Explore the Aguada Fort in North Goa which has played a significant part in shaping the history of Goa in the bygone era. You could explore this fort without paying a penny, but a lump sum ticket is required to explore the Lighthouse.
Aguada Fort in Candolim is located at Aguada Siolim Road. The glorious fort personifies the finest craftsmanship and engineering of the Portuguese rulers. Standing in its grandeur for 400 years (approx.), Aguada Fort overlooks the Arabian Sea, and one can watch the confluence of The Mandovi River with the Arabian Sea. Adjacent to the fort is secluded white sandy Chapora Beach. A lighthouse is newly built over the edge of the cliff. Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa is positioned along the fort walls, which personifies a luxurious stay to the notch level.
Within the Aguada Fort Complex, a series of prison cells and ammunition rooms are now closed to tourists. A 1 km walk from the fort will take you to the Church of St Lawrence. Candolim Beach, Rocky Beach, Sinquerim Fort/Beach is located within 6 kilometers (approx.) from Aguada Fort. Shutterbugs would be in a constant retreat because the sweeping views of the Arabian Ocean while witnessing sunrise is a sight to behold. The Aguada Fort has two gates and double walls, which protect the fort from invaders.
This 17th-century fort depicts the Portuguese rulers' glory, who carved Italian designs on the walls. There is a massive reservoir, a giant bell, and a gunpowder room in the upper part of the fort. Inside the fort, there are washrooms for tourists. The fort premises have parking options for two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Once you park your vehicle, be prepared to walk through a rough pathway to reach the fort hilltop.
History of Aguada Fort
Aguada Fort was built from 1609 to 1612 under the reign of that time Viceroy of Goa, Ruy Tavara. The Portuguese reign built this impressive fort because of its ideal location as crews of replenished ships used to take a halt to portable stock water from the spring as the freshwater spring was once located within the fort.
Owing to its location as it is sandwiched between the Arabian Sea and Mandovi River, the Portugue power built this fort to guard and defend the Portuguese stronghold in the Goan vicinity from the Marathas and the Dutch invaders.
After nearly two decades, the fort premises has got its four-storied Lighthouse which serves as a vantage point to overlook ships and vessels on Sea. However, in 1976, the Lighthouse was abandoned, and the concerned authorities decided to shut it down.
The historical texts mention that Aguada Fort was the answer to the other forts in Goa. Portuguese rulers believed that other forts like Cabo Fort and Reis Magos Fort could easily be invaded. So to stop the invasion in the territory of Goa, where Portuguese influence was active, Aguada Fort was made because the Arabian Sea surrounds it.
Overview of Aguada Fort Architecture
Portugal's ruler Dom Phillippe was the first one who provided the facilities to construct the fort. Funds were raised by levying taxes on the people. The final construction work was carried out under the commanding Viceroy of Goa at that time, Ruy Tavara. The two gates and double walls of the Aguada Fort worked as a strategic defense system for the Portuguese establishment.
Fort Aguada is divided into 2 segments; the upper part and the lower part. The lower part served as the safe berth for Portuguese ships that used to stock freshwater. While the upper part acted as the fort and water station, along with a moat, gunpowder room, and bastions. The Portuguese commissioned Aguada Fort architecture to make a secret escape passage to commute in times of uncontrollable war and certain emergencies.
In the lower part of the Aguada Fort is Aguada Fort Jail, which was operational until 2014. Now the Goa Government and Tourism Department is looking forward to making it a heritage museum for tourists.
Location or How Far from the Dabolim Airport
Aguada Fort is located at Fort Aguada Rd, Aguada Fort Area, Candolim, Goa/
Getting There to Aguada Fort: From Goa International Airport And Panjim
Getting to Aguada Fort is easy from Dabolim International Airport as it is just 39 kilometers/1 hour (approx.). Those coming from Panjim must travel around 16 kilometers/34 minutes (approx.). Buses from the other towns of Goa opiate from Mapusa frequently.
Ideal Duration to Explore the Aguada Fort
1 hour (approx.) is enough to explore Aguada Fort
Timings: The grandeur of Aguada Fort could be explored between 9:30 AM - 6:30 AM on all seven days of the week.
