For a better understanding of Goa and its capital Panjim, a bit of historical background is needed. Until the early 60s of XX century, Goa was in Portuguese hands, all together for over 450 years, and it is very much visible in the colonial architecture and spirit of the city. The European influence creates a dissonance – it felt familiar and unfamiliar to me at the same time, if it is possible. The buildings, names of neighborhoods, painted ceramic tiles – it all creates a great and interesting contrast in the Indian environment, and maybe this is the key to the beauty of this town.
At the same time, those European influences put in another context get a new, fresh, fascinating meaning. Either reclaimed or put side-by-side with the elements of Indian culture, the spirit of the town arises from this mixture. Just like the Maruti Temple dedicated to Hanuman and built on the Altinho hillside.
When speaking about the gods, there is also a place for the more modern ones:
The town has a lovely park on its western end, where Mandovi river flows into the Arabian Sea.
I get the feeling of being a part of a place when I bump into friends and people I know in random places. I got this one in Panjim as well, when meeting friends from the Calangute Backpacker Panda hostel… nowhere else than in the music shop in Panjim. When I am going back in my mind to the town and want to summarize it in one word, it would definitely be “colors”. This stay with you after you leave.