History of Goa
Panaji’s history dates back from 11th century, when Kadamba King, Shasthadeva gave Kalapa the administration of this region. City was earlier known as Pahajani Khali. Panaji was ruled by Kadambas, Chalukyas and Satavahanas. Adil Shahis of Bijapur built several palaces here, during his rule. Panaji came under Portuguese rule in 16th century. Panaji was renamed as Panjim, and made capital of Portuguese in 1843. Panaji along with rest of Goa became part of India in 1961. Panaji became capital city of Goa after it got is statehood in 1987. Between 1961 and 1987 Panaji was capital of Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu.
Geography of Goa
Panaji, means land that never floods, is situated on the banks of Mandovi River on the Tiswadi island. It has an average elevation of 7 meters and spread in 36 sq kms. Panaji is marked by backwaters and creeks. Panaji’s weather is influenced by closeness to the sea. Panaji is also the meeting point of two rivers Mandovi and Zuari with Arabian Sea. The capital city is located in the North Goa region.
Government and Administration of Goa
The corporation of the City of Panaji takes care of civic administration in the city. It is the oldest civic institution in Asia and world’s smallest Municipal Corporation. Bombay High Court bench at Panaji was established on 30th November 1982, which takes cares of Jurisdiction in the city. City contributes one member each Indian Assembly and Goa Legislative assembly.
Language and Culture of Goa
Panaji is the place where cultures of east and west combined together to bring a unique cosmopolitan culture. Goan Music is integral part of Goa and Panaji’s culture. It was the priceless gift of Portuguese legacy. Goan cuisine is combination of Indo European cuisine and is unique for its rich sea food. Goa is mad for football where rest of the India is mad for Cricket. Konkani is widely spoken in Panaji followed by Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, Urdu, English and Portuguese. Kala academy was built by Charles Correa which shows cases state’s art and culture.
Educational Institutes in Goa
Goa University, only University in Goa, is situated in Taleigao, outskirts of Panaji. National Institute of Oceanography does research in marine sciences and is situated in Dona Paula, outskirts of Goa. Goa Medical College and Goa college of Pharmacy are the medical colleges in Panaji. They are many colleges in the city offering different courses.
Transport Facilities in Goa
Nearest airport is Dabolim Airport which is approximately 30 kms away. Nearest railway station to Panaji are Vasco Da Gama and Karmali. Both are approximately 12 kms away. Madgaon is the nearest major railway station which is approximately 30 kms away. National Highways 4A and 17 pass through Panaji. Panaji is well connected by road to all major cities in India.
Tourism in Goa
Church Square is the heart of the city. Municipal Gardens is the location of the Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, which was built in 1541. Adilshahi Palace also known as Idalcao Palace was built in 16th century. Dona Paula Beach houses, Cabo Raj Bhavan, the official resident of Governor in its western most tip. Goa science centre is opened to public in December 2001. Miramer Beach is one of the crowded beaches. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary named after Dr. Salim Ali, the renowned orthinologist, houses rare species of birds. Apart from these, Bambolim beach, Mahalaxmi Temple, Jama Masjid and Chapel of St. Sebastian are few tourist attractions.
Festivals Celebrated in Goa
Shigmo is Goa’s version of Holi. Colorful festival of Panaji is celebrated on full moon day of March. During the festival, rich cultural heritage of the state is exhibited. Goa Carnival Festival is famous for its jovial folks. It is celebrated in the month of February.