A marvel of beauty that is home to an enchanting scenic view, make sure to include Cabo Raj Niwas in your travel itinerary, when in Goa
Sitting proudly at the peninsular tip of Dona Paula in Goa, Cabo Raj Niwas is the official residence of the Governor of Goa as the magnificent Raj Bhawa. But there lies a deeper significance to this classic Portuguese establishment that juts over the Arabian Sea as a dignified fortress, a, archaic chapel and a ruined citadel. A marvel of beauty that is home to an enchanting scenic view, make sure to include Cabo Raj Niwas in your travel itinerary and unravel the hidden tales, whitewashed by the passage of time.
From Palacio do Cabo to Cabo Raj Niwas
Cabo Raj Niwas was erected by the Portuguese in 1540 AD as Palacio do Cabo, opposite Fort Aguada on the south headland of River Mandovi. Its ancient Spanish name literally translates to 'Palace on the Cape', awarded simply by virtue of its strategic position. Standing here, one can witness the panoramic beauty of the Indian Ocean on the west, Bay of River Mandovi in the front, Fort Aguada on the north and the bustling Marmugao port. Add the sounds of the waves thrusting its shore and the dashing breeze and you've gotten the right recepie to stir tangible beauty!
A story marked by changing protagonists
Besides its beauty and uniqueness, Cabo Raj Niwas is a great example of structural excellence. With features typical to the Portuguese School of Architecture, its present-day red roofs and white walls narrate the tales of changing rule and authority in this region. The fort was built when the Portugese stepped their foot here and the church is said to be their-well planned addition here. This place was used as the abode of archbishops from the 1650s and guarded the settlements in the territorial heartland. Additionally, a Franciscan Convent was also attached to the fort, fortifying its strategic positioning of the Portugues at the Goan Cape.
Later, it was used as a residency when it fell into the hands of the British who built a small military cemetery here to deter the French invasion and since 1987, it stands as the Raj Bhawan of the liberated Goa state. As of this day, the church has been converted into the Raj Bhawan Chapel while the remnants of a citadel stand instead of the old convent.
Witness the palatial wonder of the Cabo Raj Niwas
Every Sunday, the 500-year-old Chapel atop the Cabo de Rama Cliff is open to the public for the masses, paving an opportunity for tourists and locals alike to witness the palatial wonders and intricacies of the Cabo Raj Niwas, up close. One can also find an attractive Durbar Hall with a capacity of 30 people, adorned with a number of collectables like the Bohemian chandeliers, Chinese porcelain to name a few.
If you want to set sails to your expedition beyond the beaches of Goa, make sure to anchor your ships at the docks of Cabo Raj Niwas in Goa. Located about 9km from Panjim, there are several ways that will route you here. So put on your explorer hats and visit this fortress, crowning the state's peninsular throne!
Note: Due to Covid-19, the premises are open to travellers once a week, where only 20 people permitted at a time.