Once renowned as one of the biggest freshwater reservoirs in Asia,Aguada Fort is the crowning beauty of Portuguese legacy in Goa, India. More than 400 years old, Fort Aguada was built in 1612 and overlooks the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea.The fort was built in 1612 to protect the Portuguese colony from Dutch and Maratha attacks and is located on a peninsula in Bardez. Its name, "Aguada," comes from the Portuguese word for water, as it was an important source of freshwater for sailors, with a capacity of up to 2,376,000 gallons of water.
The fort never ceases to attract tourists with its splendid beauty and rich history and its main attraction being a four-storied lighthouse that offers a spectacular view of the sunset. The grandeur of the fort can be imagined by witnessing its formidable citadel, gun powder storage, iron studded doors, secret passages, and a capacity to house 200 cannons in the upper part.The fort has also served as a jail, and there is a statue outside honoring freedom fighters which adds a patriotic touch to the fort. The brilliant architecture and stunning views of the Arabian Sea makes the fort one of the best tourist destinations to visit in Goa.
Entry Fee and Timings
Timing â€“ 9:30am to 6pm
Entry Fee â€“ Free
Location â€“ Candolim, North Goa
The Aguada Fort traces its origin to 1609during the Portuguese rule when it was constructed to protect the Portuguese empire from the Dutch and Marathas. The construction took three years, and the fort was completed in 1912 under the management of Viceroy RuyTavara. The word Aguada translates to freshwater in Portuguese language which is from where the fort derives its name because of a freshwater spring located within it.
The fort was strategically built at the mouth of the Mandovi River, and it was equipped with a freshwater spring, which was essential for the sailors and troops. It was built using red laterite stone, and it has a massive, four-story lighthouse tower that was used to guide ships and boats to the harbor.During the Portuguese colonial rule, the fort was used as a prison, and it housed many political prisoners, including the former Viceroys of Goa. The fort was also used to store ammunition, food, and water supplies for the Portuguese navy.In 1961, when the Indian army invaded Goa, the Portuguese forces surrendered without a fight, and the fort was handed over to the Indian army.
In 1864, a four-storied lighthouse was constructed within the fortâ€™s premises which helped the ships and vessels sailing from Europe to use it as a reference point. This lighthouse was later abandoned in 1976 and was closed for public viewing, but a new lighthouse was erected in the premises which is ow called Aguada Lighthouse. The fort has been well-maintained, and visitors can explore the fort's underground water storage chambers, the lighthouse tower, and the old prison cells. Today, the fort is a popular tourist attraction, and it is also used by the Indian Navy as a signal station.The fort also offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and is a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
The Aguada Fort is a spectacular specimen of the Portuguese military style of architecture combined with the Indian architectural style. The fort is situated on a hill overlooking the Arabian Sea and has a lighthouse, a moat, and underground water storage facilities.The fort was built using laterite stone, which is a red or brownish-colored rock that was abundant in Goa.The walls of the fort are 5 meters high and 1.3 meters wide, with bastions at intervals. The bastions have circular towers, which were used as watchtowers and for defense purposes.
Aguada fort is categorized into two parts â€“ the upper part and the lower part. The upper part was meant to serve as a fort along with a huge watering station, while the lower part was expanded to have a safe berth for the Portuguese ships. The fort has two entrances, one from the landward side and the other from the seaward side. The landward entrance is protected by a drawbridge, and the seaward entrance has a vaulted tunnel that leads to the fort's inner courtyard.The fort's inner courtyard has a large cistern that was used to store water which was one of the largest freshwater storages in Asia. The cistern has a capacity of around 10 million liters of water and was designed to provide water to the fort's occupants in case of a siege.
The lighthouse at the fort is a prominent feature and is one of the oldest in Asia. It was built in 1864 and stands at a height of 13 meters. The lighthouse was originally powered by kerosene lamps but was later electrified in the early 20th century. The fort complex also features a gunpowder room, bastions, and a moat. There is also a secret passage that was constructed to help the occupants escape in case of any crisis or war.
Things to See in the Aguada Fort Complex
- The Lighthouse Tower: The lighthouse tower is a four-story structure that was used to guide ships and boats to the harbor. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
- The Underground Water Storage Chambers: The fort has a unique system of underground water storage chambers that were used to store freshwater for the sailors and troops. Visitors can explore these chambers and learn about their historical significance.
- The Prison Cells: The fort was used as a prison during the Portuguese colonial rule, and visitors can see the old prison cells that housed political prisoners, including former Viceroys of Goa.
- The Cannon Emplacements: The fort has several cannon emplacements that were used to defend the fort from enemy attacks. Visitors can see these emplacements and learn about the various types of cannons used during the Portuguese era.
- The Church of St. Lawrence: The Church of St. Lawrence is located within the fort complex and is one of the oldest surviving churches in Goa. The church is a fine example of Portuguese architecture and features beautiful frescoes and paintings.
Facts About Aguada Fort
- The oldest lighthouse of its kind in Asia can be found at Fort Aguada complex.
