About Reis Magos Fort
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 Reis Magos Fort
- 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 Reis Magos Fort
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.
What Not to Miss at Reis Magos Fort
Places to Visit near Reis Magos Fort
Casino Paradise: Located at Porvorim, this is one of the oldest casino in Goa. At this casino, guests can indulge in multiple games of American Roulette, Mini Baccarat, slot machines and black jack.
If you happen to call them in advance, they may even be able to arrange pick up and drop service for you.
Chorla Ghat: This place exhibits a thing of beauty with its enthralling views and scenic beauty. It is surrounded by Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Some unique and endangered species of fauna, such as the wolf snake, are found at this hillock.
Due to its geographical and geological authenticity, it attracts the interest of ecologists, trekkers and biologists. Some of the notable spots at this location are the Lasni Temb peak and the twin Vajra waterfalls.
Sinquerim Beach: This offbeat beach location in North Goa is one of the quietest beaches in Goa. Located close to this beach is Fort Aguada. Various water activities like swimming, and walking along the sea shore are popular at this locality.
The scenery of the beach is breathtaking and attracts many tourists each year.
Fontainhas: This historical destination is popular as a former headquarters of the Portuguese. The narrow streets and buildings are an exemplary depiction of typical Portuguese style architecture.
A visit to this destination will take you back in the European colonial era, where you will be able to bear witness to a number of fine restaurants and cafes on your way.
Mae de Deus Church: Also known as the Mother of God church, this is a typical Gothic style church located in North Goa. After you are done spending time on the beach, you can head over to the church to spend some quiet time.
The night time is best to visit the church, when it is lit up in lights and appears majestically mythical.
Other Essential Information About Reis Magos Fort
-Location: 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.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 the 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 art works by different artists, hailing from Goa. What is exciting to observe with each such art work 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 centre for one in 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 defence centre, 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 defence against invasion, began during 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 defence 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 realised 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 calibres 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.
Architecture of Reis Magos Fort -
A small village by the name of Reis Magos harbours 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 organised 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.
3. 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.
5. 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.