Life has a way of keeping you busy while you wonder, “what did I do with all these years?”. Goa can get you out of that business and can give you so many memories that you would treasure for a lifetime. Along with some gorgeous beaches and exquisite cafes, Goa offers opportunities to create experience in every nook and corner.
While some love to freeze all their moments on sun-kissed beaches and cosy bars, others love to explore the city, watch the colorful houses and admire the architecture and air that has still preserved the Portuguese touch.
I wanted to revel in architecture this time which is why we decided to dedicate a day of our vacation in exploring the forts of Goa beginning with Aguada and Chapora forts.
The entry to the fort is a modest walk of 5 minutes like the beginning of a great musical. Once you enter the fort, you see a sprawling area all around you with space to organize many orchestras together. The boundary is marked by a fence wide enough for someone to walk and patrol during day and night.
Fort Aguada Architecture:
By the looks of it, you could gauge that the fort must have been constructed to keep a watch. And rightly so, because the fort was built to keep a guard against the Dutch and the Marathas.
Aguada fort lighthouse
In the middle, there is a four-storeyed light house that must have aided in guarding the place. It still stands tall like a soldier of the armies that must have camped here – the fort refuses to budge, keeping a watch to ensure that it’s city is safe and sound.
Aguada Jail (Aguada Prison)
In olden times, the fort was used for water supply for the ships that docked here, but later the fort was used as a jail (prison). You could still see the windows laced with iron bars. While life must have been free outside, one might wonder what happened beyond these bars.
Fort Aguada timings and ticket:
Entry is free. Timings are 10: 00 am to 5:00 pm.
The fort is perched on Sinquerim beach (with Mandovi river flowing by) and is surrounded by the most beautiful resorts. You may want to spend a day in one of these resorts and enjoy the beautiful view overlooking Arabian sea.
You could also visit Candolim and Calangute beaches within a distance of 15 -20 mins. (by car) from Fort Aguada.
Chapora fort popularly called as The ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fort:
An hour & some 15 kms. away, Chapora fort is located, popularly known as the ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fort. This fort is more lively and charming with the best features of Goa, intact. The fort offers the best views of Chapora river, Arabian sea and Vagator beach. It’s like the best of everything served to you on a platter.
Chapora Fort Trek:
The fort has steep slopes on all sides. One has to trek their way to the fort that takes roughly 8 mins. – 10 mins. The path is very slippery and finding your grip is a bit tricky. Do climb in shoes only.
Vagator beach and the view from Chapora fort:
The fortified area of Chapora is even vaster than the one of Fort Aguada. The fort walls have collapsed at places but the place looks like a picnic area where you can come with family or friends to connect with your lighter side over a couple of sandwiches and coffee served hot from the thermoflask.
In bits and pieces, you would see people recreating the ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ pose leaning against the walls that have weakened over time. if you look beyond the fort, you see a mighty ocean trying to hug the shore, bringing presents that leave marks on sand.
If you have to pick a beach in North Goa, I would recommend Vagator. The beach looks surreal. You could book a cottage on the beach itself & enjoy the scenery.
Sunset at Chapora Fort:
Sunset at Chapora fort is the most magical thing you could experience in Goa. Watching the globe of orange with hues of yellow, settle along the blue ocean while the birds chirp in the background and the grass gets greener; it is therapeutic.
The cherry on the cake is the awesome pictures that you would click at this time.
Chapora fort timings:
Chapora fort opens at 7:00 am and remains open till 6:00 pm. After 6:00 pm, you would see some questionable elements with alcohol roaming around. Better to leave the place around then.
Chapora fort ticket:
Chapora fort is an unticketed place. You could enjoy these mesmerizing views and click awesome photographs at no cost. In return, the least you could do is not damage these buildings and discourage others from doing so.
Fort Aguada and Chapora fort are the most beautiful forts of Goa. You could actually go on a fort trail in Goa and do something unusual. If interested, read here to know about the other less known forts of Goa.
Word of caution:
- Some of these forts are said to be haunted. In all circumstances, do avoid these forts after sunset as they get deserted and no longer remain safe to hang around.
- Do not lean against the fort walls. Do not stand on the walls. These buildings are old & no longer maintained; the wall may collapse any time.