The Fort Aguada is one of the largest and impressive forts preserved as one of the best known landmarks in Goan history. Its prominence has grown from the fact that its headland on which it is built offers a wonderful site for military architects due to its shielding of the vital sea access from the heart of the Portuguese territory thereby making it an ideal site for seaward as well as landward defense.
The elimination of the Maratha threat and the acquisition of the New Conquest added more glory to its importance right upto the end of the 18th century when Goa’s future borders were established. The most vital part of it was its impregnability to survive attacks by enemies through land or sea or simultaneously from both sides which often happened.
The most feared threat for the Portuguese came from the Europeans in the east, which came true when a Dutch squadron approached the Mandovi in 1604. The Reis Magos Fort, Gaspar Dias Fort and the Cabo Fort proved to be futile in keeping them at bay and though eventually warded off, the Dutch succeeded in burning quite a number of Portuguese ships. In 1606, they returned back and settled at the entrance of the river, blocking the harbour and preventing the entry or departure of all the ships.
The Portuguese naval strength was now actually not enough to face the Dutch for an open sea battle whereby they had to resort to defensive methods against the Dutch to keep them at a safe distance meanwhile work on building a fort was started on the headland which was completely finished in 1612. During the reign of the Catholic King Dom Filippe of Portugal, the construction of the fortress began with orders from the municipality levying 1 percent duty towards protection and defence of ships approaching the fort. The Fortress was finally completed in 1612 by the members of the Municipality under the administration of Viceroy Ruy Tavara.
The water link with the sea on the north side was extended with the use of the Nerul river which dissolves into creeks beyond the peninsula and the whole of the headland was utilized as well making it a thoroughly defensible island. The fort was built as per the design laid down by the Italian military architects employed by the Portuguese government in Lisbon. On the highest point of the headland, there is a citadel which is linked by a defended passage to the riverside. The entire area at sea level is surrounded by fat walls with occasionally occurring bastions along the riverside. The outer wall part has now disappeared though there are still fragments which can be seen, distinctively along the river.
A delight for a military architect was the position of the fort citadel situated at the heart of the fort on the western tip of the headland commanding any seaward approach. It is now used as a jail outside the area of the fort and can still be visited. Similar to all forts built by the Portuguese where the fort configuration usually conforms towards the ground, this one is in form of a square with bastions for artillery placed at each of its three corners, while the fourth corner is occupied by a main gate. Each of the three corners are strongly defended by a dry moat and extremely thick walls while the fourth faces out on the steep slope towards the river. The embrasures are far and wide enough to allow a broad field of fire for the cannons. At one time, 200 cannons were a part of this fort, quite a massive artillery! The bastions are arrow shaped with rounded corners.
Aguada is a Portuguese word which means “Water” so basically this Fort was renowned as the biggest water reservoir in Asia. As you will visit the campus of Aguada Fort you can easily remember the scenes by several Bollywood movies which were shot here. You will be amused by the beauty of this place.You can witness the endless sea, a beautiful lighthouse and an amazing fort which altogether will give you feel of a perfect landscape.
This fort was built by the Portuguese rulers and has beautiful Italian design carved on the walls. You can see a massive reservoir and a huge bell there. The Fort has a glorious history and is seen as an important part of Nation as it stands holding the pride and conveying its significance to the generations. You can also see the gunpowder room in the upper fort and it is said that earlier there were 200 cannons installed for the defence of locals.
Its brilliant architecture as well as the breath-taking views it offers of the Arabian Sea collectively make it a top tourist fascination in the region. It is also a great spot to watch sunsets while in the Party Capital of India.
The Aguada fort is a monument to Portuguese construction and engineering. Although parts of it have fallen to the ravages of time, much of it is intact and it remains the best preserved Portuguese fort in India today.
It is named for the fresh water spring that gives the fort a constant supply of potable water, ‘agua’ being the Portuguese word for water and ‘Aguada’ signifying a place where water is collected. So well built and fiercely armed was this fort that it has never fallen into enemy hands. Read more +
Fort Aguada is a typical example of Portuguese military architecture. Built of durable laterite stone, so easily available all over Goa, its massive bulwarks which stand fully 5 metres high and 1.3 metres thick, have stood the test of time, lashed as they are by fierce monsoon storms and winds. The fort covers the entirety of the peninsula, and is built using the natural terrain in order to make it more difficult for its walls to be breached.
In addition to an enormous cistern in which over 2,000,000 gallons of water could be stored, the fort also contained a formidable citadel, secret passageways and the capacity for up to 200 canons.
How to Reach Aguada Fort
The fort is located on the pristine beach in Sinquerim village near Candolim.
– From Panji: If you are planning to visit the beautiful structure known as Aguada Fort, you can choose the roadways with the help of buses and taxis, which are readily available there. It will take you approx 40 minutes to reach the Fort as it is 15kms away.
– From Goa International Airport: If you wish to visit the Aguada Fort, you can hire a taxi or a bike and can also get buses from here. It will take you approx an hour or more to reach the Fort as it is 40 kms away from here.
Best Time to Visit Aguada Fort
If you are planning to visit the Magnificent Fort you can choose the months from October to March. During these months, you will be accompanied by the pleasant weather which will add more fun while you explore the beautiful Aguada Fort.
If you wish to know the best time during the day to visit this place you can go either visit Aguada Fort in the morning or in the evening as during these hours you won’t be facing the scorching sunlight which will make your visit more fun and satisfying.
What Not to Miss at Aguada Fort
Places to visit near Aguada Fort
There are several other places that you will enjoy visiting and are near to this beautiful structure of the Aguada Fort which will also be worthy of your time. You can visit places like :
1. St Remdius Chapel: It is an ideal destination for a great time with your dear ones. You can not only enjoy the attractions of this popular tourist spot, but this place also enables you to steal a self-indulgent moment for yourself as well. With so much to attract your thoughts and offer you pleasure at its best, get soaked in the character of adventure that you get to explore here.
2. Sinquerim Beach: It gives a variety of water-sports activities which combines windsurfing, fishing, water-skiing, scuba diving, etc. Also, you can enjoy the gorgeous Sinquerim beach with spiritual benefits, including meditation, yoga, exercises, and experience nature’s beauty.
3. Calizz: Also known as the heart of Goa this place is popular for Photo Fanatics, Experience Seekers, History Buffs as it is a living museum of Goan life through the ages. If you are visiting Goa this place should be in the must-visit section of your list. Anyone who wants to know about the core of Goa can be visit here and this place will not let you down.
4. Chaku Arts & Crafts: This place is well-known for exclusive gifts collection and you can easily get walnut wood carving at it’s best hand-carved furniture and souvenirs.