PANAJI (Panjim) Goa
is divided into two districts: North and South Goa. North Goa has the state
capital, Panaji, the former capital of Old Goa, with its interesting churches and
cathedrals and a string of beaches. Margao is the main town in South Goa and is
reminiscent of the Portuguese colonial past.
Panaji is one of Indias smallest state capitals. People pass through Panaji on
their way to Old Goa or to the beaches, but it is a town worth visiting.
Tourist Offices: The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) tourist office is
in the government-run Pato Tourist Home between the Kadamba bus stand and the Ourem River.
Theres also a useful tourist counter at the Kadamba bus stand and another at the
airport. The Government of India tourist office is in the Communidade Building, Church
Restaurants and Cafés
Hotel Venite (31st January Road, Sao Tome) has tiny balconies
overlooking the street and traditional Portuguese décor. Excellent Goan dishes and
seafood are served here.
Udipi Boarding and Lodging, located very near Venite, this also has a balcony
overlooking the street. Serves inexpensive, basic but tasty food.
The New Café Hema (General Bernado Guedes Road) near the municipal market
serves a superb fish curry and rice thali for Rs 15 and vegetarian snacks from Rs 5.
Chit Chat Restaurant at the Tourist Hotel, has a veranda overlooking the Mandovi
River. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Kamat Hotel, south of the municipal gardens, is one of the excellent chain of
vegetarian restaurants familiar across India.
Visava Restaurant on the east bank of the Ourem River (at the end of the
footbridge) serves reasonably priced Goan dishes, as well as Chinese and vegetarian food.
Sher-e-Punjab at the Hotel Aroma, serves perhaps the best tandoori in town.
There is also a branch on 18th June Road.
Delhi Darbar (MG Road) is also a tandoori place, but is slightly more expensive
than the Sher-e-Punjab. This is a popular restaurant and you need to book for the evening.
Goenchin, just off Dr Dada Vaidya Road, is a Chinese restaurant but is more
expensive than most places here, with main dishes from Rs 90, and specials from Rs 100 to
Riorico, at the Hotel Mandovi, is the best restaurant for Goan cuisine, but has
a limited menu.
Pastry shops in Panaji: the best is the Pastry Cottage, near the Hotel Nova Goa.
The Kala Academy: ( Dayanand Bandodkar Marg), has programmes of dance and music
and art exhibitions throughout the year and is worth visiting.
Miramar : 3 km west of Panaji, is the nearest beach to the
capital. It is neither very attractive nor a good place to swim. Further down is Dona
Paula, a small town with several resorts that has developed from a fishing village. There
are good bus services to Miramar and Dona Paula from Panajis Kadamba bus stand.