The Mandovi, Panjim Inn and Taj Fort Aguada

1 - Mandovi Hotel

The Mandovi (1952).

The Mandovi is the closest Goa has to a “Grand Hotel” in the vein of the Taj Mahal Palace in Bombay or the Grand Hotel in Calcutta.  Built in 1952, it was Goa’s first hotel that matched international standards, the first 5-storey building in Goa, and also boasted Goa’s first lift.

The hotel, which commands a spectacular location and view on the Mandovi River (hence the name), was designed in an Art Deco style by a Bombay-based architectural firm, and its construction was personally overseen by the Portuguese Governor-General. Before Goa’s liberation and after, it was the centre of the city of Panjim’s social circle, playing host to dignitaries from all over India and the world.

Unfortunately, I did not stay in The Mandovi during my time in Panjim, choosing instead to stay in Fontainhas at the delightful Panjim Inn. I did, however, lunch at the Mandovi’s restaurant where extremely yummy Goan and Portuguese cuisine has been served since the hotel’s inception.

Panjim Inn is a 130-year old grand mansion built in 1880 and still owned by the family who built it. It has been lovingly restored and transformed into a heritage boutique hotel in the very heart of historic Fontainhas. One could spend lazy afternoons nursing a drink at the hotel’s Verandah Restaurant, which also serves delicious Goan cuisine.

From Panjim, I ventured further out to Fort Aguada, one of the oldest and largest forts in Goa, built by the Portuguese in 1612 at the mouth of the Mandovi River to guard against a Dutch attack. Occupying an entire peninsula, the Fort provides a spectacular backdrop to the Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa, where I sojourned briefly before leaving Goa.

Here on Sinquerim Beach by the surreal-magnificent Fort Aguada ramparts, I spent a few relaxing days reflecting on my journey thus far and planning the journey ahead, now that I had come to the mid-point of this Grand Tour of the Port and Princely Cities of the Subcontinent.

The Mandovi

2 - Mandovi Closeup

Close-up of the Art Deco Mandovi, Panjim.

3 - Mandovi Front

The front facade of the Mandovi is in an Art Deco style which channels Marine Drive in Bombay.

4 - Mandovi Restaurant

The crowded restaurant of the Mandovi.

5 - Fish Curry

A must-have: Goan Fish Curry.

6 - Beef Stew

Goan Beef Steak.

Panjim Inn, Fontainhas

7 - Panjim Inn

Panjim Inn is a grand family mansion built in 1880.

8 - View from the Balcon

From the Verandah Restaurant one can see the adjoining Panjim Peoples, which holds a gallery and guest rooms as well.

9 - Back of Property

The back of the property.

10 - My Room

My room…

11 - Gallery

Close-up of Panjim Peoples.

Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa

12 - Fort Aguada

The ramparts of Fort Aguada, jutting out into the Arabian Sea.

13 - View out

At the edge of the ramparts.

14 - Fort Aguada backard glance

At the edge of the ramparts, looking back toward Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa.

15 - View from Hotel

View from the hotel out towards the ramparts.

16 - Fort

17 - Fort

View of the ramparts.

18 - Fort Aguada Lighthouse

Fort Aguada Lighthouse, located at the Upper Fort of Fort Aguada proper, which is some 20 minutes away from Taj Fort Aguada by car.

19 - Lighthouse

Another view of the magnificent Fort Aguada Lighthouse.

20 - Staring out to sea

Back at the ramparts, near Taj Fort Aguada… looking out to sea.

21 - Aguada Beach

Sinquerim beach lay just beyond the ramparts…

23 - Mandovi

And finally, a backward glance at the Mandovi. Goodbye Goa!!

Next stop: Bombay (Mumbai) 

About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Culture & Lifestyle, Heritage, India, Landmarks & History, Photography, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s