Reis Magos Fort Overview

Owned by the Goa government, the Reis Magos Fort is among the popular ancient monuments in Goa. The 400 year old fort, constructed in the year 1551 happens to be one of the oldest forts in Goa. It is believed that the name of the fort was laid after three men from the Bible. Today, the fort falls under the ownership of the Goa government and finds itself on the list of Goa ancient monuments. It has been fully restored and serves as a heritage centre in the town. 

What started as a defence fortress, this fort has served multiple uses as a jail and then a hospital. Back in 1993, the fort was completely abandoned and left to perish in a neglected state. After being renovated, the fort was opened to the general public in the year 2012. 
At present, the fort serves under a guided vision and mission to promote cultural heritage in Goa. This is why, it has also become a centre for displaying numerous exhibitions, fairs, festivals and educational events. 

The fort is built in a typical fusion style of architecture, combining Hindu and Portuguese styles. It is known that the altitude of the fort gives a splendid view of the surrounding sea and landscape of Goa. 
It is also home to several artefacts, including 7 guns from the Portuguese era. The place is well connected with major railways stations, including Karmali, Verna, and Vasco da Gama. One can also get here by plane through the Dabolim airport.

How To Reach

- From Panjim:
The Reis Magos Fort is located around 8.4 kilometres from Panaji. The best way to reach the fort from here is by availing a taxi or cab or some public transport like auto-rickshaws. Additionally, you can also avail the Panaji to Betim ferry to reach the fort faster. 

- From Goa International Airport: Reis Magos Fort is situated 34.2 kilometres from Goa International Airport. The best way to reach the fort from here is by taking a taxi, which is also the fastest option and takes almost 35 minutes to reach. Alternatively, you can also rent a private or prepaid car or take a public bus to reach Reis Magos from Goa International Airport. 

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Reis Magos Fort is between the months of late October to February. Located in North Goa, this fort can be visited at any given time of the year. 

However, these months are undoubtedly the best since the weather at this time is pleasant, cool as well as comfortable. Coming in just between the monsoon and summer months, October to February is the most favourable time to pay a visit to this amazing fort. 

The monsoon season between June to October brings heavy downpours in the region, thereby making the sea quite unruly and rough. Additionally, it gets very humid at this point of time in the city, making it difficult to explore the fort comfortably. 

Soon after February, lasting until May, comes the hot summer months in the region. These months are not only hot but also very humid when the temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius. 

Other Essential Information

Verem, Bardez, Goa 403114

-Timings:  Tuesday to Sunday: 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM

 Closed on Monday

-Fee: There is no applicable entry fee for visiting the Reis Magos Fort. 

The time required to visit the fort is one hour. 

About Reis Magos Fort Galleries - 

Freedom Fighter’s Gallery: This gallery was inaugurated in the Reis Magos Fort in June 2016. 

This gallery is meant to understand the knowledge of the struggle for liberation from the rule of the Portuguese. All around the gallery, you will find historical stories that depict the various occurrences which happened during the freedom fight from the Portuguese.

 Also, you will be able to know more about Vasco da Gama’s journey to Goa. Also highlighted is the role of the Indian Navy in the liberation of Goa. 

Art gallery: At this gallery, you will be able to bear witness to various original artworks by different artists, hailing from Goa. What is exciting to observe with each such artwork is the surreal use of different drawing mediums, including water colours, acrylic colours, oil paintings, photographs, and use of canvas. 

This gallery is a platform for different artists, all over Goa, to showcase their skills and talent and get a chance to earn viewership for their work. This gallery is the center for one of many events and exhibitions, which are held for the benefit of the community. 

History and restoration hall: At this gallery, visitors can view exhibits that spell a detailed history of the fort. It is owing to these exhibits that one may be able to comprehend the timeline of the fort’s use as a defense center, a jail, and then a hospital. 

Gun loops: The structure here is designed to provide shelter in the event of an enemy attack. After the restoration of the fort was completed, the gallery was used to exhibit images of the town of Goa. 

There are close to 100 panels in the exhibition which span across a period of 450 years including various monuments, people, maps, battles, landscapes and market scenes. 

