Goa’s checkered history is dotted with vestiges of her past. Forts bear mute testimony to this and serve as relics of colonization and an important tourist destination as well. Fort Aguada is one of the best and strongest ever forts built by the Portuguese in Goa. Located in the north of Goa, fort Aguada lies at the tip of the Mandovi estuary and still stands lofty. The Tiracol fort on the other hand is small yet very strategically straddled in the northern border region of Goa with the river Tiracol to its north. This fort owes its history to the Indian ruler Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle who built it to offset possible reprisals from the sea route. The Chapora fort also lies in the north of Goa on the southern bank of the Chapora river and was built by the Muslim ruler Adil Shah, which was later captured by the Portuguese. The fort of Cabo-De-Rama is located in the south of Goa in the Canacona taluka. Fierce battles were waged by the Portuguese against the Hindu rulers of Goa to capture this fort. Legend has it that the Hindu God Lord Rama and his wife sought refuge here during their exile spanning 14 years. A small yet serene chapel in the bosom of the fort is still in use. This fort offers a panoramically mesmerizing view of the mighty Arabian sea from its ramparts with the horizon as its backdrop!
The fort was constructed in 1612 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi river. It was initially tasked with defense of shipping and the nearby Bardez District.
A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name: Aguada, meaning Water. Crews of passing ships would often visit to replenish their fresh water stores. On the fort stands a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia. Built in 1612, it was once the grandstand of 79 cannons, a moat around the fort also protected it.
Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of Portuguese. The fort is so large that it envelops the entire peninsula at the south western tip of Bardez. Built on the mouth of river Mandovi, it was strategically located and was the chief defence of Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas.
During the Salazar Administration, Fort Aguada was repurposed for use as a prison primarily, some claim, for Salazar’s political opponents. Many of its inmates are Western tourists serving time for drug-related crimes.