Aguada Fort - Quick Guide
Aguada Fort - Overview
Aguada Fort is located on the banks of Mandovi River and tourists can watch the confluence of Mandovi River and Arabian Sea. The fort was built by Portuguese between 1609 and 1612 in order to protect themselves from the attack of the Dutch and the Marathas. The fort is impressively beautiful which depicts the beauty of the Portuguese architecture.
Aguada Fort is opened for public from 9:30am to 6:00pm. It takes around two hours to visit the fort. There are few monuments inside which the tourists can visit.
There is no entry fee to visit the fort. Tourists can visit the fort without any cost.
Where to Stay?
There are more than 1400 hotels in Goa where tourists can get their accommodation. The hotels range from inexpensive budget hotels to expensive five-star hotels. Tourists can also stay in resorts and guest houses which provide a comfortable stay. Good service is offered in all kinds of hotels.
Best Time to Visit
As Goa is situated on the sea shore so tourists can visit Goa and the fort any time. The best time to visit Goa is between October and January but the months of monsoon from June to September make Goa more beautiful.
Aguada Fort - History
Aguada Fort was built by Portuguese between 1609 and 1612. Most part of the fort has now been ruined but still people come to visit this fort. The fort was built in order to get protection from the invasion of Dutch and Marathas. A fresh water stream inside the fort was used as the water supply for the fort and that’s why the fort was named Aguada as in Portuguese agua means water.
Reasons for Building the Fort
Portuguese built this fort because the previous forts like Terekhol, Chapora and Rachol could not provide enough protection and could be invaded through water. Portuguese also constructed Reis Magos Fort, Cabo Fort, and Gasper Dias Fort but during the invasion of Dutch in 1604, the combined the forces of the three forts but still it was ineffective. Though Portuguese won the war but they incurred loss of lives as well as military resources. So they built Aguada fort.
Construction of the fort
Dom Filippe was the ruler of Portugal who provided facilities to build the fort. In order to raise funds, a tax was levied on the people. Portuguese Viceroy Ruy Tavara supervised the construction of the fort. The construction of this fort facilitated the Portuguese to store food supplies and weapons.
Sections of the Fort
There was a cistern in the fort which has the capacity to store 23,76,000 gallons of water. The fort has been divided into two parts in which the lower part was used to safely bring the ships to the harbour while the upper part was used as watering station and also as fort. Besides having gunpowder room, a big storage system for water, lighthouse and bastions was also there on the upper side. The upper part also has a secret passage to escape during invasion.
Aguada Fort - Architecture
Laterite stone was used to build the fort. The stone was easily available in Goa and so was used to construct the fort. The height of the wall is 5m while the thickness is 1.3m. The fort has been built on Bardez peninsula and the area of the fort covers the whole peninsula.
The fort was built on the basis of Italian designs. Besides having sections for ships and fort, the monument also had prisons, barracks, and living quarters. The walls of the fort were surrounded by bastions having parapets to fire cannons. Mae de Agua or Mother of Water is a spring that exists even today. The fort is square in shape and has bastions on three sides for using artillery. The fourth side has a gate that faces steep towards the river.
The lighthouse of the fort is of four storey and was used to emit light through lamps after every seven minutes. Before the construction of this lighthouse, bonfires were used to guide the ships to the harbours. The bonfires were lit on the Hill of Pilots. This lighthouse was abandoned in 1976 and a new lighthouse was constructed. Tourists can climb up the new light house by giving a small amount and can view the surroundings from top.
The lighthouse has curving staircase which goes up to the lamp house. A copper plaque is also there in the commemoration of Viceroy Ruy Tavara and architect of the fort. A bell was also there in the lighthouse which later became a part of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church in Panaji.
A part of the fort has now been converted into one of the largest jail in Goa. Due to its frequent use, the jail is not opened for public. Salazar administration converted the fort into jail. During the freedom struggle of Goa from Portuguese, many protesters were imprisoned in 1946.
There is a statue in front of the jail to commemorate this struggle. In the statue, a mother keeping her male child in her lap breaks the chains is shown. A ceremony to commemorate this struggle is organized on 18th June every year.
How to Reach Aguada Fort?
Tourists can reach Goa by road, rail and air transport. The airport for Goa is around 29km away from Panaji. Goa doesn’t have its railway station but there are three stations nearby from where tourists can reach Panaji through road transport. Goa is well connected to various cities through road transport. Some of the nearby places with their approximate distance from Goa are as follows −
- Goa to Hubli
- By air - 117km
- By rail – 173km
- By road – 159km
- Goa to Kolhapur
- By air - 154km
- By rail – 354km
- By road – 238km
- Goa to Pune
- By air - 357km
- By rail – 492km
- By road – 473km
- Goa to Mangalore
- By air - 283km
- By rail – 362km
- By road – 358km
- Goa to Belgaum
- By air - 78km
- By rail – 135km
- By road – 130km
Goa has its airport situated in Dabolim which is around 29km away from Goa. The airport is called Goa International Airport or Dabolim Airport. The airport is also shared by military airbase named INS Hansa. The airport has two terminals in which Terminal 1 is for domestic flights while Terminal 2 is for international flights. Domestic flights connect Goa to Hyderabad, Delhi Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai while international flights connect Goa to Gulf, Arab, Oman etc.
Goa does not have its railway station but nearest railway stations are Madgaon, Vasco da Gama, and Thivim. Madgaon is 28km away from Goa while Vasco da Gama is 46km away. The distance between Thivim and Goa is 60km. All the stations and especially Madgaon is well connected to many parts of India.
Goa is well-connected to different cities through road transport. Tourists can catch bus from Pune, Belgaum, Kolhapur, Mangalore, etc. and reach Kadamba bus stand at Panjim. Tourists can also book taxis and come to Goa.
There are many modes of local transport which the tourists can use to roam around Goa. There are motorcycle taxis where the rider called AOPilot takes you for a trip inside Goa. These motorcycles are black in colour with yellow mudguards. Auto rickshaws are also available to move around Goa. Besides these, rented bikes, rented cars and taxis are also available.
Aguada Fort - Nearby Places
Goa is popular for beaches and churches and many of them are nearby Aguada fort within the range of around 1km to 40km. Here we will discuss about some of them.
Sinquerim beach is a sea beach where tourists can enjoy various water sports like scuba diving, fishing, water skiing, etc. The beach is located nearby Aguada beach from where Aguada fort can be seen. There are many hotels and resorts nearby the beach where people can accommodate themselves. Sinquerim beach is 1.5km from Aguada fort.
Candolim beach is 2km away from Aguada fort and 15km away from Panjim. It is considered to be one of the longest beach and is very calm and peaceful. The beach has many shops and restaurants. The sand of this beach is white in colour and has scrubcovered dunes.
Shantadurga Temple is around 33km from Aguada fort where Goddess Shree Durga is worshipped. The goddess is considered as the kuldevi of Goud Saraswat Brahmi clan. The idol of the goddess is installed on a mud shrine which was converted into temple whose construction was started in 1730. According to Hindu mythology, Shantadurga mediated between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.
Church of Lady Immaculate Conception
The distance between Aguada Fort and Church of Lady Immaculate Conception is around 16km. Portuguese built this church in 1541 which was later replaced by colonial Portuguese with a larger church.
The church has beautiful interior and an altar here is dedicated to Mother Mary. There are two altars one on each side of the main altar. One alter has the statue of crucified Jesus Christ and other has the statue of Mother Mary.