A Funky Good Time
Panjim is the capital of the state of Goa and it is often dismissed by travellers on their way heading to the beaches in the North or South. Numerous travellers told me not to bother but I dont usually take advice from hippies in India anyway :) It would have been so sad to take their advice and not go to this city because I found the city extremely pretty and interesting. It is a city to savour on leisurely strolls with the best being walking around the atmospheric Sao Tome. The narrow streets, lined with tiled and painted buildings, shuttered windows and tiny overhanding balconies is a true pleasure to wander through. There are a lot of old churches, shrines and great views making this city one of the finest state capitals in India.
Panjims buildings are influenced by the Portuguese that at one time had their hands in many corners of the globe including Old Goa and the provinces of Bardez and Salcete. Goa has beautiful weather for a good part of the year so with its natural harbours and wide rivers, it was only natural that the Porguguese arrived in the 1500s with the goal of controlling the spice route from the East and this mission was led by St. Francis Xavier. Churches with his name can be found in Old Goa and until the 1960s the Portuguese held a stake in Goa.
"Walking tour through some funky quarters"
Panjim offers some great walking tours and you can stroll through wee lanes and alleyways making for a peaceful break away from chaotic India. Goa in general is more relaxed but Panjims back alleys and chilled out residents make a perfect place to unwind and get a good glimpse into coastal life in India. You can wander around churches, squares and old residences such as Bishop's Palace which is the residence of the Archbishop of Goa. This huge white mansion has a silver painted Jesus outside reminding you how people from India worship all different types of religions making a real nice blend of cultures and religions.