The Beautiful Forts of Goa
Goa today conjures pictures of revelry and bohemian escapades – an image filled with sun, spray and sand. The dramatic coastline and lush forests however have been witness to much grander narratives, brutal at times and with lasting legacies.
Goa’s history has many shades, and the Portuguese influence on the state is one of the most lasting motifs that travellers will experience. The history of Goa echoes today on its storied shores in the form of looming forts that watch endlessly over crashing waves and blue waters. What better way to feel this history than to rent a car and explore the length of the state. Here are some of the forts of Goa that should be on the itinerary.
Located on a summit on the island of Corjuem, the Corjuem Fort is one of the smaller, less known forts of Goa. Built of pitted laterite stones, it houses three room living quarters, a well and even a small chapel. One can enjoy splendid views of the Mapusa River from this early 18th-century complex. The closest village is Aldona, a 4-km drive away. Although the fort was originally built by the Desais, the Portuguese took over it during their occupation, and it was a military school in the early 1800s. It holds the distinction of being one of the only two surviving forts in the area.
The fort is open to visitors for 24 hours every day.
Cabo de Rama:
Cabo de Rama is a fort that blends ancient Hindu legends with more contemporary Portuguese influences. Now mostly in ruins, this secluded structure is only 30 km away from Margao. The Cabo de Rama, which is named after Lord Ram, was a political prison at one time. One of the highlights here is the charming St. Anthony’s Church.
The fort is open to visitors from 9:30 am to 5:30 PM every day
Aguada and Sinquerim:
The twin fortifications of Aguada and Sinquerim are today bustling centres of tourism. One can enjoy mesmerising Arabian Sea views from the walls of Fort Aguada. The lighthouse here offers a good vantage point. Exploring the ramparts of the Sinquerim fort is recommended to those who want to take a break from the nearby beach. These forts are located close to the scenic Sinquerim village, 16 kms from Panjim.
The forts are open to visitors from 8:30 am to 5:30 PM every day
Located in Bardez, Chapora Fort became even more popular as an iconic location in the Bollywood flick ‘Dil Chahta Hai’. From the summit, visitors can enjoy panoramas of multiple beaches and the meandering currents of the Chapora River. Built of red laterite by the Portuguese, the fort is a mere 10 kilometres from Mapusa.
The fort is open to visitors from 9:30 am to 5:30 PM every day
More to the List:
There is no dearth of history in Goa if you look close enough. One can spend some time gazing at the ships at the port below from the Mormugao Fort, one of the best examples of Portuguese architecture in Goa. Associated with the famous Reis Magos Church, the Reis Magos Fort is one of the oldest in the state. It is also one of the biggest landmarks of Panjim.
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