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Shubhyatra >> Goa Yatra >> Goa Forts


Location : Coastal areas of Goa
Major Forts : Aguada Fort, Tiracol Fort, Chapora Fort
Other Ruins of History : Mormugao Fort, Reis Magos Fort, Cabo da Rama
Official Residence of Governor : Cabo Fort

Goa Forts - A Look Through The Centuries

Aguada Fort , Goa
Aguada Fort, Goa

If you believe Goa is only about beach, wine and fun, check your memory. This thin strip of land was once the seat of power of the Portuguese, and hence it is not bizarre that one will find remnants of history sprawled all over the terrain. Erroneously forts have always been related to history. But these imposing edifices not only speak of yore, at least not in Goa. They shout for fun too. The pleasure of scaling the heights os a Goan fort to enjoy the view over the Arabian Sea or watch the setting sun turn its old ramparts to burnished gold can be an enriching change from beach lounging. Stretching from Tiracol Fort at the northern most tip of Goa, to Cabo da Rama Fort in the south, are remnants of colossal castles that once guarded Portugal's newly annexed territory from land and sea conquests. Remember, the forts of Goa were strategically located and strongly garrisoned to protect the entrance to the port or to the provinces around.

Once parapets of military expertise along with encouraging a leisure purpose, these forts of historical importance have now fallen to ruin with only a few being used either as a prison or a hotel, or as in the case of Cabo Palace, which is the official residence for the Governor of Goa. Even if the laterite walls are covered with lichens, even if these archaic seats of power want to shed their responsibility, they, however, remain integral to Goa's architectural heritage.

The Portuguese Prejudice

If you happen to visit the forts of Goa, you will see how much possessive the Portuguese were about their creations. They used the latest engineering knowledge available to them to build these bastions of power. The parapets of the fort were usually low (which is uncommon when one thinks about the elephantine walls of Rajasthan), but thick and tapering and punctuated by cylindrical turrets. A wide moat enveloped the fort which acted as the first line of defence. The second line was, obviously, the large cannons that were mounted on the ramparts.

Chapora Fort , Goa
Chapora Fort, Goa

As They Stand, Sentinel of Time

Fort Aguada, perched high on a cliff overlooking Aguada Bay and the mouth of the Mandovi river was perhaps the strongest fort shielding Portuguese territory. The 8-minute drive from Candolim to the Sinquerim Plateau is an exciting way to explore the rugged-but-green terrain of Goa. Ask the locals and they will tell you many interesting stories about this stately fort, which was built in 1612 as a prime seat of defence for the golden fort of Old Goa. Get a taxi from Panjim bus stand to reach Keri, then ferry to reach the famous 18th century Tiracol Fort. The high battlement walls were its defence towards the sea, while on the landside was a dry moat. Don't forget to visit the tiny chapel of St. Anthony, nestling in the laterite paved courtyard with a magnificent statue of Christ in front of it.

While holidaying in Goa, you just cannot miss the pleasure of walking on the ramparts of the Chapora Fort. Located on the southern headland of the Chapora River, this proud fort was originally built by the Adil Shah of Bijapur. Walk across the laterite walls and cupola-topped turrets, spend some time beside the serene springs or simply sit on the ramparts and gaze at the horizon floating silently over the Arabian Sea. Lying desolate since the 19th century, the relics of the fort tower magnificently over the green hills and beaches around.

The House of The Head

Above Panjim, dominating the mouth of the Mandovi and Zuari rivers, is Cabo Fort. Once an imposing structure, it held an entire citadel. Now it is the known as the Raj Bhawan and is the official residence of he Governer. Undoubtedly, it enjoys the status of being the most elegant of India's Raj Bhawan. To visit the Museum housed inside the Bhawan premises, you have to take a prior permission from the ADC Office. The information about your appointment will be then communicated to Goa Police Department at Raj Bhawan, which will give you permission to enter. If you happen to be in Goa in August, remember to attend the Feast of Chapel of Virgin Mary, celebrated on 15th August, which coincides with the Independence Day.

Restoring The Old Glory

Goa's historic forts make news once in a while but for reasons other than the ones they had been built centuries ago by the Portuguese, Marathas and even Muslim rulers. And though history repeats itself, Goa doesn't need the erstwhile reason to fame itself. Many of the stately forts dwell in the landscape of Old Goa, located 9 km east of Panjim. Caressing many old buildings that have been converted into museums maintained by Archaeological Survey of India, Old Goa has been granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO for its historical significance.

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Goa Forts

Goa Fort

Eternal Soldiers of Yore
Plan a holiday trip to Goa, and beside engaging yourself on the beaches, do visit the colossal forts of this beach state. Once the bastions of power of the Portuguese, the remnants, now provide a magnificent view of the sea and the sand sprawled around.

The Royal Residence of Goa
Get a prior permission to visit the Cabo Fort, now the official residence of the Governor. Visit the Raj Bhawan Museum housing many interesting and uncanny items of archaic interests. One can also attend the Feast of the Chapel celebrated on 15th August every year.

Stay Royal At Aguada Fort
Once a placard of Portuguese prowess, the Aguada fort, located at 24 km from Panjim, is now converted into a heritage hotel. Enjoy a grand stay in this magnificent mansion furnished with everything that can satisfy the interests of a modern traveller.

The Kaleidoscope of Vistas
Goa forts surely entices its every visitor with mind-blowing vistas of the sun, sea and sand. Climb the heights of the Tiracol Fort and you will be overwhelmed with splendid views of Arambol, Chapora and Aguada forts across the sea. Sit on the ramparts of the Chapora Fort and you can enjoy a colouful panorama of sunset in Goa.

Sacred Sites In Proud Forts
In general, every fort in Goa has a chapel to flaunt about, thus providing a complete package of fun and devotion in the relics of history. Tourists can even attend the grand feasts celebrated at different times of the year.

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