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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

Dona Paula

Easily the most popular on the list of tourists, Dona Paula is the idyllic destination of Goa which lies at the spot where the Mandovi and Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea.

The romantic legend of Dona Paula draws the crowds. Named after the daughter of the Viceroy of Goa, Dona Paula de Menezes threw herself off the cliff when she was refused permission to marry a local fisherman Gasper Dias. It is said that her body is entombed in the 500 year old Cabo Chapel, located at the corner at the Raj Bhavan.The Dona Paula monument is located on a small islet, linked to the mainland by a small bridge. The whitewashed statue near the jetty was sculpted in 1969 by Baroness Von Leistner. The Dona Paula jetty hosts a number of water sport activities like water scooters, para-sailing, yachting, swimming, wind surfing, fishing and boating.

The official residence of the Governor of Goa, known as the Raj Bhavan is situated at the tip of Dona Paula. The road leading to the Raj Bhavan also houses the British Military Cemetery.

The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is a large oceanographic laboratory of international repute is also situated in here. Some of the major research areas of the NIO are Physical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Biological Oceanography, ocean engineering and marine archaeology.

The Goa International Centre which serves to be a nodal point to coordinate and facilitate the exchange of information and ideas and provide sustainable development. The Centre hosts a number of local, international and national meetings, conferences and workshops and seminars.

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