Goa isn’t a destination that usually comes to mind when you think of historic places. Surprisingly though, the state has a large number of sites that have deep connections with history. The sites that connect to history the most are the iconic forts in Goa. Their links to the past are deep as they are some of the original iconic structures in the state.
Let’s look at some of the top forts in Goa that will make for the perfect brush with history during your trip:
1. Reis Magos fort
If you’re a history-lover, a trip to the Reis Magos fort should be a must for you. This fort stands tall and proud, overseeing the Bardez taluka across the river from Panaji. The fort was one of the first bastions of the Portuguese against any enemy invasion. It is situated at the narrowest point of the mouth of the river Mandovi. The fort’s skilful construction and strategic location made it nearly impregnable, making it an essential asset for Portuguese colonists.
2. Chapora fort
This fort is a popular destination among tourists and is a favourite spot in the evenings for people to relax. The fort has been named for the Chapora River that it overlooks. The original site was the chosen venue for a fort built by the Muslim ruler Adil Shah. The fort was named Shahpura. The Portuguese then changed the name to Chapora. The ownership of the fort changed several hands once the Portuguese acquired Bardez. In 1683, Prince Akbar joined hands with the Marathas and made this fort the base camp.
3. Corjuem fort
This fort is one of the only two inland forts that have survived into the 21st century. It offers majestic panoramic views from its ramparts. The fort’s original occupants were the Desai’s of Sankhali. The fort was later traded into Maratha Hands, into Sawant-Bhonsle of Sawantwadi. Under the Portuguese Viceroy Caetano de Mello e Castro, the fort’s control was transferred to the Portuguese. The Portuguese then subsequently rebuilt the fort to boost their defences in Panjim. In the 18th century, the fort protected the Portuguese from the Rane Rajputs, Bhonsles, and the Marathas, who were camped just beyond the Mandovi River.
4. Aguada fort
This fort built in the 17th century is the epitome of Portuguese architecture. The fort, and its lighthouse, have stood through time, acting like silent sentinels on the Sinquerim Beach, at a distance of 18 km from Panjim. Being built in 1612 to offer protection from the Marathas and the Dutch, it was the most prized fort for the Portuguese and covered the entire peninsula at the South-western tip of Bardez.