From Art Galleries To Vintage Record Stores – A Cultural Guide To Goa’s Panjim

From Art Galleries To Vintage Record Stores – A Cultural Guide To Goa’s Panjim

Tis’ the season for the young Indian’s annual Goa trip, a time to relax and unwind by the beach and attend amazing music festivals and parties as well. If those activities aren’t down your preferred route, but you still wish to experience the best of the state, then we’ve got you covered. Panaji, also known as Panjim, can be as exciting and engaging as any beautiful beach in the region, with avenues for historical and cultural exploration (but many only end up going to the area to head to the airport). Be it cruising through works of enigmatic artists in a gallery, going for a theatre performance, or just leisurely people-watching on a park bench, Panjim has a lot to offer to the curious tourist. So here are six places you could go to get the best of what the capital has to offer.

I. Fontainhas

Known popularly as Goa’s Latin Quarter, Fontainhas in Panjim (or, Panaji) is best explored on foot to fully take in the architecture, colours and ambience of the cobbled streets. This Heritage Zone is mostly a residential area of older homes but now also has boutique hotels, cafes and heritage homestays interspersed among them. Originally a plantation area, in the 1800s the Portuguese government shifted base to Panjim, converting this area into a residential zone. The name, as you may have guessed, is said to have been coined after the Fountain of Phoenix, a small natural spring that lies at the end of Fontainhas. The area is truly a work of art in itself and it’s worth taking a heritage walk among the winding lanes of Fontainhas.


II. Institute Menses Breganza

The beautiful library is one of the oldest in the country, and in fact was the first public library inaugurated in 1832. Originally called the Institute Vasco Da Gama, it was rechristened after the famous Goan freedom fighter, Menses Breganza. It has a large collection of books in various languages like German, English, Portuguese and French. It even has a brilliant collection of antiques and contemporary art, including originals by Renoir, Cézanne and Pissarro. In today’s time, it stands to promote literature, art, culture and more by hosting events, seminars, exhibitions and workshops and supporting local Goan works and talent.

III. Gitanjali Gallery

Situated within the historic Latin Quarter, the gallery has grown into a contemporary artistic and cultural space for locals and tourists alike. They display works by artists such as Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwhal, Francis D’Souza, Jayashree Patankar, Dietrich Kerky, Shri Shail , Rafael Arya and more. Gitanjali Gallery also has a cafe and workshop space, and hosts events like poetry readings, book launches, and environmental talks. As their website states, the space has been envisioned “for people to come by to browse through books, play board-games or enjoy an espresso amidst an inspirational world of art.”

Click here to know about their exhibitions and here for upcoming events.


IV. Jardim Garcia De Orta

This lovely municipal park named after a famous doctor and botanist contains a historical Ashokan pillar, which replaced the bust of Vasco Da Gama in 1961. It is an ideal place to sit and unwind, after a long day of tourist-ing. On Sunday evenings, it hosts musicians in the park bandstand, so it is a treat for those looking to get away for some culturally enriching down time.

V. Kala Academy

The Kala Academy is an institute, and aims at “fostering and developing dance, drama, music, literature and other arts.” It offers courses in western and classical music, drama and more. There is a well-stocked art gallery on campus, and the institute holds events, shows, stage-plays and other cultural performances in their auditoriums. Their library is also well stocked with books on art, aesthetics, folk art, theatre, western and Indian music. So if you’re keen on spending a leisurely afternoon reading, Kala Academy is your go-to place.

Stay updated through their website on upcoming events.

Source: Kala Academy

VI. Audiophile

A record and vinyl store with a retro-vibe, they have vintage turntables and an amazing collection of old records across genres like jazz, blues, rock and roll, and more. They also have the largest curated collection of unused vinyl records in the country. They even host screenings of movies and vinyl sessions, from Monday to Friday at 8 pm. So head on over for nostalgic, laid-back evenings of connecting with others with the same love for throwback movies and music.

Stay updated on activities and events through their Facebook page.

VII. Fundação Oriente

With headquarters in Lisbon, the Fundação Oriente is an organisation with delegations in various countries, its Indian branch established in 1995. By collaborating with other Indian organisations, they carry out cultural and artistic programs and events in Goa, such as artist exchange programs, exhibitions, conferences, and heritage management initiatives. Located in a beautiful heritage mansion in Fontainhas, it hosts a range of interesting concerts and events.

For more information, see their website.

Feature image courtesy of

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