Terekhol fort, also called Tiracol fort, is a fort in Goa, India. Located on the northern tip of Goa at the mouth of Terekhol river, Terekhol fort is reached by a car ferry from Querim, 42 km North of Panaji. The name probably originated from the Marathi tir-khol meaning “steep river-bank”.
The fort was originally built by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, in the 17th century.The site chosen was a hillock on the Northern (right) bank of the river, which gave a commanding view of the Arabian sea. The Bhonsles of Sawantwadi kept a sizeable fleet of native vessels which sheltered in the Terekhol river. The fort initially consisted of 12 guns, a barrack and a chapel.
In 1746, the Portuguese under the 44th Viceroy of Goa, Pedro Miguel de Almeida Portugal e Vasconcelos, conde de Assumar, marquis de Alorna], waged war against the Raja of Sawantwadi. On 16 November 1746, de Almeida brought the Portuguese fleet up to the river Kaisuva, waged a fierce maritime engagement against the naval forces of the Raja of Sawantwadi in which the Portuguese defeated the Sawantwadi forces utterly. Several skirmishes on land followed and Terekhol fort was finally surrendered on 23 Nov 1746 to the Protuguese.
The fort became an important part of Portuguese maritime defenses; being extensively revamped in 1764. It remained in Portuguese control till December 1961 when the last of Portuguese territorial positions in the subcontinent were forcibly annexed by India.
On 17 February 1819, following the defeat of the Marathas, a treaty was signed by Raja Bhonsle Khaima Sawunt of Sawunt Warree who recognised British suzerainity. This treaty effectively abolished the strategic importance of the fort, as it became an enclave in territory controlled by British allies.
During the Portuguese Civil War, the fort served as a rebel stronghold during an uprising in 1825 against the Portuguese led by Dr. Bernardo Peres da Silva, the first Goan born Viceroy of Goa. It was greatly damaged but the fort and the chapel were later rebuilt. A ruthless Commandant, “Tiger-killer” da Cunha entered the fort and ordered the beheading of the entire garrison and the placing of the heads onstakes.
Terekhol fort was a symbolic location where freedom fighters from Goa demonstrated from time to time. On 15 August 1954, Satyagrahis protesting Portuguese rule entered Goa from three different directions – one of which was from the North to Terekhol fort, which was occupied and flew the Indian flag for a day before they were captured and imprisoned.
A Church for the Holy Trinity was constructed in the fort courtyard by de Almeida after its capture. This later became the century old Church of St. Anthony.
Now, in a state of ruins, The Terekhol fort has been converted into a hotel, the Terekhol Fort Heritage. The church is not open to the general public except on certain occasions such as the annual feast that is usually held in May.
Overlooking the beautiful Keri beach , on the coast of the Arabian Sea , the 16th century Terekhol (Tiracol) Fort is an architectural spectacle. This fort, situated on the north side of the banks of the Terekhol River. The Tiracol Fort Heritage is situated in the northern most fore land of Goa. It is 42 km from Panjim at the north most Taluka of Pernem, cut off from Goa by Tiracol river.
It was invaded by the Portuguese, who rebuilt it again in 1764 AD for the defense of Goa. Later, in 1961, the fort was used as a ground for freedom fighters during the liberation of Goa. Presently, this fort has been converted into a heritage hotel providing beautiful views of enchanting gun-enclosures and the vast sea.
Attractions Of Fort
The fort has in its courtyard the century old Church of St. Anthony. The church is opened only on special occasions and has a classical late Goan facade. The church is full of light and dominates an elegant look.
Cross the court and walk up the narrow stone stairs, through short passages into split level rooms, which follow the shapes of headland: old furniture, superb views over the river Tiracol and the beaches and are the main attractions of the fort.
Fort Tiracol Turned to a Heritage Hotel
Fort Therekol in “Goa” now runs as a hotel called Fort Tiracol. The rooms within the church have been converted into beautiful massive rooms with multi-cuisine bar and restaurant. All rooms are equipped with modern facilities.onstituent of Goan history, and being one of the most important India forts it is also very popular with those indulging in historical travel activities of Goa.
Near By Places
Keri beach, North of Arambol is a completely uncorrupted and rarely visited stretch of sand supported by Casuarina trees all the way down to Arambol Highland.
A tiny hamlet of Paliem village lies on the plateau about 5kms north of Arambol just before the road sinks to the thick wooden sides to Keri and the Tiracol Ferry is also worth a visit.
You can also visit a pottery studio, a carpenters shop, a toddy taper and the fishing villages near to the fort.
How To Reach
Taxi from Panjim (50 km) Bus Stand (Next To Kadamba Bus Stand) will cost Rs 800 to Keri, then ferry to Tiracol.
Ferry Tickets and Timings
Vehicle Rs 10: 6:30 am – 9:30 pm, after every 30 minutes..