Sunday, September 23, 2012

Panaji - As I See It..!!

I consider myself lucky that I got to spend a lot of years while I was growing up in arguably the best city on this planet – Panaji. Yes, for numerous years, Panaji has been my home. And I already feel as if I have lived here all along. Though I don’t wish to discount the uniqueness of other cities, Panaji is truly special. Without getting political, I am sure, Panajimites agree that they have been fortunate enough to get a strong leadership that has ensured it’s all round development.

In terms of natural beauty, Panaji has some of the finest landscapes. A drive from Panaji Bus Stand to NIO Circle at Dona Paula is good enough to gauge the natural beauty of this city. A free flowing Mandovi, amazing stretch near Kala Academy covered with trees, the play ground with panoramic view and of course, the Miramar beach. A few meters from the roundabout at NIO circle, the area outside Raj Bhavan  offers the perfect setting to spend some time talking to your friends and loved ones. The food stalls at Miramar beach are equipped to give you the best options any beach front will offer – the shev puri, paani puri, noodles, chicken shawarmas and a lot more. Delicious food makes Miramar a must visit, not only for the tourist, but also the localites.

Barring this, Panaji houses some of the finest coffee shops and restaurants. Whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, food is never an issue in this lovely city. Considering four 5-star hotels in and around the city, it has the necessary facilities to emerge as a top destination. And not to forget, it isn’t a city only for the riches. Right from a Wada pav and rass- omelets to finest international cousines, Panaji has it all.

As far as the recreational activities are concerned, joggers park, childrens park, sports facilities especially at the SAG, some of the finest gymnasiums and so on ensure that Panaji doesn’t loose out. Most of the parks not only give you facilities to walk or run around, but also provide breathtaking view of the river Mandovi. You hardly find a city which is self sufficient and yet, has the most breathtaking locations. A trip to Dona Puala or a few points at Altinho will be a refreshing experience. And if you are a movie buff, an international standard multiplex will not let you down.  There are many who still love the charm of single screen theatres and they wont feel let down either.

I can’t call myself a globe trotter, but yes, have travelled quite a bit to a lot of Asian countries. May it be Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, Panaji has a charm of it’s own. It may not have those monster like flyovers or flywheels or huge shopping malls, Panaji has a class of it’s own. You may have noticed that I have missed the most important part about Panaji . Yes, I am talking about the soul of the city -it’s people. Their  friendly nature creates a bond with people in and outside the city. The liveliness of the city is a true reflection of it’s people. Moreover, the people here are content and take a sense of pride in being a Panjekar.

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