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Goa Tours India » Goa City Guide » Panaji
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29kms north of Dabolim airport in Goa. Panaji is the capital of Goa.

Panaji - Know before you go
Panaji is one of the India's smallest and most pleasant state capital. Built on the south banks of the wide Mandovi River, it officially became the capital of Goa in 1843. The church on the main square, the Baroque architecture, pretty villas, cobbled streets and interesting buildings give Panaji a distinctly Portuguese ambience. The city lies by the left bank of the Mandovi River, and close at hand are a bunch of good beaches, perfect for lolling around and soaking up the sun.

Called Panjim by the Portuguese, Panaji, which means the land that does not flood is the state capital of Goa. Unlike many other capital cities, Panaji has a distinct relaxed character. Most visitors consider Panaji as little more than a transport hub, but this lovely state capital has retained its Portuguese heritage and releases an aura more close to the Mediterranean than of India. In the oldest part of the town, the Portuguese heritage has survived remarkably well; there are narrow winding streets, old houses with over changing balconies and red-tiled roofs whitewashed churches and numerous small bar and cafes. Portuguese sign are still visible over many premises.

Major Attractions
The sights are few, but among those worth visiting are the old Church of the Immaculate Conception (on the hillside at one end of the Municipal Gardens) and the Mahalakshmi Temple. The nearest beach is at Miramar, 3 Km along the road to Dona Paula.

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Pilar Seminary, Fontainhas, The Chapel of St. Sebestian are some of the major attractions here.
The Beaches
Dona Paula: Dona Paula is a pretty and peaceful beach shaded by palms and casuarinas, 9 km southwest of Panaji. The beach is named after Dona Paula de Menezes (a viceroy's daughter) who jumped off a cliff when refused permission to marry a local fisherman. Dona Paula is quite a hotspot, not only for its beauty but also because of a romantic legend that gave the beach its name. The hapless maiden is said to be entombed at the nearby Raj Bhawan's Cabo Chapel. Dona Paula beach offers water sports facilities, especially water scootering.

Miramar: The beach closest to the capital Panaji (3 km), Miramar is conveniently located in the heart of the state capital which is also why it is rather crowded, though you can watch some spectacular sunsets, as the sun goes down at the confluence of the River Mandovi and the Arabian Sea.

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