16 Ancient Forts in Goa - Forts in North and South Goa 2020

Goa Forts

Aguada Fort, Chapora Fort, Reis Magos Fort, Corjuem Fort, Sinquerim Fort, Cabo de Rama Fort, Ponda Fort, Betul Fort, St. Estêvão Fort, Alorna Fort, Colvale Fort, Rachol Fort Gate, Terekhol Fort, Nanuz Fort, Mormugao Fort, Anjediva Fort and many more.

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-


Aguada Fort

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

Chapora Fort

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

Reis Magos Fort

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)

Corjuem Fort

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 

Sinquerim Fort

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

Cabo de Rama Fort

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

Ponda Fort

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

Betul Fort

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

St. Estêvão Fort

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

Alorna Fort

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

Colvale Fort

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

Rachol Fort Gate

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

Terekhol Fort

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

Nanuz Fort

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

Mormugao Fort

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

Anjediva Fort

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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Simply WOW!! Quite a thrillophilic journey with immensely warm hospitality, perfect planned schedules and of course amazing travel. As planned we were picked up @7 in the morning and were taken to the falls which happens to be around 100 kms. Bus they provide are very comfortable and AC will also be sufficient to beat the heat of sultry Goa. We also covered a landmark church of Goa enroute. They will give you around 15 20 mins to get that holy feel. Once we reached the venue we were given time to have breakfast, meanwhile the guide arranged tickets for the whole group and settled us up in the bolero which takes you from there further. It was again a Splendid journey of 45 mins through mahavir national park where you will cross several streams also. Pure off roading and adventurous experience. From the parking u have to walk for 5 mins to finally reach the destination which, you undoubtedly will feel deserving enough to have travelled for. Such a sublime scene and cool clear water with fishes around you will quench all the tiredness you might have had after traveelinh to several beaches. You get around 1.5 hours in total after final parking out of which for bathing you will get around 45 mins. Caution : please travel with good non slippery shoes as the rocks are too slippery and carelessness might get fatal. No worries though, you wont drown as they will provide you with life jackets so a good news for non swimmers. Post bath again you will be taken back and be served with complimentary lunch in goan style which is quite palatable. Then a short spice plantation tour followed by a return drop to the reapective pick up points. The trip will end in North Goa around 6 evening. ps : If you have time on your goa trip, do visit this place and thrillophilia is definitely a good option to consider coz it will wave off your trip organisational headache.
03 February 2020
Superb cycling experience, it was just the 3 of us including the guide and we were able to complete the trip real fast. The bird sanctuary is where we took most of the pics. We went off road through the forest area as well and we could find the railway lines located there. Couple of steep ups and downs which made cycling challenging. The total distance would be 30 kms. Best I've ever cycled
An unforgettable experience for me. For the first time got a chance to get into snorkeling and see the marine life. Thanks alot guys for an amazing experience.
12 December 2015
A well planned and executed sightseeing trip. Good for family tourists like us. We visited some of the famous beaches and churches of Goa. It was nice experience overall.
06 December 2019
Goa is famous for its beaches and its parties but amid all the chaos of Goa, this is one soul-soothing experience. This a must-do activity and should be part of any goa itinerary. A 01-hour long cruise journey will give you immense memories.
13 February 2020
Overall a decent holiday in budget. But the 3 days are not enough to explore the to the fullest. Our hotel accommodation is very good for the price we paid and the sightseeing car was also very good. We liked north Goa compare to south Goa as were in a group of 4 boys. There is a lot of places to party in North Goa but the south Goa is very peaceful and less crowded. Overall a good experiences and Thanks to Rupal from Thrillophilia for planning our itinerary in our budget.
09 February 2020
I have visited Goa with friends from Indore and it was best trip of our college reunion. Rahul helped us a lot in customising the package as per our requirement and we also got the group discount. Our guide was very good and helped us explore the best and hidden gems of Goa. We enjoyed a lot at Casino cruise and water sports. Grand Island trip was the best part of the trip. Thank your team Thrillophilia and our guide Fernandes for making our trip awesome.
07 December 2019
I have visited Goa with family and kids and it was the most memorable vacation for us. My kids enjoyed the dolphin watching and water activities. South Goa is very peaceful and serene and ideal location family holiday. Our guide was very personal and helpful. Thanks to team Thrillophilia and Rohit for customizing our Goa family tour as per our needs. Looking forward to more travel with my family.
I booked Goa honeymoon package for 7 days. Goa is a place for beach lovers. We visited famous beaches in Goa like Baga, Calangute, Candolim etc. we enjoyed water sports on Calangute beach. we also spotted dolphins and the experince was amazing. Do not forget to go for Mandovi River Cruz at Panaji.
I recently took Mumbai To Goa cruise. It was a good experience overall. The whole experience was worth every penny spent. The cruise that we got onto was pretty well maintained.

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People Also Ask About Goa

  1. How many forts are there in Goa?

    Goa is home to around 11 significant and ancient forts that are scattered in different parts of this beachy paradise. Here are the names of these magnanimous structures:

    -Aguada Fort
    -Chapora Fort
    -Reis Magos Fort
    -Corjuem Fort
    -Terekhol Fort
    -Sinquerim Fort
    -Nanuz Fort
    -Cabo de Rama Fort
    -Rachol Fort
    -Mormugao Fort
    -Anjediva Fort
  2. Which fort is famous in Goa?

    Goa has many beautiful and famous forts, the top five of them are listed below:

    1. Aguada Fort: This fort has the largest water reservoir in Asia which is over 400 years old.

    2. Sinquerim Fort: This seaside fortress was once an anchoring point for ships arriving from Europe.

    3. Chapora Fort: This archaic fort became an iconic spot in Goa after the movie Dil Chahta Hai was shot here.

    4. Tiracol Fort: Once a major maritime defence fort located on a hilltop, today the place offers the most beautiful sights of the Arabian Sea.

    5. Corjuem Fort: An inland fort, this structure is encircled by lush greenery and natural topography. The place is a famous trekking spot in Goa.
  3. Which is the fort in Dil Chahta Hai?

    The Chapora Fort is where many significant scenes of the Bollywood movie Dil Chahta Hai were shot. Made popular by the film, since it's release the fort has been receiving numerous tourists who try to recreate the iconic movie. Moreover, the Fort is located in Bardez of North Goa, above the Chapora River.
  4. How far is Fort Aguada from Baga Beach?

    The distance between Fort Aguada from Baga Beach is around 7 km and the road distance is about 10 km. You can board a taxi or ride on a scooter to travel between these places which would take 30-35 minutes when taking the Siolim Road.
  5. How far is Chapora fort from Calangute?

    The distance from Chapora fort to Calangute is anywhere between 8-10 km depending on the route you take to get there. You can board a bus, a taxi or ride a scooter, the fastest being a cab and scooter which would take 25-30 minutes. Moreover, the best route to reach here is via Aguada - Siolim Road or Calangute - Anjuna Road.
  6. How far is Reis Magos Fort from Baga Beach?

    The Reis Magos fort is about 11 - 13 km from Baga Beach depending on the road one takes. The time to travel between the two spots can take 30-35 minutes, the fastest route is from the Saligao Road. You can get here via cabs or scooters.

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