Panaji or Panjim as it is also called, is one of India's smallest and most pleasant state capitals. Built on the south bank of the Mandovi River, it officially became the state capital when Old Goa was finally abandoned in 1843. It was only a small fishing village four centuries ago. It is still a midget town, but one of the most beautiful in India. Rising on the wooded terraces of the Altinho Hill, the town slopes down to Mandovi river on one side to the Arabian Sea on the other. The old town has preserved its Portuguese heritage remarkably well; there are narrow winding streets, old houses with overhanging balconies with red tiled roofs, white washed churches and numerous small bars and cafés. Though there are no great attractions in Panjim, the city does have enough character to make a pleasant visit and an ideal base to explore the state.