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Explore the Ancient Heritage of Forts in Goa

Goa is a perfect blend of Indian and foreign culture. Forts in Goa have their Portuguese look.

Besides the State being an international habitat famous for its long stretch of golden beaches and parties, a List of Forts in Goa makes your trip to Goa a fascinating peek in its history.

There are forts in North Goa and forts in South Goa with distinct histories respectively. It is because Goa was a colony of foreign rules. The Forts in Goa are in reasonably good condition and are worth a visit. Here is a List of Forts in Goa.

A visit to each city has a List of Forts in Goa.

Forts don’t only tell us history; they have a story to tell. But at a closer look, you would know the foresight of the rulers as per their time and the likely threat that was on their mind against the enemy.

A List of Forts in Goa tells us the difference between the attitude and aptitude of rulers in forts in North Goa and forts in South Goa.

Most beautiful aspect being in Goa is, most of the Forts in Goa are near beaches.

1. Chapora Fort one of the Forts in Goa

Goa Fort-Chapora Fort
Goa Fort-Chapora Fort

The Charpora fort is in Bardez with a view of the Vagator Beach, Ozran Beach, Morjim Beach and the Chapora River. The route from Mapusa and the Vagator beach lead to the fort. Being in the Northern region, Chapora is a frequented spot. Charpora fort is also called as Shahpura, ‘town of Shah’ in the local dialect. It was a border watch post to oversee various Hindu raiders, assumedly in the 17thcentury.

They say it was built thrice, first in 1612, later conquered by Shivaji’s son Sambaji in 1683 A.D., and then by Bhonsle in 1739 A.D. The Portuguese finally took it over in 1741 till Goa’s independence. The walls are in line with arrow slits and gun ports. Also, at regular intervalsMurder holes are created. Trekking lovers access the fort by climbing the hill from Vagator Beach.

2. Aguada Fort

Goa Fort-Aguada Fort
Goa Fort-Aguada Fort

Most of us travelling the beauties in Goa first approach the Aguada Fort located at the tidal mouth of Mandovi River. This is one of the forts in North Goa was constructed in 1612 with a four-story Portuguese lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses in Asia. Fort Aguada is in Sinquerim and is open between 9.30a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Aguada Fort is at a distance of around 18 km from Panaji. Fort Aguada is atop a hilltop near the mouth of the river Mandovi. The fort was named Aguada which means water in Portuguese because of the presence of three freshwater springs inside.

Aguada fort has an elaborate defence system and commands a great view of the sea and the neighbouring villages. The fort has steep sides along the sea and a moat against the land. The fort is double walled and has two gates at its gatehouse. Portuguese built this one to guard against the foreign as well as Indian attacks, namely, the Dutch and the Marathas.

This lighthouse is no longer in use, having been replaced by a new one constructed recently and is seen even in faraway places like Mapusa and Aldona at night. A massive tank with underground chambers is at the centre of the fort. A small doorway leads to the chambers and tanks underneath.

Aguada Fort is amongst the larger Forts in Goa and covers the entire peninsula at the southwestern tip of Bardez taluka. Have you heard of two extreme constructions within one premise- a Central jail and a luxury beach resort?! You witness both of these here! Located close to the fort there are the Taj Holiday Village and the Fort Aguada Hotel.

3. Reis Magos Fort

Goa Fort-Reis Magos Fort
Goa Fort-Reis Magos Fort

Portuguese Viceroy Afonso de Noronha constructed the Reis Magos Fort in 1551 to guard the narrowest part of the Mandovi estuary against any enemy. The fort is precisely opposite to the capital city Panjim and close to the Reis Magos church in the extreme south of the Bardez taluka at the northern bank of the river Mandovi.  Archeological Survey of India restored the fort.

Only the Reis Magos Fort and the Aguada Fort were in the hands of the Portuguese.

On the list of Forts in Goa, the Reis Magos Church is the first church of Bardez and is known for the colourful ‘Festa dos Reis Magos’ which is the Feast of the Three Wise Men. This event is held on the 6th of January every year. It has distinctive reddish stone walls visible all the way from Panaji which lies across the Mandovi River from it.

4. Terekhol or Tiracol Fort

Goa Fort-Terekhol or Tiracol Fort
Goa Fort-Terekhol or Tiracol Fort

The fort has its name after the river it stands on. Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, in the 17th century built it. Among the forts in north goa, this one has a different story! The Portuguese Viceroy Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida captured the fort and rebuilt it in 1764.

The fort’s courtyard has the 100-year old Church that stands pristine white amidst lush greenery, feels very pure. A bird’s eye view shows a mustard yellow Portuguese styled rooftops boundary semi-circling St. Anthony’s.

