If you are a history aficionado and visiting Goa in southwestern India, do not forget to pay a visit to Aguada Fort, built by the Portuguese. Built from 1609 to 1612, the fort protected Portuguese rules against Dutch and Maratha invaders. The word Aguada comes from the Portuguese language, 'Agua' meaning 'water' - due to freshwater spring within the fort. It is believed that the sailors used to get their source of potable water from the fort's spring. So, let's experience a walk to remember at Aguada Fort in Goa.
Located at a distance of around 4.5 km from Candolim, you can hire cabs or scooters to reach the fort. If you want to avoid any sort of hassle while coming back from the fort, it is highly recommended to book a private cab - for a round trip. Most of the tourists visit the fort with a private cab. If you are taking a one-way cab, then finding one on the way back can get a little challenging. It is better to avoid that.
The Fort Aguada represents a fine example of Portuguese military architecture and design. It was constructed using laterite stone, which is widely available in Goa. The fort is divided into two parts. The upper part served as a fort, moat, underground water storage chamber, gun powder room, lighthouse, bastion, and a secret passageway used during wars/emergencies, while the lower part served as a safe place for Portuguese ships. In earlier days, the fort was considered to be the largest reservoir of freshwater in Asia, with a capacity to store 2,376,000 gallons of water.
A 4-storey lighthouse was built in 1864 and served as a navigational aid for boats/ships till 1976. Then, a new Aguada Lighthouse was built, which remains open to the public and offers scenic views around. For a small fee, you can climb the stairs of the lighthouse and indulge in photography and videography.
Surprisingly, a part of the fort is also used as a prison or jail, where the accused related to drug trafficking and narcotics are housed. It is also one of the largest jails in Goa, and the public viewing of the jail is highly restricted. Some locals visit the fort to find their way to see the jail, but that is almost next to impossible!
A popular Bollywood film, Dil Chahta Hai, was shot here, leading to the soaring popularity of the fort amongst youth and millennials, who want to click pictures at the same spot, almost in a similar pose of their favourite actors. The fort's rich history and enigmatic persona continue to attract both Indian and foreign tourists in large numbers.
From the fort, you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Mandovi River. Nearby attractions also include the Sinquerium Beach, Rocky Beach along with several street-side markets that are fun to explore. Besides, there are several nightclubs and restaurants in the vicinity to enjoy sumptuous meals and drinks with family and friends. There is also the Church of St. Lawrence around, and the common saying goes that it was built as a strategic measure to avoid firing shots in the surrounding areas. Do not miss the visit to this historically rich fort and explore a walk to remember at Aguada Fort in Goa.
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