Panaji, a small town with interesting landscape, carries a tinge of old colonial charm that is hard to put in words. Panaji is easily reachable form any part of India. With its well-laid out structures and neat roads, a jaunt to Panaji promises to be a pleasant outing. While the places of interest here are mostly centered around churches and beaches, you can still look out for exciting shopping markets and visit other tourism spots like Goa State Museum, Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and Mahalaxmi temple, to name a few. Miramar Beach, the popular attraction of Panaji besides being a significant tourism spot is also a treasure trove of trendy beach souvenirs. Evenings should be spent exploring the splendid beachside and relish the seafood. Panaji is an ideal place to relax and dump all your worries. Besides tourism spots, innumerable number of resorts and decent guest lodges border the city. Scroll down the article further to get detailed information on the top tourist attractions in Panaji.
Tourist Attractions In Panaji
Miramar Beach, located 3 km off Panaji, is an important tourism spot in the city. The beach, scattered with golden sands and stretching over 2 km, is a tourist hotspot. The beachside is lined up with many resorts, food courts and souvenir shops making brisk business and drawing huge crowds. Though the evenings are mostly crowded, it is the best time to hit the beach and see the wonderful sunset. Water sports like scuba diving, swimming and surfing can be enjoyed over here.
Goa State Museum
Goa State Museum, situated at Pato EDC Complex, has an electrifying collection of rare exhibits ranging from manuscripts, Hindu and Jain sculptures, bronzes, Christian art to wonderful paintings, Portuguese governor table and rare gold coins belonging to old dynasties. Also, check out the fascinating Goa's freedom struggle gallery and furniture gallery. Goa State Museum is thrown open to visitors on all the weekdays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, nestled near Chorao Island on Mandovi River, is a haven for serious bird watchers and nature admirers. Rare exotic variety of bird species can be spotted over here amidst the rich mangrove vegetation. This place is best visited between the months of October to March. Catch a local bus or auto until Ribandar ferry dock and then aboard a ferry to reach the island. However, before visiting, make sure to seek permission from Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department of Panaji.
Chapel Of St. Sebastian
St. Sebastian Chapel, set up in the year 1818, is an important landmark in the city and tops the list of must-visit places in Panaji. Standing tall amidst the lush greenery, the building is simple yet striking. The main attraction of this tourism spot is the open-eyed crucifix, which is considered to be very sacred and magical. Also known as Pandava Chapel, St. Sebastian can be visited by tourists between 9:30 am to 6:00 pm.
Church Of Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception
Lying right in the heart of Panaji is this beautiful monument bestowed with enchanting exterior. Built in typical Portuguese Baroque style, the church holds everyday masses in English, Konkani and Portuguese languages. The white building flanked by two twin towers also houses the second largest church bell of Goa located on the top. Once you step inside, you can look at the main altar devoted to Mary Immaculate and the gripping marble statues belonging to St. Peter and St. Paul, respectively.
Mahalaxmi Temple situated on the Dada Vaidya Road is dedicated to the Goddess of wealth - Mahalaxmi. This pilgrimage spot having a rich trial of history behind it happens to be one of the most frequently visited spots in Panaji. During the time of festival occasions such as Dussera, Navrathri and Maha Shivratri, the temple is all decked up and devotees turn up in huge numbers.