Panaji

Panaji, also known in English as Panjim, is the capital city of the tiny state of Goa in India. It has its own charm, a river flowing along one side of the city, some areas which are low-rise and red-roofed, and even a Latin Quarter at the eastern end of town. Increasingly, it is shaping itself as a centre where cultures (many from across the globe, and from diverse areas of India too) meet and creativity flourishes.

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

Get in

By plane

The nearest airport is at Dabolim, 35 km away.

By train

The nearest railway station is Karmali (IR station code : KRMI), about 10 km to the east, but many express trains do not halt there. A more important railhead is Madgaon Junction, 45 km to the south, being the main junction on the Konkan Railway all trains stop here.

From the railway station, taxis, rickshaws and buses go to Panaji, but if you are carrying only a backpack, motorcycle taxis are a bargain, plus you get to ride on the pillion seat! Be sure to fix fares before the ride.

If you are on a tight budget, and carrying little baggage, you could take the local bus. To get to the bus stop, get out of the Karmali station, a short climb and across the road is the bus stop. Wait across the road for busses going towards Panaji. There is no sign board marking the Bus stop.

On the first floor of the KTC Bus stand at Panaji is the Konkan Railway ticketing office, you can make or cancel all Indian Railway tickets here. A ₹10 service fee is levied on each transaction, which is well worth it, as it saves you making a trip to Karmali, Thivim or Madgaon station to do ticketing work. The ticketing office is air conditioned, has seats, and issues tokens, so you don't have to stand in a queue awaiting your turn. The counter is open from 8AM to 6PM on weekdays.

By bus

Panaji is connected with the state of Karnataka to the south and Maharashtra to the north by winding highways.

A wide range of buses are available. The non air-conditioned, state transport bus, that though cheap is an interesting way to travel, if you don't mind the discomfort of a rattling bus body, rigid seats, over crowding and stopping at umpteen villages and bus depots along the route. You could also take a reserved ticket, which assures you of a seat, though is no protection against over crowding. Locals usually share seats. The state transport corporations, also have semi luxury and luxury buses. Luxury meaning the seats are padded and recline.

The major state transport corporations operating in Goa are the Kadamba Transport Corporation (KTC), from Goa, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), from Maharashtra, and the Karnataka State Road Transport from Karnataka. All the state transport buses, usually begin and terminate at the Kadamba bus stand at Panaji. Bookings, time tables etc. can be had here.

Dozens of semi luxury and luxury buses also connect Panaji with Mumbai, Pune, Mangalore, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. A relatively comfortable option is the Air conditioned Volvo coaches that operate towards the later hours. Find out prices before you purchase a ticket, as it is not uncommon to find that your neighbour on the bus has paid a much higher or lower price for the ticket. Many travel agents have their offices in the building adjacent to the Kadamba bus stand.

A famous romantic Bollywood film "Bombay to Goa" starring the Indian super star Amitabh Bachchan, was based on this bus journey.

All private buses leave from the bus stand at the beginning of the Mandovi bridge. Bus departures start daily from 4PM and go on till almost 10PM when the last Volvo coaches leave.

By car

Distances from various cities to Panaji

Get around

Mandovi Bridge, Panaji

See

Panjim Church; Heritage houses along the altinho slope,   Bishops Palace at Altinho, High COurt Complex & Lawyers Building at Altinho, Maruti Temple,   Mahalaxmi Temple, Customs Muesuem, Santa Monica Jetty Boat Rides, Old GMC Complex, INOX theatre, Salida Del Sol (one of its kind Hotel in India) on Bernard Gues Road, Kala Academy at Campal

To access the islands go to Ribandar, on the road to Old Goa, and take the ferry at Ribandar going to Chorao. Or go further down, just past the Goa Institute of Management and take the other Ferry. The ferry service is free to passengers, though cars, motorcycles and other vehicles pay a small fee. The Islands can also be accessed from the Ferry crossing at Old Goa, behind the Church Complex, also a calm spot for a bit of fishing.

D'Silva's, serves delicious authentic Goan snacks. Located opposite the children's park, just past the roundabout. The place is obscure and easy to miss out. For other Indian snacks, Chaat (Bhel Puri) and Mid-East shwarma-based food go a little ahead on the beachside stalls. Cafe Coffee Day is a hip hang out for the younger set. Nice playground for kids, including a giant fish made of cement.

Do

Bird Watching

Buy

Eat

Some of the best food in the world is found in this calm and breezy capital city. Goan chefs have for generations graced many a royal kitchen in Europe and have been practicing their culinary skills on some of the grandest cruise ships in the world. If you like spicy food, then try the native Vindaloo curry with fish or chicken. It's hot!

Drink

There are lots of places in Goa where one can find a bar and restaurant. There's one around every corner of every road. Visitors arriving in Goa during the very early hours, stand a better chance of getting a tipple than a cuppa.

Many small village bars also serve authentic Goan fare. Some of the best and freshest Fish Curry and Rice and fried Fish, squid, mussels, crabs etc. can be had here. You can be sure it is authentic Goan fare as few tourists visit these places. Most of these bars offer a quiet laid back atmosphere to sip your drink and contemplate, unless of course a Cricket match is on television.

Sleep

There is a wide choice of hotels to stay in, in and around Panaji. The week between Christmas and New Year however tends to be very crowded, as in the rest of Goa.

Connect

Cybercafes around Panaji

Cybercafes around Miramar

Cope

Consulates

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, February 01, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.