16 Ancient Forts in Goa - Forts in North and South Goa 2020
The formidable forts in Goa have stood the test of time and tell an interesting story about the history of the coastal State. Majority of these forts are constructed by the Portuguese to defend the territory from invaders. While the southwestern coastal State is popular for its beaches and parties, these forts offer mesmerizing views of the Arabian Sea and the rivers in Goa while narrating tales of the great yesteryear battles.

Travel back in time by visiting these forts, most of which are in ruins but are capable to keep the explorer in you hooked with its antics. If you are a history buff or love ruins, visit the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Fort or the Nanuz Fort for a journey of self-discovery in the near-abandoned places. If you want to get enchanted by the spellbinding views of the Arabian Sea, visit the hilltop Aguada Fort and the Chapora Fort, which offer panoramic views of the pristine Sea and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul.

Here are some of the best forts in Goa-

01

Aguada Fort

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Aguada Fort
The tourist attraction holds the distinction of being the largest Portuguese stronghold and one of the oldest forts in Goa. Constructed during 1609-12, the fort was used to protect Old Goa from attacks from the enemies. The 13-metre high lighthouse situated in the fort is the main attraction and is visible from far-off places like Mapusa and Aldona.

The fort also houses the central jail, the largest in Goa, and a luxury resort. Pose with the many yesteryear cannons placed on the top deck of the fort. Witness the spectacular views of the River Mandovi from the hilltop fort as pristine blue waters hit the rocks at the bottom of the fort while the setting Sun pleases your soul. 

Location: Bardez, North Goa

Timings: 9:30 AM to 6 PM
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02

Chapora Fort

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Chapora Fort
Overlooking the majestic Chapora River, the strong walls of the fort are a symbol of strength and glory which has stood the test of time. The expansive views of the Arabian Sea from the fort are unlike what you will witness from other Goa forts.

If you are a history buff, the fort will keep you hooked with its tales of how Marathas conquered it. Witness the spectacular views of the Sun disappearing into the Arabian Sea in the evening.

Location: Bardez, North Goa

Timings: 9:30 Am to 5:30 PM
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03

Reis Magos Fort

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Reis Magos Fort
One of the popular forts in North Goa, Reis Magos is located at the banks of the Mandovi River. It houses 33 cannons, which were installed in the 15th century to protect the land from invaders.

Witness the Protugese Turrets, which were constructed to pour hot oil on enemies. The fort was used as a prison till 1993, after which it has been kept open for public.

Location: Verem, Bardez, North Goa

Timings: 9:30 AM to 5 PM (Monday closed)
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04

Corjuem Fort

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Corjuem Fort
Although it is one of the small forts in Goa, a visit to the Corjuem Fort guarantees spellbinding views of the rivers and the surroundings. Located on the river island of Corjuem, the fort was used for defence by the Portugese.

The fort has several cannons and murder holes. Enjoy the countryside views by climbing atop the fort from its vantage point. Due to the surrounding serenity, it is a   place for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts.

Location: Corjuem Island, across Aldone Village 

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM 
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05

Sinquerim Fort

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Sinquerim Fort
Constructing in 1612, the fort is housed on North Goa’s popular Sinquerim beach. Visit the fort, especially during the evening, to witness the spectacular views of the seas and the setting Sun. During its operative years, the fort was used as a reference point for goods arriving from Europe.

The inward curve of the beach will also help you take a pleasant stroll, especially during evenings.

Location: Bardez, Candolim, North Goa

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
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06

Cabo de Rama Fort

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Cabo de Rama Fort
For those who like abandoned places and ruins, Cabo de Rama Fort is a visual delight. Spread across a sprawling 180,000 sq. metres, Cabo de Rama is one of the oldest and largest forts in Goa. History buffs will fall in love with this place as it derives its name from Lord Ram, who is believed to have spent his exile years with wife Sita and brother Lakshman here.

While the fort talks about its might, the views of the Arabian Sea from the fort are mesmerising.

Location: Taluka Cabo de Rama, Canacona

Timings: 9 AM to 5:30 PM
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07

Ponda Fort

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Ponda Fort
As the name suggests, the fort is named after Maratha ruler Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who captured it in 1665. Witness the life-size statue of the great ruler as you enter the fort.

The fort complex also houses a garden, which serves as a good picnic spot for families after a tiring excursion in forts in North Goa and beaches. 

Location: Donshiwado, Ponda, North Goa

Timings: 10 AM to 6 PM
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08

Betul Fort

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Betul Fort
One of the popular forts in South Goa, Betul Fort is a major attraction for its beach and the Betul village. Constructed in 1679, the fort offers panoramic views of River Sal meeting the Arabian Sea. The fort gives an impression of an abandoned archaeological site, so visit the place to experience some serenity as the cool sea breeze rejuvenates you.

