Corjuem Fort

Khorjuve or Corjuem is a small island that is very picturesque and that is situated 2 km from Aldona in the Bardez taluka of the north Goa district. The island’s name according to the late Fr Moreno de Souza originates from Khor as in khorik which means deep or lower and Zunvem which means island. However according to some people khor also meant tough or hot-headed.

Corjuem is well connected with Aldona by a road bridge which is a major source of attraction as it is built according to the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge. The island comprises of 10 vaddes known as Cuxem, Primeiro Vaddo, Segundo Vaddo, Podwal, Sinkeri, Colomb, Baga, Barazon, Novi Khazon and Khursachi Muddi. The people of Corjuem are known for their singing. The island has a number of houses and bungalows and elects three panchayats to the Aldona-Corjuem panchayat.

An Old Portuguese fort known as the Corjuem fort is another attraction in Khorguem. This fort built in 1705 is one of the only two inland forts that are surviving made of pitted laterite. In the eighteenth century this fort protected the Portuguese from the Marathas, Bhonsles and the Rane Rajputs. The fort also has an interesting story according to which an ambitious Portuguese woman named Ursula e Lancastre landed up here as a soldier as she was determined to succeed in a man’s world and also dressed like one. The earlier chapel of St Anthony was known to have been in the Corjuem Fort.

One can see a small chapel dedicated to Mae de Deus (Mother of God) whose feast is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. This chapel was erected by Joao Felipe Ferreira from Divar in 1854 at his own cost along with some contributions from the islanders. Thus the Catholics at the Corjuem Island celebrate two main festivals – one of Mae de Deus and the other of St Anthony in June.

There is a temple in Corjuem known as the Shri Sateri Panchayatan Praxn temple. Also the main Hindu deity in Corjuem is Kalambadevi Satpurush who has six affiliate temples. One will also find a school here known as the Mae de Deus High School. For health care there is a Health Centre and the Corjuem Gymkhana Club. There are ferry services available from Aldona that take you to Corjuem. A railway line is also located nearby.

At a distance of 22 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 49 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 12 km from Mapusa, Corjuem Fort is a fortress situated 4 km from Aldona on the island of Corjuem in North Goa.

Corjuem Fort is also known as Khorjuem Fort. It is smaller than the other forts in Goa, but it gives a good view of the surrounding river and land. According to late Father Moreno de Souza the island name originates from Khor as in khorik which means deep or lower and Zunvem which means island.
The Corjuem Fort was constructed in the year 1551. The fort is a relatively small fort and is square shaped. The walls are wide and have numerous gun ports and murder holes. At each corner of the fort is a ramp like stair that leads to the ramparts. The Fort has a well and a three room living quarters. The chapel of St. Anthony was earlier known to have been in the Corjuem Fort.
The Corjuem Fort was protected by the Portuguese from the Marathas, Bhonsles and the Rane Rajputs in the 19th century. This Fort is also associated with a Portuguese lady soldier named Ursula e Lancaster, who tried to make it big in a man’s world. She disguised herself as man and joined the army. Finally her secret was discovered when she was captured and stripped. But the woman was in a different league, she ended up marrying the captain of the guard.

The Fort is surrounded by lush greenery and one can get a full view of beautiful villages and islands nearby. The Fort is built out of pitted laterite stones. In the early 1800s, the Fort was used as a Military School and had in its defenses a battery of four guns. The fortress defended the town of Corjuem and also had a chapel under parochial church of Aldona. Corjuem is well connected with Aldona by a cable suspension bridge which is a major source of attraction and it is the only suspension bridge in Goa.

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