About Reis Magos Fort History- 

The construction at the Mandovi River, for its defense against invasion, began in 1550, which led to the building of the Reis Magos Fort in multiple stages. It is believed that the fort held great strategic importance and stood to serve as the first line of defense for the port town.

 It was built by the Portuguese in a bid to keep the Dutch at bay from invading their land. It was soon realized by the Portuguese that the fort held great strategic importance, which is why important changes were carried out to the structure in 1707. 33 guns of varying calibers were deployed at the fort during this time. 

During the period of 1799 to 1813, Portuguese Goa was occupied by the British. It was in 1808 that they began making use of the Reis Magos Fort for lodging their soldiers. 

The 19th century witnessed a decrease in the number of naval threats. At the same time, Old goa lost its prominence due to the growing popularity of Panjim, which led to reduced use of the fort. 

This is why the fort was converted into a jail to store convicts. During the 1950’s, it also served as a lodging for freedom fighters. It is believed that the fort continued to be used as a jail until 1993, after which it was left to decay. 

The architecture of Reis Magos Fort - 

A small village by the name of Reis Magos harbors the Reis Magos Fort and also lends its name to it. It is located in the Indian state of Goa near the banks of the river Bardez. 

The reason why the fort has gained prominence and popularity is due to its history and its close location to the capital city, Panjim. 

Many believe the architecture of the fort to be a combination of Hindu and Portuguese styles of architecture which are seen prevalent today. The fort, in its present state, is the result of multiple renovations and constructions, collectively by the Portuguese and the Marathas. 

The exterior of the fort was bound with laterite walls. The fort was given a decent altitude that allows tourists to gain a splendid view of the surrounding region. 

If aerial views of the fort are to be observed, one will discover how the Portuguese built a fort to collect water in large quantities, which would come in use during a time of crisis. 

The architectural heritage of the fort is exemplified by the presence of a church nearby. 

Tips for Visiting Reis Magos Fort - 

When visiting the Reis Magos Fort, it is recommended to follow the below-mentioned tips.

1.  For a detailed tour of the fort, it is advisable to contact the fort authorities who can help you with an organized visit. 

2. It is recommended to avoid visiting the Reis Magos Fort during weekends and Government holidays since these are the days when there is a lot of crowd here. 

Additionally, you should visit the fort between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. to avoid tourists and crowds. 

4. When planning a visit to Reis Magos Fort, it is advised to wear comfortable shoes or sneakers, since you would need to walk uphill and even climb many stairs. 

. Littering waste here is prohibited, so remember to carry a separate bag for collecting your waste or throw them wherever there is a dustbin available. 

6. It is also recommended to carry some light snacks and water when visiting the Reis Magos Fort since there are limited stalls and shops here. 
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Reis Magos Fort FAQs

Who built Reis Magos Fort?

The fort was an outpost for Adil Shah of Bijapur before it came to be occupied by the Portuguese, after their conquering victory over Bardez.

It is during that time that the Reis Magos Fort was built by the Portuguese. Starting with 1900, the fort continued to lose its strategic value and by 1993 it was completely deserted.

It was in 2008 that the restoration work on the fort began, funded by a UK based trust. It was under the planning of architect, Gerard da Cunha that the work was completed on the fort. 

How do I get to Reis Magos Fort?

You can get to Reis Magos Fort via Dabolim airport in Goa, which will take you around 48 minutes to cover the distance of 35 kilometre between the two points.

If heading from the railways station at Vodlemol Cacora in Goa, it may take up to 90 minutes to get to the fort and cover a distance of 57 km.

How far is Reis Magos Fort from Baga Beach?

The Baga beach lies at a distance of 12.9 km from the Reis Magos Fort.

It might take up to 30 minutes to travel between the two destinations via the Betim – Verem – Saligao road. An alternate route from Aguada – Solim road and Nerul is comparatively shorter but takes the same amount of time to travel.

How far is Reis Magos Fort from Calangute?

The distance between Calangute and Goa is 10 km which can be easily covered in a time span of 19 minutes via the Betim – Verem – Saligao road.

An alternate route, running between Aguada – Siolim road and Nerul to the fort can also take you to your destination in the same time period. However, the distance to be covered via this road is 8.3 km.

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