Overlooking the vast expanses of Arabian blue waters, Fort Aguada is one of Goa's most popular tourist destinations. Reflecting the glory of the Portuguese empire, the monument is considered the best example of Portuguese military architecture. Each year, the complex has a high tourist affluence.
This ancient Portuguese fortification is on the beach south of Candolim, on the banks of the Mandovi River. The construction of the fort was undertaken by the Portuguese in 1609 to guard against the invaders Dutch and Marathes. Its structure was completed in 1612. At that time, Fort Aguada was a point of reference for ships coming from Europe. He served in the defense of expedition boats and the nearby Bardez sub-district.
The name Aguada means "water" in Portuguese and refers to the presence of fresh water in the fort. The site is said to hold up to 2,376,000 gallons of water, making it one of the largest freshwater stores of its time in all of Asia. Crews of ships crossing the Arabian Sea often traveled there to replenish their boats in fresh water.
Fort Aguada presented itself as the most valuable and important fort in all Asia. The vast complex envelops the whole peninsula at the south-west end of Bardez. During the year 1864, a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse was erected on the shore.
During the administration of Salazar, Fort Aguada was redeveloped into a prison for political opponents of the regime in place.
Located on the top of the Sinquerim Plateau, overlooking the southern side of the Mandovi River, Fort Aguada is now a charming tourist destination surrounded by beautiful landscapes. The views from the top of the fort are spectacular. Visitors will enjoy a complete view of the fort, Calangute Beach to the north, the Arabian Sea to the east and the Nerul River to the south.
Constructed of durable laterite stone, Fort Aguada embodies the best example of typical Portuguese military architecture. The complex includes massive ramparts with a total height of 5 m and a thickness of 1.3 m. It consists of a lower part and an upper part.
The lower part of the fort, with bastions all around, served as a safe resting place for Portuguese ships. The space was also used as a water storage point. The upper fort, located about 60 meters from sea level, has a lighthouse, an underground water storage chamber, a powder magazine and bastions.
Aguada Fort is also home of a four-storey lighthouse, one of the oldest such structures to be built in Asia. Today, it is obsolete and mostly inaccessible to the general public. However, you can visit the new Aguada lighthouse erected closer to the edge of the cliff from where the view of the scenery surrounding the fort is simply stunning.
Schedules and entrance fees
Fort Aguada is open every day of the week, from Monday to Sunday, from 09:00 to 18:00. Entry to the site is completely free.
How to get there ?
The fort is about 4 km south of Sinquerim Beach. You can get there by private taxi.
What to do ?
- Visit the different outbuildings of Fort Aguada
- Go up on the lighthouse and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape
- Take some pictures
- Admire Portuguese architecture.