Its not the Dil Chahta Hai Fort you regularly see on the timelines of your friends just back from Goa. In fact, its highly unlikely you would have seen the pictures of Fort Aguada on popular Facebook posts and Instagram stories you see every day. And which is why, this 17thcentury Portuguese fort, quietly overlooking the confluence of Mandovi river and the Arabian Sea for centuries, deserves a visit from you. If exploring the offbeat in Goa is your plan, you do have a thing to check off your list.
Source: Goa Tourism Development Corporation
A classic example of the Portuguese military architecture, Fort Aguada lies on Sinquerim Beach, south of the popular Candolim beach in the lively north Goa. Located on a hilltop, it can be reached by motor vehicles using the 4 km road from Sinquerim beach. If you are feeling adventurous, climb up your way to the fort using a shorter route having a distance of 2 km; its a steep one, we warn you.
When at the fort, marvel at its quiet beauty, spend hours looking down at the Arabian Sea, or just find a corner with a book (or notebook) of your choice and get lost. There is a 13 metre-high lighthouse inside the fort premises, known to be constructed in 1864, reminding one of the times gone by. If history intrigues you, listen to the story of the lighthouse and the fort as you take a stroll around the premises.
The story of the fort
Aguada in Portuguese means watering place. There is a freshwater spring inside the fort that imparts its name to the fort. Built by the Portuguese rulers, it was once used to provide water supply to the passing ships. In fact, the fort was once Asias one of the biggest freshwater storages. Being the grandstand of 79 cannons, it had the capacity of storing 2,376,000 gallons of water.
Taking you deeper into the history of the fort, it was constructed in the year 1612 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. While the upper part would act as a fort and watering station, having gunpowder room, light house and bastions, apart from the water storage, the lower part would be used as a berth for Portuguese ships.
The four-storey lighthouse, one of the oldest of its kind, was once used to emit light once in 7 seconds, before being abandoned in 1976. The story goes on to say that during the reign of Portugal Prime Minister Antnio de Oliveira Salazar in the 20th century, the fort was repurposed to be used as a prison for political opponents. Remember, Goa remained a Portuguese territory until 1961 before the annexation process by India.
Today, the fort stands tall, a witness to the years of the Goan history – the years of the Portuguese rule and the annexation thereafter, the political turmoil and cultural conflicts, the people and the ships.
Visit Fort Aguada to take a dive into the history of the Portuguese Goa. Or when you are in search of some solitude, a quiet spot to recollect your thoughts, away from the noise of the world.
Best time to visit Fort Aguada
The fort remains open on all days of the week from 9.30am to 6.00pm.
Talking of Goa, the state receives tourists throughout the year. While months from November to March enjoy a comparatively pleasant and cooler temperature, warmer months like May and June are great for cycling trails and spice farm tours.
Where to stay
Close to the popular north Goan beaches, V Resorts Aguada Anchorage Villa 39 is an elegant 5-bedroom villa in a posh complex. Spread out over 8 acres of sprawling lush greenery and seamlessly blending into the electric Goan vibe, the resort has independent villas, green lawns, a gorgeous swimming pool with a poolside bar, and all possible elements you would need for your stay in Goa.