Goa is far from giving up its title as India's hottest travel destination. From impromptu college trips to honeymoons, Goa has been serving travellers of all ages and types as the perfect go-to destination for years now.
While Goa always had the right vibe that attracted the right tribe, the place definitely saw super success post the release of Dil Chahta Hai. The movie and its characters remain relevant even today, but the biggest star that it created was India's favourite party place.
The movie gave us several iconic scenes, especially the one that features an old Goa fort. Similarly, Goa has several other fort structures that are absolutely worth visiting. Between South and North Goa, here are seven forts in Goa that should make it to your travel itinerary.
Known for its heritage and diverse architectural edifices, the southern region of Goa contrasts the vibrant, lively scene of North Goa. The forts in South Goa should be on your itinerary even if you are planning to explore the southern part of the state just for a day.
1. Cabo de Rama Fort
On the coast of Canacona, Cabo de Rama is an old Goa fort with an extensive history. The fort was a part of long-fetched wars between Hindu and Mughal dynasties for establishing control, before it finally fell into the hands of the Portuguese.
Among the many tales surrounding this fort, it is also said to be one of the places where Lord Rama and Sita resided during the course of their 14-year exile.
More recently, in post-independence India, this fort was used as a prison. As of today, you can find the Church of Santo Antonio which is a favourite with local devotees as well as tourists.
Open Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
2. Mormugão Fort
The credit for building and preserving this fort in its initial days goes to the Portuguese. It was meant to be a coastal fort that stood tall and mighty in protecting the port. It was eventually abandoned as the Portuguese started exploring the other parts of the state.
The fort is located at the coast where River Zuari meets the sea. The south Goa fort features a chapel from the Portuguese rule which is accessible to tourists to date.
Open Timings: Always Open
Forts In North Goa
Completely contrary to the scenic, peaceful South Goa, North Goa is more popular among travellers from all over the world. Here, the party culture co-exists with nature, history, and a stunning landscape. With a prominent number of tourists visiting round-the-year, the government works towards preserving the forts in North Goa in order to maintain the cultural places in the state.
3. Fort Aguada
The north Goa fort is preserved and protected by the Archaeological Survey of India as a monument of National Importance. It was built in 1612 for defence against the Dutch. The famous Aguada Fort lighthouse was erected later in the 19th century. The fort also served to provide freshwater to the naval forces with its iconic freshwater spring on the fort premises.
It is located at the shore of river Mandovi and Sinquerim beach, with an outstanding view of the sea and the fish farmers.
Open Timings: 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM
4. Chapora Fort
It is one of the most sought after tourist spots in the forts in Goa list. From the Portuguese and Mughals to the King of Savantadi and the Bhosale lineage, Chapora happens to be among the best forts in Goa and has been under varying administrations. The actual fort, unfortunately, is in ruins - pretty different from its once glorious looking structure.
It is situated along the coasts of Chapora River, in the region of Bardez. And yes, this is the famous fort in Goa that catapulted to fame post getting featured in the movie Dil Chahta Hai.
Open Timings: Always Open
5. Tiracol Fort
Like many other forts in north Goa, the fort called Tiracol or Terekhol passed under several rules and rulers. In the end, it served as an important maritime fort for the Portuguese.
The fort has been converted into a heritage hotel that you must plan a stay at. This stunning site offers picturesque views, and still houses an old chapel that is open for visitors only on certain days. You won't see typical Indian architecture here due to the modern restoration of the fort with western influences in design.
Open Timings: Always Open
6. Reis Magos Fort
The famous fort in Goa is a structure honouring the three wise men referred to in Bible verses. It is situated in a village of the same name. This is one of the oldest forts in Goa, which was constructed back in the 15th century. Similar to Fort Aguada, this fort too is on the banks of River Mandovi. The restoration of the fort by the state government drew a lot of tourist attention in recent years. The place is also used as a cultural centre, and people can book it for private events like weddings too.
Open Timings: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Mondays closed)
7. Corjuem Fort
Situated on a river island, Corjuem was a military fortress of the Portuguese. Being one of the only two surviving inland forts of the village, it has been under the management of Goa's heritage and archaeological preservation departments. Inside the fort, there is a shrine dedicated to Santo Antonio. One of the smaller forts in Goa, Corjuem offers stunning views of the river and beyond.
Open Timings: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Next time you're in Goa, plan an extra day or two to go around exploring Goa's best forts.