: sea level up to 1022 mts

Climate: max 36oC, min 17oC

Annual rainfall: 300 cms (average)

Population: 13, 43,998

Population density: 363/km2

Literacy rate: 82.32%

Time zone: IST (UTC+5.30)

Districts: 2

Established: 30th may 1987

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Places in Goa



This is a beautiful, cool and a pleasant precinct of our capital city, lined with the samania samans, casuarinas – down the sandy asopolavs and the rustic shields, creating for you the Avenida Craviera Lopes in the late 20’s and the early 30’s.
From Palacio de Maquenezes (old GMC) of 1702 to the La Campala Colony, runs this lovely promenade like precinct, laced with the Mandovi in the backdrop - this precinct is a historians and heritage lovers delight.
Nature bestowed her choicest gifts since time immemorial with sand dunes, its vegetation and the marshy landscape and water everywhere.
The years 1827 – 35, saw Goa under the governance of the far-sighted PortugueseViceroy Campo do Manuel Portugal e Castro, who initiated the programme of reclamation and leveling the area. In 1829, the Viceroy ordered the construction of a culvert and a bridge called “The Minerva Bridge”, (recently renovated by the Panjim Municipal Council under its Beautification of Panjim campaign & still existing behind the GMC Complex) with a Roman style arched masonry work and ornamental columns. He also built another bridge, on the Military Hospital side, leading to the St. Inez area. In fact, both these bridges are welcome arches to Campal. These culverts and the one after Bal Bhavan, speak of the original marshy character of the precinct.
The first three decades of the 20 th Century saw the beautification of Campal, and that is when the ‘Rain tree Avenue’ came into existence, during the tenure of Craviera Lopes (1929 –36).
In the cool evenings, the spread of the tiny yellow flowers at the Campal avenue, lanes, and by-lanes create a yellow carpet, which is extremely beautiful to look at.
In 1929, the centenary year of the famous Goan patriot and 1 st Goan ParliamentarianFrancisco Luis Gomes, saw the completion of the “F. L. Gomes Jardin”, where his statue was installed in a ceremonial manner. This garden has a pergola band stand, with a distinct Graeco-Roman style (Ionic Columns).
In the backdrop of this garden area lined the beautiful 20 Indo-Portuguese style villas viz. residences of the Rebello’s, Barros (Villa Savitri), the Pinto’s, the Sequeira’s, The Leao Fernandes, Mesquita’s, Gonsalves, Afonso, Peregrino da Costa, Zizinha Costa,
The oldest resident of the area, Mrs. Ermina Carvalho Fernandes (Birth: 23 rd November 1902) turned a centenarian and her birthday was recently celebrated in the F. L. Gomes Garden, in a befitting manner by all the residents of the Campal area.

THE CANNON AT CAMPAL (Cannon de Banastarim):
The cannon, mounted here, opposite the F. L. Gomes Garden and facing the Reis Magos Fort was brought here from the Adilshahi Fort of Banastarim. This cannon played a major role in history and was used in the famous ‘Battle of Banastarim’ fought in 1512 between the Portuguese and the Adilshahi garrison, following the Portuguese Conquest of the Tiswadi island in 1510 by Afonso de Albuquerque.

The Prince Henry Navigation Memorial, constructed in 1960, during the tenure of Vassalo da Silva, to mark the 500 th Death Anniversary of the Portuguese Prince Henry, who revolutionized the arena of exploration, by starting the ‘Sagres School of Navigation’, which ultimately led to the discovery of the sea-route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498, and opened up colonization in Asia & Africa.

The Campal Promenade, running along the river-front with a balustraded esplanade and the Pergola, with a boat shaped structure (motif) with the Reis Magos in the background, especially at sunset, is a treat to the eyes. Similarly the Campal stretch facing the river front and the mouth of the River Mandovi, at Verem, gradually merging with the sea, with two forts – Reis Magos & Aguada, the line of swaying casuarinas and the tall light-house on the beach is a feast to the eyes.

The Children’s Park, managed by the Forest Department at Campal on the banks of River Mandovi was originally called as ‘Jardim Dr. Oliveira Salazar’ and was inaugurated on 3 rd May 1952 by Saramento Rodrigues, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal.

A melting of cultures Kala Academy is the vibrant representation of art and expression of the people of Goa. Built by eminent architect Charles Correa, the large cultural institution is situated on the banks of the river Mandovi. Spectators have three venues to choose from- the Dinanth Mangeshkar Kala Mandir, the Open Air Auditorium and the Black Box. The Scholl of Indian Music, The School of Western Music, The School of Drama and The School of dance are the various schools students can choose to study from.

Goa’s most famous multiplex, Inox is situated in the heart of Goa. The headquarters of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Inox hosts some of the most prestigious artists and films during the festival.

Campal has a Military Hospital,  a composite annexure for sports lovers comprising the Bandodkar Football Stadium, an international standard indoor badminton stadium and swimming pools, a cricket ground & an athletic track of the Sports Authority of Goa.

An aesthetic canopy, seen outside the Bandodkar Football Stadium, was constructed in 1967 by the Indian Heritage Society led by Percival Noronha, as a leisure evening sit-out.

Campal has had the fortune of having as its resident many a great personalities, who have at some time have played an important part in the shaping of the history of not only . To name a few of these personalities, we have the late Dr. Jack de Sequeira (1 st Opposition Leader of free Goan Assembly and an architect of the Opinion Poll for a separate identity of the GoanState), Late. Dr. Pacheco Figuereido (1 st Dean of GoaMedicalCollege), Late Erasmo Sequeira (Industrialist), Dr. Emidio Afonso, Dr. Alvaro de Noronha, Mrs. Patricia Pinto (Civic & Environment Activist).

(Mr. Prajal Sakhardande – VP, Goa Heritage Action Group)

COMPILED BY:- SANJEEV V. SARDESAI – sanscritic@sify.com

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