Located near the mouth of Mandovi River is the small city of Panaji, which serves as the capital for the state of Goa. It was a Portugese colony from 16th century till the first half of 20th century. A thousand years ago, it was ruled by Kadamba Kings who dominated most of Goa and coastal region of Karanataka. Subsequently, Panaji was part of Chalukya Kingdom and then ruled by the Adil Shahi sultans of Bijapur.
Today, Panaji is a paradise for tourists who come here from every part of the world in winters. It is a popular destination for Indians as well as foreign tourists. Although summers are hot and it pours heavily in the monsoons, it is pleasant in winters – just the kind of climate to bask in the sun and relax on the beach.
Panaji is also known for its casinos that can’t be found anywhere else in India. Docked on the Mandovi River are these boats, where you can walk in and gamble. Vicinity to the sea allows many water based activities such as evening cruises, fishing tours and speed boat rides. And while you are in the town, walk through the quiet and green areas of Fontainhas and Sao Tome to admire the Portugeses-style buildings.
Panaji is located ideally at the center of Goa, very near to the beaches of North Goa and also South Goa. It is a small town, where you can walk from one end to the other in just an hour's time. Availability of public transport in and around the town is frequent and excellent. You can also hire bike-taxis or autorickshaws for travelling short distances.
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