Although its architecture appears to be typically colonial, the Secretariat as it is known, is Panaji´s oldest surviving building, originally built by the Muslim ruler Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur around 1500. It was actually Adil Shah´s summer palace cum fortress and formed an important part of his defense with an arsenal of 55 canons and a salt water moat.
It was known by then as the Idalcaon Palace, from the words Adil Khan, the Portuguese corruption of the words Adil Shah. The Portuguese carried out quite a few demolitions and renovations changing the overall appearance of the building, which retained its official viceregal residence status until the Viceroys moved to a new residence at Cabo near Dona Paula in 1918.
Since the time of Goa´s liberation in 1961, the building served as the home of the Goan State Legislature or Assembly and was known as the Secretariat. On either side of the Secretariat there is a statue depicting a famous Goan personality of the past. One statue is that of Dayanand Bandodkar, who was the first elected Chief Minister of liberated Goa. The second statue is that of Abbe Faria, one of Goa´s most famous sons of the Portuguese era, who did pioneering work in the field of hypnotism.