Chapora Fort, located at the northern side of Goa, is famously called Dil Chahta Hai Fort. You can relive those moments by visiting it yourself. This fort overlooks the Chapora river and and is only 700 meters away from Vagator Beach. So, whenever you are nearby, try and manage your time to enjoy both of these tourist attractions.
This fort earlier had rough patches that made it difficult to hike. However, now proper trails and roads are laid down for travellers like you. Vendors also stream alongside these carpeted roads, selling their offerings to satisfy your mid-day hunger for food, juices, and water. Trekking to the slanting height of Chapora Fort becomes easy with the availability of these things and it also ensures that you do not fall sick. Upon reaching the hilltop, you will witness the wider expanse of the fort brimmed with youngsters or the newlywed couples wanting to explore an adventurous time on their honeymoon. But there are few things that make the place inappropriate for elderly people like the rocky steps and the imperfect staircase.
Many photographers, models, and actors come here for professional and personal shoots with their cameras and drones. You can also bring your camera or drone for regular photoshoots and make memories with your best friends or spouse. The view of the mesmerizing sunset along with the orange and white skyline make the spot perfect for photography.
Chapora Fort, located 10 km away from Mapusa, is undeniably one of the most famous forts in Goa. Built by the Portuguese in 1717, Chapora Fort has a long and fascinating history attached to it. More popularly known as the ‘Dil Chahta Hai Fort’, its claim to fame was the 2001 Bollywood blockbuster shot here. A scintillating escape, it offers beautiful views of the sea and Chapora River.
The history of the fort is long and varied. It has been held by many rulers for varying lengths of time. The village of Chapora, and the fort, get their name from ‘Shahapura’ or, ‘the town of the Shah’. This was due to the fact that it was once the stronghold of the Sultanate of Bijapur.
When the Portuguese defeated the Shah and seized the fort, it had great military significance for them, as the Chapora river marked the northern boundary of Goa, with Pernem on it’s opposite bank, being the province of the Maharaja of Sawantwadi.
This fort, although formidably built has fallen multiple times to the Maratha might, once in 1684 and again in 1739. In 1741, during the ‘Novas Conquistas’ or New Conquests, the Portuguese regained the fort and further conquered the Northern territory of Pernem, thus decreasing the military significance of the Chapora fort.
The Bardez Taluka, where the fort stands, was held by the Portuguese from 1543. They built the Chapora fort over the remains of an old military outpost which belonged to the previous ruler, Sultan Adil Shah. This was to protect their Northern boundary from incursions made by the Maharaja of Sawantwadi, who ruled over Pernem, on the opposite bank of the Chapora River.
With all the use that they made of the hilly terrain and the native laterite stone, the Portuguese were unable to stop the armies of Sambhaji, ruler of the Marathas when he invaded them in 1684.
Unfortunately they, in their turn were unable to hold onto the fort for long and the fort returned to the Portuguese in 1717, who then proceeded to rebuild it, constructing secret underground passageways to allow access to supplies in case of a siege, or a passage out, in case they were overrun. This was, perhaps fortunate, because they were indeed overrun, once again by the Marathas in 1739.
Although the Portuguese did not reclaim this fort per se, they acquired the province of Pernem at the time of their Nova Conquistas, or New conquests. This greatly reduced the military significance of the fort as it was no longer in a position to protect the northern border. The Chapora Fort was abandoned in 1892.
How to Reach Chapora Fort
The Chapora Fort is quite accessible and can be reached easily from any part of Goa. The fort is just 10 kilometres away from Mapusa, and can also be reached by climbing the hill from the Vagator Beach. To the reach the fort, one has to take the road that forks towards the right, just 2 kilometres before the Vagator Beach. From there, a small path will lead you to the base of the hill, on top of which the fort is located.