You can also stroll along the beach to bask in the Sun or enjoy the greenery around.

Location: Quitol, South Goa

Timings: 5:30 AM to 7 PM
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09

St. Estêvão Fort

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St. Estêvão Fort
The fort constructed on the confluence of three rivers was once a strategic stronghold for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Located on the island of St. Estevam or Santo Estêvão, the fort is a must visit for the greenery in the surrounding regions and production of good quality vegetables on the island, especially its long and tasty ladyfingers.

While the fort was almost in an abandoned condition in 19th century, it witnessed a flurry of visitors after the village was connected to parts of Goa.

Location: Ilhas, North Goa

Timings: 6 AM to 7 PM
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10

Alorna Fort

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Alorna Fort
Many forts in North Goa wear a worn-out look, but Alorna Fort is a sight to behold as it is built on the banks of River Chapora. This fort has historic importance as it was built by Bhonsles of Sawantwadi, as a defence against Maratha attacks. The fort stands tall despite being in ruins, and it also gives a pleasant view of the surrounding river.

On your visit to the fort, visit the nearby Mahadev Temple which is said to be around 1000 years old, and the Idol of Nandi and Linga are said to be intact in natural origin.

Location: Alorna, Pernem, North Goa

Timings: 8 AM to 6 PM
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11

Colvale Fort

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Colvale Fort
Image Credit : FB (ashish)
Built in 1681, Colvale Fort now stands in ruins but is an interesting place to visit. Visit the fort if you are a history buff or someone who likes exploring ruins. Also a popular tourist place, the fort creates archaeological interest amongst the visitors.

The fort is also known as Tivim Fort and it stands tall on the banks of Bardez River. Colvale fort also holds the reputation of being one of the most ruined Goa forts attracting a large number of tourists.  

Location: Tivim, North Goa

Timings: Open 24 hours
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12

Rachol Fort Gate

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Rachol Fort Gate
The Rachol Fort became famous after the collapse of Kadamba dynasty in Goa, after the battles between Vijayanagar and Bijapur empires. The gateway to the fort has stood the test of time, as it stands tall and attracts a large number of people. Like most forts in South Goa, Rachol Gate fort is famous for its scenic beauty in the surroundings, which is covered in greenery.

It is surrounded by rice fields, and shrimp farms, which is a sight to behold. The fort once housed 100 cannons and was a stronghold of the Portugese. 

Location: Salcete, South Goa

Timings: Open 24 Hours
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13

Terekhol Fort

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Terekhol Fort
The Terekhol Fort or Tiracol Fort, is among the most visited forts in Goa as it offers a nice laidback picnic spot to families and groups on a sojourn in Goa. It is located in the lap of River Terekhol, which makes it a perfect spot for the people passing by to have a break and enjoy a relaxing time surrounded by pleasing nature.

The finger-licking good seafood of this place just adds the cherry on the top. A part of the fort has been converted into a hotel, which also houses a centuries-old church in the courtyard. 

Location: Parnem Taluka, North Goa

Timings: Open 24 hours
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14

Nanuz Fort

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Nanuz Fort
The Nanuz Fort was built by the Maratha ruler Shivaji and was later taken over by the Portugese to use it as a military base in the early revolts. Despite being in ruins, the fort attracts a large number of visitors for its impressive archaeological remains.

On your visit to the fort, climb a small hillock to get the stunning panoramic views of Goa or visit Valpoi village to get a cultural glimpse of Goa. 

Location: Sattari, North Goa

Timings: 6 AM to 10 PM
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15

Mormugao Fort

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Mormugao Fort
If you wish to take a break from the hustle-bustle of cities, visit the Mormugao Fort and take a deep breathe while enjoying the views of the restless sea. The centuries-old Mormugao is considered to be one of the foremost coastal forts in South Goa. The fort was constructed near the Mormugao Port to guard the mouth of the harbour.

The gigantic structure, which housed 53 guns, measures 10 km when the outer walls are measured. The bulwarks and bastions are in excellent condition, so if you are in Vasco, do visit this fort for a scenic adventure. 

Location: Mormugao, Vasco, South Goa

Timings: Open 24 hours
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16

Anjediva Fort

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Anjediva Fort
The Anjediva Fort was constructed by the Portugese to guard the land from invaders. The Anjediva Fort, which has been repaired and renovated, lies about 87 km off South Goa and close to the coast of Karnataka.

Situated on an isolated island by the same name, the fort now stands tall as a symbol of grandeur and magnificence and is open to visitors around the year. 

Location: Anjadip Island, Goa-Karnataka border

Timings: 9:30 AM to 5 PM
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