Most people think that Goa is the party hub, just drink dance and repeat. But there is more to Goa than party, beaches or the Dudhsagar waterfall and trek. The place is food with rich Goan culture, traditional food, local stories, history, and architecture.
Below I will be pointing out the Most Popular Forts of Goa:
1- Chapora Fort
This one of the most famous forts of Goa. The shooting of the famous movie of Amir Khan, Dil Chata hai was done here. This place became an icon for the youth of India. If you go Goa, you definitely visit this fort.
Location– Chapora fort road, North Goa
Timings– 10 am to 5.30 pm
The fort was built by Muslim ruler Adil Shah called Shahpura, later the Portuguese changed the name to Chapora. It was built in 1717. From the fort, one can see the amazing view of Chapora River. The fort has a lot of significance due to its view from all sides while wars. The Portuguese built dry ditches for advantage in defeating its enemies.
Inside the fort, the church was dedicated to St. Anthony, now lies in ruins. Only a few things of the old days like the housing and barracks are still present.
2. Nanuz Fort
This fort was built in 17th century by Maratha ruler, Shivaji. Later, it was taken over by the Portuguese. The fort is now in ruins but still, tourists visit this place to admire the architecture. To reach the fort you have to climb a small hillock.
Location– Sattari, North Goa
Timings– 8 AM to 6 PM
It is said that once Dipaji Rane, captured this fort was used it as his base location to carry raids in Bardez and Tiswadi. He also fought against the taxes to be paid by farmers under the Portuguese rule. Later, the Portuguese accepted his demands and conceded. This fort is a symbol of the bravery of the farmers against the injustice done to them. They bleed but they still fought.
3. Aguada Fort
The fort was built in 1612 to guard the lands against the Dutch and the Marathas. It is one of the most protected forts of Portuguese times. One can see the majestic ocean along with the confluence of the Mandovi River and the Arabain Sea. The fort also has its own lighthouse to guide the sailors at night.
Location– Aguada Fort Road, Candolim, North Goa
Timings– 7 AM to 6 PM
The fort is divided into two segments, the upper part acted as a fort and watering section and the lower part acted as a safe place to dock Portuguese ships. The upper part also had a moat, underground water storage, gunpowder room, bastions and it also had a secret passage to escape during war and emergencies.
4. Sinquerim Fort
The Sinquerim fort is located at a distance of 18 km from Panaji. The fort was built in 1612. It is an extension of the Aguada fort. It overlooks the beautiful Sinquerim beach. It was built to protect Portuguese people against the invasion of the Dutch and Marathas. The fort bisects the shoreline into two.
Location– Candolim, North Goa
Timings– 7 AM to 6 PM
During the 16th and 17th century ships used to anchor next to the fort. The fort also served as a reference point for goods coming from Europe. Near to the fort, many tour operators conduct water sports like Jet Ski, parasailing, dolphin rides, etc. The famous Taj holiday village resort is located nearby.
5. Terekhol Fort
It is also named as Triacol fort. It is located at the mouth of River Triacol. To reach this fort you have to take a boat ride from Querim. The fort was built in the 17th century by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle.
Location– Tiracol, North Goa
Timings– Open 24 hours
After the Portuguese acquired it in 176, the fort became an important part of the Portuguese maritime defence. It remained under the rule of Portuguese until 1946 after that they were forced to leave India. In fort Triacol, the demonstration of the freedom fighters took place from time to time. A church for the Holy Trinity was constructed in the courtyard which now lies in ruins. It is not opened to the public except for the annual feast held in May.
The fort has been now converted to a heritage hotel called Fort Triacol Heritage. There is also a memorial for the freedom fighters of Goa.
6. Corjuem Fort
This fort is located 4 km away from the village of Aldona on the river island of Corjuem, Goa. It was a military fortress for the defence of Portuguese. It is a protected monument under the Goa, Daman and Diu ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains active.
