Goa Forts

Goa Forts

They stretch from Tiracol Fort, which is at the northernmost tip of Goa, to Cabo da Rama in the south. These forts are made of laterite and though most of them are in ruins today, they are an integral part of Goa’s architectural heritage.

These Goa forts are one of the tourist attractions in Goa, India.

Tiracol Fort in Goa

Location: 42km from Panaji at the far north of Goa's northernmost taluka of Pernem, cut off from Goa by the Tiracol River.

The fort was under the Rajas of Sawantwadi when it was captured by the Portuguese. It is located in Pernem, Goa’s northernmost taluka, 42km from Panaji.

While on way to the fort, you can have a splendid view of the countryside and the paddy fields. From the fort, you can enjoy the view of the beautiful Keri and Arambol beaches. The fort also houses the Church of St. Anthony. The rooms within the fort have been converted to a heritage hotel. Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel. You need to take a ferry from Keri beach to reach the fort.

Chapora Fort in Goa

Location: Commanding the mouth of the Chapora River at the far north of Bardez Taluka, just next to Vagator Beach.

Located on the southern headland of the Chapora River, the fort was built by Adil Shah of Bijapur and was rebuilt by the Portuguese in 1717. The fort is just next to the Vagator Beach and guards the Chapora estuary. When it was built, the fort was designed to offer refuge to the people of Bardez in case of an attack.

Movies are often shot at this fort. Take a trek to the fort is a good idea to enjoy the superb view of Vagator Beach. The fort also has a chapel dedicated to St. Anthony.

Fort Aguada in Goa

Location: Atop the Sinquerim Plateau at the far south of Bardez taluka, 8 mins drive from Candolim.

Believed to be the strongest and most impressive fort of Goa, Fort Aguada stands on the mouth of the Mandovi River. It is at the far south end of Bardez taluka, just 8km from Panaji, and 4km east of Sinquerim Beach, atop Sinquerim Plateau. It is about eight to ten minutes’ drive from the Candolim Beach.

Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary, it got its name from Portuguese word “agua”, meaning water. The fort has three fresh water springs, hence the name.

A 19th century lighthouse is situated inside the fort and is a good place to hang-out for visitors. Cameras are not allowed inside. At a short distance to the east is the Church of St. Lawrence. Viewed from the top of this fort, Panaji looks lovely.

Reis Magos Fort in Goa

Location: Across the Mandovi River from Panaji, west of Betim in Bardez taluka.

Originally, built in 1490 by Adil Shah, the fort was made bigger on several occasions and was rebuilt in 1760 by the Portuguese. It is to the west of Betim the Bardez taluka.

The fort was converted into a jail after the withdrawal of the Portuguese. Entry to the jail premises is restricted. However, those who get permission to visit the jail get an excellent view of the Arabian Sea. Reis Magos Church, dedicated to St. Jerome, is just below the walls of the fort. What make the fort more attractive are its black bastions.

Cabo Fort in Goa

Location: Atop a cliff in Tiswadi taluka that commands the mouths of the Mandovi and Zuari just above Panjim.

Situated on the main headland of the Tiswadi taluka to the south of Panaji is Cabo Fort. It overlooks the mouth of Mandovi and Zuari rivers. Work on the fort started in 1540 but was completed much later. Though once a very imposing structure, what remain of the fort are only three large cisterns.

A chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and a convent of the reformed Franciscans were constructed even before the fort was built. The convent is now known as Cabo Palace or Raj Bhavan. It is the official residence of the Governor and is not open to the general public. Masses in the chapel are held every Sunday morning.

The 180-year-old British Cemetery is just outside the Raj Bhavan and can be visited freely. However, for visiting the Raj Bhavan Museum, permission from the Goa Police Department will need to be obtained first.

Mormugao Fort in Goa

Location: Just north of Vasco Da Gama city and just south of Mormugao Port, the closest fort to Goa's airport.

Once regarded as vital from a military and strategic point of view, this fort protected the entrance to the famous Mormugao Port. It is located to the south of the Morgmugao Port and to the north of Vasco da Gama city.

The fort, when constructed, was 6 miles in circumference and had twenty bulwarks, three magazines and five prisons, a chapel and quarters for guards. Unfortunately, only the chapel and part of the boundary are now left of the fort.

Cabo da Rama Fort in Goa

Located to the south of Canacona – Goa’s southernmost taluka – this fort got its name from the Ramayana, the Hindu epic. It is believed that Lord Rama, while on exile, lived here with his wife, Sita. The fort dates back to the pre-Portuguese period. Like other Goa forts, it is also made of laterite that is readily available along the coastal line.

The fort is in ruins today. There is a small church inside where services can be attended on Sundays. You can take a trek up the fort and enjoy a panoramic view of the sea. From the westernmost part of the fort, you can get an excellent view of the cliffs.

I recommend you to take few hours from your journey to visit these Historical Goa forts. If you are not having much time then try to visit atleast one or two Goa forts.

I will include more photos and videos of these Goa forts soon. So, come and check often for more update information.

More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.

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