While most of the tourist to Goa spend their time at the stunning beaches, what they regularly leave out is the prosperous and fascinating history Goa had witnessed. You can virtually stay through these records and know more about it by way of visiting quite a few forts that are constructed at strategic places all over Goa.
While the forts of Goa are very small in contrast to the ones that are located in different parts of India, nonetheless have a sturdy history and a triumphant background. Reis Magos Fort is one such fort that is placed on the different facets of Panjim, throughout River Mandovi.
The fort is constructed at the strategic location, close to the area the place the river joins the Arabian Sea. The vicinity is strategic due to the fact the river is the narrowest at this place, and it is handy for the troopers to spot any intruder who attempts to invade by using the sea.
History of Reis Magos
The fort which stands on the hill overlooking the Reis Magos Church today is by no means the original structure, nor is it the first to have been constructed in this locale. The first incarnation of this fort was a military outpost, built-in 1493 by the Adil Shahi Sultanate of Bijapur.
When the Sultanate was defeated by the Portuguese, a fort was constructed in 1551 to be the first line of defence for the then capital, Velha Goa. This fort was enlarged at various times, before being completely reconstructed in 1707. Close –
The Reis Magos Fort was initially used to house Viceroys and other dignitaries who were arriving from or departing to Portugal. However, with the threat of invasion from neighbouring Indian states, the fort became a military stronghold and in 1739 it was used to repel the enemies that occupied much of the Bardez taluka.
Such was the construction and strategic placement of the fort that the invaders were unable to sack it. It is said that the British occupied the fort from 1798 for the duration of the Napoleonic wars. With the decreased threat of naval attack at the dawn of the 1900’s, and with the shifting of the capital of Goa from Velha Goa to Panjim, this fort fell into disuse as a military fortification.
Architecture of Reis Magos
Constructed of the simply accessible and extraordinarily long lasting laterite rock, the partitions are excessive and ambitious due to their steep slopes. There are cylindrical turrets or watchtowers, typical of Portuguese citadel structure at strategic factors alongside the walls. The citadel additionally has inside its partitions a clean water spring which saved the troops well-supplied with this fundamental resource.
Boasting an arsenal of 33 cannons of more than a few sizes, the citadel was once properly outfitted to deal with invaders making their way up the Mandovi to the then capital of Goa. However, it used to be no longer adequate to cease the insurgence of Dutch ships and used to be changed by means of the Fort Aguada as the important guard of the Portuguese Colony.
The citadel may want to accommodate a utterly armed garrison and has a wealth of underground rooms and passages.
Reis Magos Fort Today
From the early 1900’s the fort lost its position as a strategic line of defence and was subsequently converted into a prison, in which capacity it continued to be used until 1993. Having weathered two and a half centuries of monsoon winds and rains, as well as the damage inflicted by invading parties, the fort was in need of restoration.
The restoration work was started in 2008, by INTACH (an NGO dealing with the restoration of historical landmarks) and the Government of Goa, with additional funds being provided by the UK based Helen Hamlyn Trust. The restoration work took place under the direction of Gerard DaCunha, a well-known architect.
The fort now serves as a cultural centre and is a prominent tourist attraction along with the nearby Reis Magos Church.
An enduring testament to the skill and strategic planning of man, this fort is well worth a visit. A visit here can be teamed up with one to the Reis Magos Church which lies only a short distance away, and is also a tourist hotspot.
The fort commands glorious views of the surrounding countryside which make for great photographs by which to remember your Goa vacation.