Location– Off- Aldona, Corjuem, North Goa
Timings– Open 24 hours
The fort was built in 1705. The fort was originally occupied by the Desai’s of Sankhali but it was traded into Marathas and later taken over by the Portuguese. In the 18th century, the fort protected the Portuguese from the Marathas, the Bhonsle’s and the Rane Rajputs, who camped for the attack near the Mandovi River.
Later in 1800, the fort was converted into a military school. The fort also has an interesting story that a Portuguese woman, dressed as a man set to explore Goa on foot.
7. Reis Magos Fort
It is one of the oldest forts in Goa and gives an awesome view from all the sides. It is located on the northern bank of Mandovi River in Bardez. It predates the Fort Aguada by half a century. It was erected in 1493 to protect the narrowest point of Mandovi River. It was enlarged on several occasions and finally re-erected in 1707.
Location– Verem, Bardez, North Goa
Timings– 9.30 AM to 5 PM
At the beginning the fort was under the Adil Shah of Bijapur, later the Portuguese conquered it and built it with a church in it. From 1900 after losing its defensive role, it was used as a jail to keep war prisoners. In 2008 with the help of Helen Hamlyn’s trust and Government of Goa the fort was restored. The renowned artist Gerard da Cunha was given the task of restoring the fort.
8. Rachol Fort
It is located in the village of Rachol. It was originally erected by the Sultanate of Bijapur to defend the left bank of River Zuari. It was later conquered by Krishnaraya, the emperor of the Vijayanagara kingdom in 1520. Later he gave it to Portuguese in exchange for the protection of the Muslim community.
Location– Rachol, South Goa
Timings– 8 AM to 6 PM
After the Portuguese took over this fort, they built two bastions in 1604. They also had a hundred pieces of artillery. Later the fort’s cannons were sent to other forts. The fort is currently in ruins but the place is very scenic. People who love nature and history must visit this place.
9. Cabo de Rama Fort
This fort was built by Hindu rulers in the 1760s. Later it was captured by the Portuguese and later made into a prison. The fort covers an area of 1, 80,000 square meters. The fort has witnessed many battles. The Portuguese equipped the fort with 21 guns and military barracks, chapel and commandment quarters. Inside the fort, there is a church of Santo Antonio, who is in good condition and is worshipped by the devotees. The fort gives a majestic view of the entire stretch of Colva beach.
Location– Canacona, South Goa
Timings– 9 AM to 5.30 PM
The fort has a historical significance leading to the age of Ramayana. It is said Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshman stayed here during their 14 years of exile.
10. Anjdiv Fort
This fort is built on Anjadip Island, off the coast of Karnataka but comes under the jurisdiction of Goa. The island o Anjadip has an area of 1.5 square km. The fort is presently in ruins. The Church of our Lady Springs, built-in 1505 is located here. Also, The Chapel of St Francis is located here but is ruined completely.
Location- Anjdiv Island, South Goa
Timings- Open 24 hours
This fort was built by the Portuguese to increase their military presence and control the Eastern trade route. It is said that Vasco da Gama stopped at this island to repair his ship and collect water from the springs.
11. Mormugao Fort
This fort is located in the southernmost tip of the Zuari River on the west coast of Goa. It was built in 1624 on the order of Viceroy of the Portuguese state of India. Later due to the high cost of the project, the fort was abandoned. The area was lost in 1737, during the invasions of the Marathas.
Location– Mormugao, South Goa
Timings– 7 AM to 5.30 PM
The fort had a rectangular plan, with dimensions 330 by 88 meters with vertices blurted. The fort covers six miles of area in circumference.
I hope you found the above information useful. Do visit the forts in Goa and enrich yourself in the rich culture and history of the state.
Shalini Garnaik, A curious gal bitten by wander bug at www.eager2travel.in
I share my travel stories, hacks, and tips for the road. You can find a detailed itinerary of the places I have been to. I have been travelling with a full-time job for the past two years, I would love to share my experiences, how to plan a trip with a tight budget, which places you can skip or just shift delete.