Public Spaces in Panaji


Jardim Garcia D’orta

The garden in Panaji, known as Jardim Garcia de Orta, is named after a Portuguese medical professional, botanist, and natural science expert who had made several contributions to Goa and Bombay. It was previously named after the Portuguese King Jardim Dom Luis I.

Images from the early 19th century reveal that the garden was actually a spacious area specifically used for conducting police drills and parades, rather than its purpose as a botanical garden. Within the garden stands a cylindrical Tuscan-style pillar. It originally held the bust of Vasco da Gama, placed in 1898 CE to commemorate his discovery of the sea route to India. However, in December 1961, when Goa gained independence from the Portuguese, the bust was replaced by statues of three lions.

Azad Maidan

The Azad Maidan in Panaji was initially constructed as a square-shaped area and referred to as ‘Praça de Sete Janelas’ which translates to ‘Square of the Seven Windows’. This name originated from the distinctive building of the Goa Police headquarters, which featured seven windows on each of its ends, along with the entrance.

This prominent public space is important for both commemoration and recreation. Previously, the maidan housed a statue of Afonso de Albuquerque, but it has since been replaced by an eternal flame that pays tribute to the Goans who fought for the liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule.

Of late, the Maidan has transformed into a dynamic gathering spot where Goans come together to express their opinions and engage in discussions on various issues. The grounds are also utilised for hosting meetings and protests, making it a vital hub for civic engagement.

Dr. Francisco Luis Gomes Garden

Born on 31 May 1829, Francisco Luis Gomes was widely revered as the ‘prince amongst intellectuals’. His remarkable intellect and expertise spanned various domains, cementing his reputation as a profound thinker, philosopher, accomplished writer and novelist, an influential parliamentarian, an orator and historian, an astute economist and an advocate for human rights. His contributions have left an indelible mark on intellectual discourse in Goa, continuing to inspire generations.

Situated in Panaji, the Francisco Luis Gomes Garden, also referred to as the F L Garden, proudly hosts Gomes’ statue. Constructed in 1929, it was inaugurated on 23 December 1931, as part of the celebrations commemorating Gomes’ birth centenary.

The garden features beautiful landscaping, with well-manicured lawns, name-tagged flowering plants and shrub varieties, and large trees. It is equipped with benches and seating areas where people can unwind.

Bhagwan Mahaveer Children’s Park

Located in Campal, the Bhagwan Mahaveer Bal Vihar is a newly refurbished recreational area that was previously known as the Children’s Park. It offers a vast expanse of lush greenery, providing a delightful space for residents, particularly families with children, to enjoy. At the heart of the park stands a statue of Bhagwan Mahaveer, which was unveiled in 2004. This significant monument serves as a focal point, symbolising the teachings and values associated with Bhagwan Mahaveer.

Mermaid Garden

The Mermaid Garden, also known as ‘Lardo de Navegação Fluvial’ or ‘Jardim de Sereia’, is a public Garden located in Panaji. It once served as a place to rest for passengers awaiting small steamboats, known as ‘vafors,’ departing from the Navegacao Jetty across the garden. These steamboats would transport passengers to various villages such as Pomburpa, Aldona, Naroa, Piligao and Divar among others.

While the exact date of the garden’s establishment remains uncertain, it is believed that the statue was installed around 1952 or possibly later. This statue, skilfully crafted from white cement, is credited to the talented Goan sculptor Vishnu Mahadev Cuncolkar. In Cuncolkar’s collection, numerous photographs showcase his contribution to the creation of this iconic mermaid statue.

In 2002, the Mermaid Garden underwent a restoration project led by three visionary architects from Panaji. Thanks to their efforts, the garden regained its splendour and has since maintained its popularity as a cherished venue for visitors and locals alike.

Menezes Braganza Garden

This garden adds a systematic design element to the fabric of the city of Panaji. Restored in January 2004, it has found its own identity after being a cross between a children’s park and office front yard.

Other parks & gardens


Dayanand Balkrishna Bandodkar Statue

Dayanand Bandodkar is highly regarded as a visionary leader who made history as the first democratically elected Chief Minister of the union territory of Goa, Daman & Diu. From January 1964 until his demise on 12 August 1973, he dedicated himself to public service, leaving a lasting impact on the region.

Situated on the eastern side of the city, adjacent to the historic Adilshah Palace, also known as the former Goa Secretariat or Assembly, is a statue dedicated to the memory of Dayanand Bandodkar.

The Statue of Abbe Faria

Abbé Faria, a Catholic priest of Luso-Goan descent, played a pioneering role in advancing the scientific exploration of hypnotism, building upon the groundwork laid by Franz Mesmer. While Mesmer attributed hypnosis to the concept of “animal magnetism,”—an invisible natural force believed to be present in all living beings—Faria held a contrasting view. According to Faria, hypnosis was the outcome of auto-suggestion or self-suggestion and closely connected to the power of the human imagination and mind.

Located in Panaji, the statue depicts a tall man dressed in flowing garments, extending his hand towards a woman in a reclining pose. The pedestal bears the inscription: ‘Jose Custodio Abbe Faria, fundador do método de hipnose pela sugestão,’ translating to ‘Jose Custodia Abbe Faria, founder of the method of hypnotism by suggestion’. The sculpture is believed to have been crafted in 1945, either by Ramchandra Pandurang Kamat or perhaps earlier by Constâncio Fernandes.

Prince Henry – the navigator monument

At the intersection of the roads leading to St Inez and Miramar, in front of the old Military Hospital in Campal, there is a unique monument called the Prince Henry the Navigator Monument. It is shaped like a sextant, a tool used by sailors for navigation, with navigational markings on either side. Prince Henry, also known as Prince Henry, the Navigator was the Governor of the province of Algarve in Portugal.

He was fascinated by sea travel and supposedly started the renowned Sagres School of Navigation in the province of Algarve. He passed away in 1460 CE, and in 1960, on the occasion of his 500th death anniversary, the Portuguese administration in Goa erected this monument to honour his legacy. It features images of sail ships—or Caravelas—on one side, and stars, a compass and a sextant on the other.


Miguel Caetano Dias, born 9 July 1854, was an esteemed doctor who made significant contributions during his tenure as chief of health services in Goa and director of the Medical School of Goa. He launched successful vaccination campaigns and also went on to help the state fight the deadly bubonic plague. Dias played a vital role in advocating against the closure of the medical school and promoting the adoption of modern European medicine across Goan society.

To honour his work, a bust of Miguel Caetano Dias was originally placed at the Medical School of Goa. After his passing, it was relocated to his residence in Panaji, where it stands today. The inscription on the bust reads ‘Ao Grande Cirurgião. Homenagem Dos Seus Concidadãos’ translating to ‘To the great surgeon. Homage from your fellow citizens.’ This serves as a lasting tribute to his contribution.


The residential area of Altinho located within Panaji is known for its captivating architecture, idyllic surroundings, and elegant houses and buildings. A notable feature of Altinho and its neighbouring areas is their growth along the adjacent Altinho Hill. Initially conceived as convenient shortcuts for easy access, these pathways underwent a remarkable transformation, evolving into public stairways. The settlements are intersected by over seven stairways descending from Altinho, carefully designed as spaces for pausing, resting, and even fostering chance encounters among passers-by. These stairways have seamlessly integrated into the lives of the locals, becoming familiar public spaces they have grown up with.

%d bloggers like this: