Aguada Fort, Goa
The Aguada Fort is located at a distance of around 18 kms. from Panaji.Fort Aguada is located atop a hilltop near the mouth of the river Mandovi. The fort was named Aguada which means water in Portuguese because of the presence of three freshwater springs inside. This fort was constructed in the year 1612. Durings its use, ships would stop at the lower fort for supplies and water.Aguada fort has an elaborate defense system and was heavily armed and fortified during the Portuguese rule.Due to its strategic location the fort commands a great view of the sea and the neighboring villages. The fort has steep sides along the sea and a moat on the side facing the land. Numerous cannons lined up its rampart at one time. The fort is double walled and has a two gates at its gatehouse to act as a failsafe in case attackers succeeded in breaching the outer wall.
The main intention of building the fort was to guard Goa against the Dutch and the Marathas. The fort served as a reference point for vessels coming from Europe. Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort to the Portuguese. Aguada fort is housed by a 4 storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864, which is the oldest of its kind in Asia. This lighthouse is no longer in use, having been replaced by a new one constructed recently. The light from this lighthouse can be seen even in far off places like Mapusa and Aldona at night. A huge tank with underground chambers is located at the center of the fort. A small doorway leads to the chambers and tanks underneath. This portion of the fort has been covered with concrete slabs and is not accessible to the public.
Aguada fort is amongst the larger in goa and covers the entire peninsula at the south western tip of Bardez taluka. A part of the fort is converted into a Central jail and a luxury beach resort. Located close to the fort there are two of the best hotels in North Goa, the Taj Holiday Village and the Fort Aguada Hotel. The latter was originally a part of the fort itself and now has been converted to a resort.