Other than offering spectacular views and quaint backgrounds for shutterbugs, fort ruins give you a glimpse into the history and culture of the place. So if you are on a quest to explore the history of Goa through heritage sites, then these 11 fort ruins should definitely feature in your must-visit list. These sites will give you lessons in history beyond books and of course, you can thank us later when you have a perfectly planned itinerary for a post-pandemic trip!
An archaeological site on the banks of River Chapora, Alorna Fort was built by the Bhonsles of Sawantwadi to defend themselves against foreign invasions. The ruins of the fort make for a picturesque background and the constant breezy weather here makes it an ideal location for spending your evening here!
Location: Alorna, North Goa
Built during the sixteenth century by the Portuguese to guard their territory against invasions, Anjediva Fort stands as a symbol of magnificence and grandeur. Repaired and renovated, the premises of the fort complex welcomes visitors all year round.
Location: Anjadip Island, Goa-Karnataka Border
Santo Estêvão Fort
Situated on the island of St. Estevam, also known as Santo Estêvão, this fort was once a stronghold of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Although abandoned around the nineteenth century, the fort witnesses a flurry of tourists that are in constant awe of its inspiring beauty and surrounding verdant hues.
Location: St Estevam Island, North Goa
Considered to be one of the foremost coastal forts of Goa, this ancient behemoth was constructed by the Portuguese to guard the Mormugao port. The well-preserved bastions and formidable ramparts of Mormugao Fort are the reasons why it is one of the most popular tourist destinations of this state.
Location: Mormugao, Vasco, South Goa
A major attraction located in Betul Village which is famous for its beaches and lighthouse, is the seventeenth-century Betul Fort. An abandoned archaeological site, it is one of the popular forts of South Goa for it offers a panoramic view of the confluence of River Sal and the Arabian Sea.
Location: Quitol, South Goa
Erected in 1681 by the court of Alvor, this fortress on the left bank of the Bardez River acted as a barrier against the inroads of Marathas and Bhonsles. Its ownership shifted from Marathas to Portuguese in the eighteenth century and was finally abandoned around the 1840s; the visible fort ruins are just traces of its former might.
Location: Tivim, North Goa
Ponda Fort was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1665 and thereby, it is also referred to as Shivaji Fort. A good picnic spot to spend quality time with family and friends, the fort complex houses a garden and a life-like statue of Shivaji that greets the tourists, as they enter the precinct.
Location: Bandoda, Goa
Nanuz Fort was built during the seventeenth century by Shivaji and later, it was taken over by the Portuguese to be used as a military base during the early revolts that happened in Goa. Its impressive archaeological remains are encompassed by unique flora and fauna that add to its panoramic view and soothing vibe.
Location: Sattari, North Goa
Used as a reference point for goods arriving from Europe during its functional years, the Sinquerim Fort was constructed in the seventeenth century. Bisecting the shoreline of Sinquerim Beach, the remains of the fort offer spectacular views of the seas which are a treat for opacarophiles.
Location: Candolim, North Goa
Built in 1705 by the Portuguese, Corjuem Fort is one of the smaller forts dotting the landscape of Goa but it promises a spellbinding view to all the visitors. In its glory days, this inland fort was lined with cannons and several vantage points for military defence, which stand today as scenic spots.
Location: Corjuem Island, Goa
Intended as a border watch post, this laterite fortress was constructed by the Portuguese in 1617 and deserted by them in 1892. What remains today are fort ruins which were used to film a few scenes of Dil Chahta Hai and the escape routes, that can tingle the grey cells of archaeology enthusiasts exploring this location.
Location: Bardez, North Goa
With beaches, parties, art galleries, museums and historical forts, Goa has something to offer to every visitor and this makes it a perfect tourist destination. So next time you are in Goa, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and dorn your summer gear to enchant the history lover in you as you explore these 11 fort ruins.
BTW, do you know a 12th fort that we can add to our list? Mention in the comments below!