- Originally using oil lamps to guide ships, the Fort Aguada lighthouse was later upgraded to emit light every 30 seconds in 1834.
- The Fort Aguada lighthouse was adorned with a giant bell salvaged from the ruins of the Church of St. Augustine in Old Goa before being moved to the Church of Immaculate Conception in Panjim.
- Fort Aguada has been featured in several Bollywood films including Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa starring Shahrukh Khan, as well as Golmaal and Singham, both starring Ajay Devgan.
- The fort boasts 79 cannons that were once used to defend the area.
- Built by the Portuguese, the Church of St. Lawrence stands near Fort Aguada and was constructed to prevent enemy soldiers from firing on the fort from close range.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Fort Aguada and Goa, in general, is between November and February when the weather is pleasant, and the humidity is low. During this time, the temperature rangesbetween 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for exploring the fort and the beaches nearby.
Places to Visit Nearby
- Candolim Beach: Candolim Beach is located just a short distance from the fort and is a popular tourist spot in Goa. The beach is known for its soft sand, clear waters, and stunning sunset views.
- Calangute Beach: Calangute Beach is another popular tourist destination located near the Aguada Fort. The beach is known for its vibrant atmosphere, water sports activities, and lively nightlife.
- Anjuna Beach: juna Beach is a beautiful and secluded beach located about 15 km from the Aguada Fort. The beach is known for its pristine waters, rocky cliffs, and stunning views.
- Chapora Fort: Chapora Fort is located about 10 km from the Aguada Fort and is a popular tourist attraction in Goa. The fort offers panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and is a great spot to watch the sunset.
- Mapusa Market: Mapusa Market is a bustling market located about 10 km from the Aguada Fort. The market is known for its fresh produce, spices, handicrafts, and clothing.
- Reis Magos Fort: Reis Magos Fort is located about 7 km from the Aguada Fort and is a popular tourist attraction in Goa. The fort was built in the 16th century and offers stunning views of the Mandovi River.
- Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa: This luxury hotel is located within the Aguada Fort complex and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea. The hotel features an outdoor pool, a spa, and several restaurants.
- Vivanta Goa, Panaji: This upscale hotel is located about 12 km from the Aguada Fort and offers comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities. The hotel features an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and several dining options.
- Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort: This beachfront resort is located about 4 km from the Aguada Fort and offers comfortable rooms and cottages with modern amenities. The resort features an outdoor pool, a spa, and several dining options.
- Novotel Goa Resort & Spa: This upscale hotel is located about 9 km from the Aguada Fort and offers comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities. The hotel features an outdoor pool, a spa, and several dining options.
- Fortune Acron Regina: This upscale hotel is located about 7 km from the Aguada Fort and offers comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities. The hotel features an outdoor pool, a spa, and several dining options.
- Whispering Palms Beach Resort: This charming resort is located about 4 km from the Aguada Fort and offers comfortable rooms and cottages with modern amenities. The resort features an outdoor pool, a spa, and several dining options, and is set amidst lush tropical gardens.
- LPK Waterfront: A popular open-air nightclub with a waterfront location, offering a unique party experience with its Greek-style decor and lively atmosphere.
- Sinq Nightclub: A luxurious nightclub with a large pool area and multiple dance floors, known for its sophisticated ambiance and trendy music.
- Club Cabana: A famous hilltop nightclub with stunning views of the surrounding landscape, featuring multiple dance floors, a swimming pool, and a variety of music.
- Tito's Nightclub: A legendary nightclub located in Baga, known for its lively atmosphere, popular DJs, and an extensive bar menu.
- Cape Town Cafe: A lively beachside cafe and bar located near the Candolim Beach, popular among tourists and locals alike, offering a laid-back atmosphere, live music, and delicious food and drinks.
How to Reach
- By Car or Taxi: Visitors can hire a car or taxi to reach the fort from Panaji or other parts of Goa. The drive to the fort takes about 30 minutes from Panaji, and about 1 hour from Goa's Dabolim Airport.
- By Bus: There are several state-run and private buses that operate from Panaji and other parts of Goa to Aguada Fort. Visitors can take a bus to Sinquerim Bus Stop, which is located about 1 km from the fort.
- By Motorcycle or Scooter: Visitors can also rent a motorcycle or scooter to reach the fort from Panaji or other parts of Goa. This is a popular option for tourists who want to explore Goa at their own pace.
- By Boat: Visitors can take a boat ride from Panaji or other parts of Goa to reach Aguada Fort. Several tour operators offer boat tours of the Mandovi River and the coastline of North Goa, which includes a stop at Aguada Fort.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Why is Aguada Fort famous?
The fort is an example of Portuguese military style and Italian style of architecture and was built to protect the Portuguese from the invasions. It is so big that it envelops the entire peninsula at the southwestern tipoff Bardez.
Who built Aguada Fort?
The fort was built by the Portuguese during their rule in Goa in 1612 for protection from the invasion of Dutch and Marathas.
Is Aguada fort north or south Goa?
Is there any entry fee for Aguada fort?
No, there is no entry fee for Aguada fort.