Panjim in the first half of the nineteenth century was neither a village nor a city. It was situated halfway from a cluster of fishing areas, marshes and bogs transforming themselves into a town. But in the second half of the century, it showed trends of shaping itself into a capital city.
This book aims to understand what brought about this transformation. Though its period is confined to 1843-1961, when Nova Goa was officially the capital of Estado da India, the story really begins in 1759, when the reality of a disease-ridden Cidade de Goa (Old Goa) spurred the authorities to function from nearby Panjim. Thus began the rise of an urban space and settlement on the left bank of the River Mandovi to the extreme west of Old Goa.
In this book, the author focusses on the physical transformation of Panjim through land acquisition, landfill and land use and the putting in place of an urban infrastructure in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She pays respect to the planners and engineers, and the masons and labourers (both of Goan origin), and acknowledges that it was their engineering knowledge, skill and labour that enabled a marshland to become a capital city.