Is There Any Entrance Fee for Aguada Fort?
No! There is no entry fee for Aguada Fort exploration. But one needs to pay for parking their vehicle. Therefore, expect to pay 50 INR (approx.) for two-wheelers and 100 INR (approx.) for four-wheelers.
Best Time to Visit Aguada Fort
Except for scorching summer days, every other season is a great time to visit Aguada Fort. Moreover, we suggest you visit Aguada Fort early in the morning in summer from March till June as the temperature goes up to 40 degrees Celsius. Monsoon commences from July till September, the best time to go to Aguada Fort to witness the sweeping views of Arabian Sea waves. Furthermore, winter starts from October to February and is the peak season to visit Aguada Fort with like-minded tourists.
Top Places to Visit and Things to Do Near Aguada Fort
Apart from the fort exploration, tourists can indulge in a range of things to do near Aguada Fort. one can explore Aguada Beach next to the fort. There are many places to visit near Aguada Fort, most of which are beaches like Baga, Calangute, Sinquerum, and Reis Magos Fort. So let's take a deeper dive into what you should not miss when you are in and around Aguada Fort in North Goa:
- Reis Magos Fort: This is another historical attraction in North Goa overlooking the Mandovi River, just 9.6 km from Aguada Fort. You will enjoy the sweeping views of the majestic Arabian Sea from the backdrops.
- Sinquerim Beach: With water sports like scuba diving, and windsurfing as the main highlights, Sinquerim Beach is located 3.2 kilometers (approx.) from Aguada Fort. Beach shacks and resorts are dotted around Sinquerim Beach.
- Calangute Beach: Enjoy parasailing, water skiing, and water surfing amidst the pristine waters and dip your toes in the golden sands of Calangute Beach. It is just 8.8 km (approx.) from Aguada Fort.
- Baga Beach: Soak sun, sand, and open, enthralling nightlife vibes at the various beach shacks at Baga Beach. This beach is 11 kilometers (approx.) from Aguada Fort and is one of the best beaches in Goa to enjoy a hippie's way of living.
Popular Beach Shacks and Restaurants Near Aguada Fort
- Morisco Restaurant: Located inside the Taj Fort Aguada Resort and Spa, Morisco Restaurant is a beachfront eating restaurant near Aguada Fort. Nosh on Chinese, Goan, and continental cuisine overlooking the Arabian Sea. Meals for two start at 1,500 INR (approx.).
- Work and Roll: It is an open-air eatery where vegans can browse various menus along with Asian and Chinese cuisine. Work and Roll are located on the way to Aguada Fort, and meals for two here start at 500 INR (approx.) onwards.
- Cohiba Bar And Kitchen: Live band, great music, American, Indian, and other cuisines highlight Cohiba Bar And Kitchen. All you have to follow is a dress code and no flip-flops. Meals for two here start at 1,200 INR (approx.) onwards.
Shopping Places Near and Around Aguada Fort
- Gulzar Jeweler: As the name suggests, it is a great place to shop pure jewels with real gold and stone authenticity.
- Calangute Market: Unleash the shopaholic in you at Calangute Market and shop for trinkets, seashells, Goan attire, and local souvenirs.
- Mackie's Night Bazaar: Enjoy the night shopping experience at Mackie's Night Bazaar after sunset. This place boasts tasty eateries and shops that sell handicraft materials at pocket-friendly prices.
Essential Travel Tips to Know Before Visiting Aguada Fort
- Morning hours and evening hours are the best time to visit Aguada Fort
- Don't litter waste and plastic inside the fort
- Become a responsible tourist
- Follow the instructions by the staff while climbing the Lighthouse
Ans. Aguada Fort is known to defend the Portuguese stronghold in Goa against the Dutch and the Maratha invaders. Also, due to its location at the junction of the Arabian Sea and the Mandovi River, Aguada Fort became the most prized fortress for the Portuguese in the 17th century.
Ans. The Portuguese built the Aguada Fort jail. They started the fort’s construction in 1609 CE and completed it by 1612 CE.
Ans. The Aguada Fort is more than 400 years old and never fails to impress tourists with its rich history and views.