Panjim is the state capital of Goa and is popularly known as the seat of the Government. It houses the head offices of most business concerns and is also known as Panaji to many.
Panjim is located on the south bank of the wide Mandovi River and is one of India's smallest and pleasantest state capitals. It is the place where the first medical school of India was established. The Goa Medical College established in 1842 was also one of the oldest medical colleges in Asia, built by the Portuguese.
The Panjim town has preserved its Portuguese heritage remarkably well and parts of it still consist of narrow winding streets, old houses with over hanging balconies, red-tiled roofs and numerous small bars and cafe's.
Signs in Portuguese can still be seen over shops, cafe's and administrative buildings. Fontainhas, transfers you back into the Portuguese days since it has retained its old charm and character. Within the commercial heart of the city rises majestically, the white-washed 'Church of the Immaculate Conception' founded in 1540.
On the Riverside is the 'Secretariat', formerly the summer palace of 16th Century Ruler, Yusuf Adil Shah. Nearby is the statue of the famed 'Abbe Faria' a goan priest renowned for his hypnotic powers. 18th June Road is a bustling business area and shops here sell everything from cashew nuts to leather goods to household items.
The "Azad Maidan Square' houses a beautiful pavilion with classical Corinthian columns and is a place for political and cultural programmes. There are numerous bars and cafes in Panaji and the best way to experience the place is to take a walk or just watch the sunset on the long boulevard along River Mandovi's edge.