Goa's Best Preserved Portuguese Fort
|Fort Aguada is situated on a peninsular that hems the wide stretch of Calangute and Candolim's sandy beaches, and is an impressive monument to the Portuguese domination of Goa. Built in 1612, the fort was designed to resist attacks by the Dutch and the Marathas, and was never conquered in 450 years of colonial rule. |
The name, Aguada, derives from the Portuguese word for water, and the fresh springs here used to supply sailors arriving in Goa with their first fresh water since leaving Lisbon. Today, the fort is a tourist attraction, surrounded by the villas and cottages of the luxurious Fort Aguada Beach Resort. On the south side of the headland, the Fort Aguada Jail houses several unfortunate foreigners arrested for drugs offences.
Features of the Fort
The heart of the fort is reached by crossing a deep, dry moat and is surrounded by sturdy battlements which visitors can walk around enjoying the impressive views.
A giant, underground water tank lies within the central courtyard. Capable of holding ten million litres of fresh water, the cistern used to supply passing ships. A four storey lighthouse built in 1864 is the other prominent feature of the fort. It can be climbed via a spiral staircase, giving a stunning panorama of the Goan coast and mouth of the Mandovi river.
The fort is easily accessible from Panaji, which lies to the east, across the Mandovi river. Buses from Panaji stop at Candolim or continue south to the Aguada Beach Resort terminus near the fort. From the beach resort/bus stop head east up the steep, wooded hill towards the fort (you may want to hail a tuk-tuk for the ascent).
If you are coming from Calangute by road, simply follow the Calangute - Candolim coastal road south, turning east just after the Taj Holiday Village.
Take a journey down the coast, stopping at the forts along the way - in the far north, just over the Maharashtran border, Redi Fort sits in ruin, while Terekhol Fort marks Goa's northern most point. Further south, the famous Chapora Fort looks out over the mouth of the Chapora river.
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