Now, it is a heritage hotel, and the church is open to the general public only on special occasions. The fort gives a great view of the paragliders over the Kalacha beach. Taxi and autos take you to it. A ferry service is available near the Querim beach to cross the Terekhol river. Bikers and pedestrians can get a free ride across the river. However, people commuting by cars and light motor vehicles have to pay a nominal fare.

5. Corjuem Fort One of the Forts in Goa

Corjuem Fort
Corjuem Fort

Another in the list of Forts in Goa is the Querim fort situated to the east of Aldona village. The story says that Ursula e Lancastre, a Portuguese woman who wanted to see the man’s world, travelled the world dressed as a man and reached Corjuem as a soldier but was captured and stripped.

Corjuem is a small island fort among the forts in North Goa. Portuguese words Khorik, meaning deep and Zunvem, meaning island, make the word Querim. This fact exemplifies the usage and the active change of the foreign language in centuries! The Corjuem fort constructed in the year 1551. It is square in shape. The walls are wide and have numerous gun ports and murder holes. At each corner of the fort is a ramp-like stair that leads to the ramparts.

The fort has a well and a three room living quarters, a small chapel. Looking at this fact, you feel like you are at a small bungalow with in-house well for water and a small worship spot! Such places make Goa a marvel o explore indeed!

The fort has the distinction of being one of the only two inland that is surviving. Portuguese built the fort with pitted laterite stones. The only cable suspension bridge in Goa connects Corjuem with Aldona.

6. Nanuz Fort

Nanuz Fort
Nanuz Fort

Shivaji built the Nanuz fort in the 17th century, and it is in the Sattari taluka of North Goa. The fort today is mostly in ruins and although it is small in size, draws many tourists. A not much-known man Dipaji Rane once captured the fort to use it as the military base during the time of early revolts in Goa. He conducted raids in Bardez and Tiswadi.

7. Sinquerim Fort

Sinquerim Fort
Sinquerim Fort

Call it an extension of the larger Aguada fort situated above it. Sinquerim covers a wider area and is guarded by fortified walls on both sides. This fort was constructed in the year 1612 and was the anchor point of passing ships during the 16th and 17th Centuries. It was a stopover for replenishing fuel and food supplies.

Travel by tourist buses for 18kms to reach Aguada’s bottom Sinquerim. On the right-hand side of the fort is the Taj Holiday Village resort. It is popular among tourists. In the distance, one can see the Candolim beach. The Taj holiday resort is nearby.

You find many tour operators here who conduct watersport activities such as jet ski rides, paragliding and dolphin tours. On the left-hand side of the bastion are a fortified wall and rocky outcroppings. 

8. St. Estevam Fort

St. Estevam Fort
St. Estevam Fort

St Estevam is an Island in Ilhas, Goa, India. St Estevam is also known ‘Juvem’ and in the past was known as ‘Shakecho Juvo’ – the isle of vegetables – known for its long, seven-ridged, light green ladyfingers. Therefore the people of Juvem came to be nicknamed ‘bhende.’

A flight of rough steps takes you to the fort from the St. Estevam village. The fort is small and light to see.

Open, unlike forts, are, not as much of fortification as expected, it has a great view of the river and opposite land. It has an impressive shrine to Christ the King.  A non-profit organization called The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) restored this fort in 2011. 

9. Cabo de Rama Fort

Cabo de Rama Fort
Cabo de Rama Fort

Canacona is in southern Goa at a distance of 30 km from Margao. During the Portuguese rule, this fort also served as a prison for political prisoners.

The fort has all structures of a safe house used to sustain a living. People still come to pray at the Chapel inside it. It also has a small grotto with a statue of the Virgin Mary. The fort has all evidence of life, moat, hot and cold water spring, large water tank storage.

10Rachol Fort

Rachol Fort
Rachol Fort

Among the forts in South Goa, Rachel is located on the left bank of Zuari River and comprises of the Rachol Seminary. Portuguese protected it by over 100 guns. Unfortunately, the gateway is the only thing standing today.

11. Mormagao Fort one of the Forts in Goa

Mormagao Fort
Mormagao Fort

Mormugao, in the list of Forts in Goa also tells the story of Portuguese fortitude in the face of enemy attacks. This fort lies on the western coast of Goa, and at one time it contained three magazines, a chapel, five prisons and huge bulwarks.

Fonte de Santo Ignacio had a more modest beginning, in a Sulphur mine. It offers a magnificent view of the Varca beach. It is at the northwestern point of Salcette and guards the entrance to the port of Vasco. This, of course, would remind readers of Vasco da Gama!  Later the Portuguese Viceroy moved to the fort. It owns a circumference of six miles and many cannons and guns around.

In Conclusion:

These are some of the Forts in Goa where you should visit to explore the Heritage preserved by Goa. These forts will show you the best ancient monuments in Goa where you have some fun and exciting time with your family and friends. For more news about Goa stay tuned with Goa Toursim.

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