Goa was the stronghold of the Portuguese in India in the 16th and 17th-centuries. The forts and churches in Goa exhibit Portuguese architecture and heritage. Outstanding amongst the rest, the Aguada Fort in North Goa is one of the most favored tourist places. The strong fort stands majestically overseeing the Candolim Beach occupying the entire peninsula in Bardez. For more than 400 years, the intimidating fort has kept a watch on the waters of the Arabian Sea and the areas nearby. The fort was constructed in 1612 by the Portuguese, mainly as a defense against the Dutch and Marathas.
TheAguada Fort is strategically located at the concourse of the Arabian Sea and the Mandovi River. It is ideally situated to watch the ships sailing into the coast, particularly from Portugal. The design and construction of the fort are typically Portuguese and strong enough to withstand the ravages of years of severe storms and recurring invasions.
Aguada Fort History
The Aguada Fort was constructed with locally available durable red laterite stone. The ramparts are almost 5 meters high and one and a half meters in thickness. The embankments around the fort can house almost 79 cannons. The majestic architectural wonder is structured in two levels. The upper level was built as a storehouse for freshwater while the lower level was a docking point for the Portuguese ships. The cistern to store water is large enough to store more than 2,000,000 gallons of water. The storage of freshwater was a boon to ships to restock their water supply. The underground storage area can be accessed through a set of steps.
This place gets its name from the freshwater spring which provides water to ships that stop here. In Portuguese, ‘agua’ means ‘water’ and Aguada means ‘water storage area’. Hence, they named it as Aguada Fort.
The upper level also has a gunpowder room, a moat, and a four-story lighthouse. The lighthouse was constructed in 1864 and considered as one of the oldest of this type in Asia. They originally used oil lamps to emit beacons in every 7 minutes but this was a modernized structure with a 30-second beacon. The formidable fort’s outer walls were made to match the terrain of the area to make it even more inaccessible.
Fort Aguada can be accessed by road from the capital, Panaji, which is around 15 km from Aguada. There is also a 2 km trekking route but this adventurous path is a bit steep at places.
Tourists flock to this historic attraction in Goa in all the seasons. The panoramic view of the wide expanse of the Arabian Sea offers the right opportunity for photography, especially at sunset. Within the fort walls, there is an Aguada Jail where narcotics and smuggling accused were housed. This jail happens to be the largest jail in Goa but was closed in 2015.
Also within the ramparts is the luxurious Taj Hotel with its private Aguada Sea Beach. The Church of St. Lawrence, the patron saint of sailors, is situated at one corner of the fort, serving as a shield against close-range firing into the walls.
The Aguada Fort, the Aguada Taj, and the Aguada Sea Beach are all ideal spots for videography and photography and this place has featured in many Bollywood movies.
Aguada Fort Goa Timings: The fort remains open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm on all days.
Entry Fees: NIL