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Forts

Sentinels of the Past
Forts - Sentinels of the Past

Compared to Indian standards, Goan forts are very small in size. Nonetheless, these are historic specimen of immense military, political and economic importance in a land crisscrossed by rivers and canals and bordered by sea on the west. The old monuments, now in ruins are mute testimony to the joys and sorrows, and colourful and dark events of a bygone era.

 

Some are awesome in sheer size like the Ruins of the St. Augustine’s Tower, while others are marvelous pieces of architecture, such as the Gate of the Adil Shah’s Palace at Old Goa.

 

There are quite a few old Portuguese forts dotted around Goa, most of them on the coast. Most of them are in reasonable state of preservation and are worth a visit if you have the time.

 

Goa has several imposing forts, though most of them lie in ruins today. One marvels at the massive effort which was involved when the huge laterite stones were lifted to the top of inaccessible hills, to erect the forts.

 

Sans cement, steel or mortar, the giant walls have stood the vagaries of nature for centuries, and would have gone on to last for several centuries more were they to be looked after properly.

 

The Portuguese found the need to raise the fortresses at several strategic points facing the river mouths to defend their new acquisitions in the East. Of course, they also acquired forts built by the neighbouring chieftains, when the latter’s lands were annexed by the Conquistadores. However, once the defense priorities receded, the forts too were abandoned by the Portuguese.

 

The ruins of the Fortress of Colvale

The ruins of the Fortress of Colvale

The ruins of the Fortress of Colvale
Standing on the northern frontier of Bardez, on the left bank of the Bardez River, this fortress was erected in 1681
Terekhol Fort

Terekhol Fort

Terekhol Fort
Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, built this fort in the 17th century
Reis Magos Fort

Reis Magos Fort

Reis Magos Fort
Reis Magos fort, surrounded by sturdy laterite walls studded with typically Portuguese turrets was erected in 1551
Rachol Fort

Rachol Fort

Rachol Fort
The ruins of the Rachol fort lie close to the famous Rachol Seminary, about 7 kilometers from the town of Margao
Corjuem Fort

Corjuem Fort

Corjuem Fort
This fort is situated 4km north of Pomburpa, alongside the Mapusa river near the village of Aldona
Chapora Fort

Chapora Fort

Chapora Fort
Located 10 kilometer from Mapusa, the red-laterite bastion was built by the Portuguese in 1617
Cabo Raj Niwas (Raj Bhavan)

Cabo Raj Niwas (Raj Bhavan)

Cabo Raj Niwas (Raj Bhavan)
The fort was erected by the Portuguese in 1540 to guard the entrance to Goa harbour
Cabo De Rama Fort

Cabo De Rama Fort

Cabo De Rama Fort
Located in Canacona Taluka Cabo da Rama - Cape Rama - takes its name from Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana
Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort
The largest and the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa and was built in 1609-12