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Fort Aguada in Goa: Remnants of a Portuguese Past

On the Sinquerim plateau of Bardez Taluka in Goa stands a structure that was once the most important line of defence of the Portuguese colonisers some four centuries ago – Fort Aguada, an important legacy, and now a popular tourist destination.

Built in 1612, Fort Aguada consists of two levels. The lower half borders the shore of the Arabian Sea, and is where Portuguese ships used to dock. The upper level perches on the rocky slope of Aguada Point, and is where soldiers could look out toward the waters and warn of incoming Dutch enemies or attacking Hindu warriors, the Marathas. A gunpowder room was once used to store the artillery for the 79 cannons that dominated over the grandstand. The lighthouse still stands today, although its radiance was snuffed out for the last time in 1976.

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Called “Aguada,” the Portuguese term for “water,” the fortress had underground water storage, from where sailors drew drinking water for their voyages. The prison, the biggest in Goa, is another relic from colonial days. Fort Aguada was never successfully invaded by outsiders during the 450-year Portuguese rule.

Para-sailing, jet skiing, and mountaineering facilities are available for those seeking more physical activities after the tour.

Imagine a Goa holiday among the palm trees, overlooking the deep blue Arabian Sea. Part of Fort Aguada has been converted into a beach resort, with villas where visitors can enjoy themselves amidst the site’s historical splendour. Take part in Goan culture by joining a workshop or purchasing some of the handicrafts. Spend a few hours at Jiva Spa and contemplate while doing yoga, or have the Pehlwan Malish Warrior Massage or the Anana Lepa Facial, which has been handed by Indian mothers to their daughters for generations. There is also an astrologer on-site. Beach volleyball, squash, table tennis, and various water sports complete a Goa holiday.

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