THE CAMPAL WALK
This is a leisurely walk through Panaji elite
neighbourhood with plenty of opportunities to
relax in the many parks and gardens en route.
To experience this long leisurely adventure,
begin at the end of the Mandovi river promenade.
This promenade is about seven kilometers in length
and is perhaps the longest and most scenic riverside
promenades in India. The Old Goa Medical College
building is to your left. This is Asia’s
first medical reaching institution and hospital
and was once the private residence of the Marquis
de Mayem. The building has a pillared entrance
portico leading into an entrance hall from which
a large concrete staircase leads to the upper
floor. Very high ceilings, cast iron railings
and arched windows, characterize the building.
The flooring is mainly in marble, clay tiles,
Shahbad and Kadappa stone. The walls have a dado
of white glazed tiles with a border of ornate
colored tiles. If you are planning to take the
Portais Walk, step into the red house with the
green motifs on its outer facade. The house is
owned by the Agshekar family and you will not
find friendlier Goans in the whole city. Take
a look at the moulded Italian tiles in their devghor
(literally, God’s house). They are exactly
the same tiles as those used in the upstairs wards
of the old Goa Medical College. Perhaps the master
builder had some tiles left over from the hospital
building and decided to put them to good use in
a home that he was building at the same time.
Before you step away from the promenade, however,
stop and admire the view of the villages of Betim
and Verem (Reis Magos) across the mouth of the
river. (For your information there is a fairly
decent public utility hidden behind the casuarina
trees.) You are, in fact, standing on Panaji’s
most picturesque street, the Dayanand Bandodkar
Marg. Take in the view and enjoy a moment at the
Children’s Park and the gardens and plant
nursery run by the Forest Department of Goa.
Keep your eyes peeled to the left of the avenue.
Take a look at House No.101 built in the Colonial
indigenous style of architecture, which has decorative
features that are simple and distinctive. The
Canal to the left of this house provides a serene,
charming view of the calmer aspects of the city.
A commemorative pillar and bench at the head of
the Canal dates it to 1829. Stand at the Canal
and imagine that Panaji citizens once went for
leisurely strolls in their horsedrawn buggies
along these roads on Sunday evenings. Ironically
the residential pocket of Campal that you are
now about to enter, sports Art Deco features that
could be attributed to the advent of the American
motorcar! Step on to Bandodkar Marg once again
and walk along the footpath or the side lane under
a canopy of peltophorums, cassia fistulas and
The first house in this heritage neighbourhood
belongs to Ricardo and Sonia Sequeira. Walk past
it and spend a few moments looking over into the
Campal garden. The pergola in the centre was obviously
designed for performance. Make a note of the stone
grills done in harp patterns and the Ionic columns
that support a perforated canopy. This is where
a military band once played every Sunday for Campal
Right behind the bandstand is a house named Villa
Savitri. Asopalav trees bend their serrated leaf
branches over this avenue. Walk along the avenue
or explore the houses here at will. If you choose
to walk along the avenue, then into the garden
once again. Take a breather to look at the statue
that towers over the flowering shrubs in this
lovely little open space. This ten foot high bronze
cast is “in glorious memory of Francisco
Luis Gomes, champion of liberty, writer, orator,
eminent man of letter, erudite economist and patriot”
and was erected on his birth centenary in 1929.
The house directly behind the statue is worth
looking at if only for its Art Deco teakwood doorway.
Despite the borrowed American influence, you must
notice that the laterite stone gateposts and finials
over the gateposts are decidedly Goan. Scrolls
and ball finials are dated to the early part of
the 6th century when military architecture followed
the building of sea forts into Goan domestic architecture.
Note the indigenously crafted compound wall that
runs along the periphery of the building. Perforations
in the design allow cool breezes to replace the
hot air on the ground as it rises. This is an
indigenous Goan contribution for which the Goan
master builders must indeed be given due credit.
Do not let the simplicity of the frontage of the
Rebelo House next door deceive you. The flooring
in this house is worth a king‘s ransom.
It might be worthwhile to request the owners for
permission to enter the house just to have a look
at its Italian flooring. The wrought iron fencing
is probably a British-India import. The eavesboards
are indigenously crafted and the garden is the
typical Goan pot pourri of ornamental and functional
Come face to face with some more Art Deco lettering
at the AGENCIA E SEQUEIRA and step on to the side
to see a house with pointed arches and shuttered
windows that afford the house privacy while letting
in the breezes from the river. A sun burst motif
in stone decorates the gable.
Further up, take a look at the motifs on the garage
door with a sign saying FABRIL GASOSA and then
amble along to E-74, Campal. This is a fine house
with ornamental plants is gracing the verandah
and a beautiful red, white and black flooring.
The grills on the windows are Art Dao in style.
This is the residence of Panaji’s most environmentally
aware couple. Patricia and Agnelo Pinto are active
members of the People’s Movement Civic Action
and responsible for keeping Goa free of plastics
Patricia Pinto is also an elected representative
of the Panaji Municipal Council.
Walk around the house, taking a left past the
indigenously designed compound wall and step into
the Linen Shoppe for a quick look. Before you
leave, note how cleverly the compound wall has
been designed before you go. Blocks of laterite
have been placed flat with their tips touching
to make a perforated wall. The Linen Shoppe stores
handwoven furnishing and accessories. You might
like to take a look at their towels bed linen
and cushion covers in contemporary Indian fabric
Right in front of the linen Shoppe is the Villa
Peregrino da Costa. The traditional yellow ochre
on this house façade might startle you
at first but take a minute to admire its bottle
balusters and windows that offset the deep green
of the overhanging rain trees. A few steps ahead
will take you to the Gonsalves House. Built in
I 929-30, like most houses in Campal, this house
has been completely refurbished by its present
owners. The house now sports a wooden verandah
with floral motifs and a hipped roof covered in
Mangalore tiles. The old cement floor has been
stripped down and covered in contemporary tiles.
Art Deco furniture mingles amicably with modern
furniture from Macau.
Retrace your steps and come out of Campal now.
See the pillars at St. Inez over the Canal. Stop
for a breather at the benches built for that very
purpose. This is one of the city’s many
storm water drains that were built when the new
capital was established and was meant to prevent
this egalitarian city from flooding in the monsoons.
It was recently restored by the Panjim Municipal