Old Panjim is the new “cool”
Home to the Latin quarters of Fontainhas, art galleries, auditoriums, historical monuments as well as trendy cafés, restaurants and clubs, and the venue of events crossing genres, Goa’s capital is classic as much as it is modern
The charm is spreading. Our Panjim of old looks so cool. Laid back cafes. Designer stores, breakfasts with avocado on toast, eggs benedict and great freshly brewed coffee and above all, folks who love the vibe. And yes, many locals, with offices around the old latin quarter are moving out, some with laptops to meet and work in many of these places. What’s lovely is that the charm of the old has married with the chic of the new. That’s Panjim for you
It’s also the venue of some of the country’s best festivals such as the Serendipity Arts Festival, Monte Music Festival, Sur Jahan Festival and of course, the International Film Festival of India, among many others as well as home to myriad restaurants, pubs, art galleries, sites for heritage tours and much more. It’s enchanting to see the older architecture and modern constructions, holding within each, wonders of their own, stand tall and together, drawing in people of different ages and preferences.
Café speaks to a cross section of people, who share their thoughts on the eclectic vibe that prevails over Panjim. Panjim showcases a diversity of arts. The Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) truly celebrates rich artistic heritage in the city of Panjim because of over 90 dynamic projects showcasing the visual, performing and culinary arts, 10 venues across Panjim transformed Goa into a vibrant cultural space with multiple exhibitions, performances and experiential arts experiences involving over 1,300 artists. Panjim fosters cultural growth and energises contemporary practise not just during the festival but at all times.
SMRITI RAJGARHIA Director, SAF Panjim has a unique opportunity to become the national capital for cultural activities. The cosmopolitan nature of the city along with the various heritage areas and lovely riverside give it the feel of the best cultural capitals in the world. We already have various events that are now part of the calendar of art and cultural events. The art galleries like Sunapranta, Fundação Oriente offer a rich insight into the Indian cultural scene. Panjim is still a very authentic city, whether it’s the locals or visitors ratio and this gives it its uniqueness; something that should be protected and encouraged.
ATISH ANTÓNIO FERNANDES
Manages Joseph Bar and business
development for a Goa based (DMC) Well, I strongly believe that Panjim as a city has always been high on the element of enhancing the quality of life of its residents as well as its visitors. Thanks to the urban designers, we have a city that was designed with the desirable attributes to make it an interesting urban space. Some of the best additions to this beautiful city are those that reflect the spirit and the ethos of this city and I am sure these are the ‘chic’ spaces that we are now referring to that hold the most charm for visitors! Prudent development keeping in mind preservation of heritage and traditions is the only way forward. Lopsided or insensitive development will destroy the delicate balance of what’s left of a historically known beautiful city.
NILIMA KAMAT MENEZES
Administrator/Project Manager , Sunaparanta, Goa Centre for the Arts Goa loves music and we had a vision for our store to be more than just a shop. We wanted it to be a place that could tickle the musical senses of anyone who walked in, and it is working. A lot of people (both tourists and Goan residents) walk into our store and are just in awe of all the instruments. People needed something like this in Panjim. The beautiful view of the Mandovi River gives a perfect connection to our ambience inside the store where we have the open mic nights. Anyone can come in our store pick up an instrument and sing. We focus more on the activity than selling our instruments; it is because of a heavenly area like Fontainhas in Panjim that has brought the spirit alive in Kadence.
SHREYAS SANJAY KUMAR
Community Manager, Kadence Xperience Panjim has attracted not only tourists but even filmmakers, vendors, cultural activities, etc. Because of its beautiful lanes and Portuguese houses all around the area, it makes it attractive enough to open theme based restaurants and joints where people can relax, watch the scenery and be a part of the aura. Simply put, food talks, be it any, and good food in a happening place is the click. Earlier, the entire area was a dead lane with less things happening around. But, with few cafés and restaurants coming up, also ours, the place came alive with music and food.
Operation Manager, Route 66 restaurant Caravela had come around in the cute maze-like lanes of Fontainhas four years ago, when the street looked like a horror story. It’s all about the bread and breakfast, and fresh brewed coffee beans and cream. Ever since food and entertainment joints started opening around this area, a lot of tourists started flocking to these places. There are a lot of young tourists these days, who prefer something new rather than the same style. Panjim has become one hot spot for entertainment. Our coffee describes the essence of Panjim. I mean, who wouldn’t want to stop by wandering these narrow streets and colourful houses, where they get homely atmosphere and yummy snacks.
Owner, Caravela Café and Home Stay Panjim has emerged as a hub of culture and art related events, with the likes of Serendipity Arts Festival and IFFI happening here. With Goa being a tourist destination and Panjim being full of rich heritage, it’s no surprise that it’s chosen as a venue for festivals such as these. It’s amazing, especially the Serendipity Arts Festival, where almost the whole of Panjim has something interesting happening in different places. Each place, such as the Adil-Shah Palace, Children’s Park, etc, is well thought out.
JARRYD RODRIGUES Saxophonist
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