Friday Aug 28

5 Places To Visit In Goa, Beyond Beaches and Churches

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Places to visit in Goa - Big Vagator Beach with Fort Chapora

Goa, the beautiful Indian state, has enchanted the world with its beautiful churches and luscious beaches, but there is more to Goa than mere beaches and churches. On your Goa holidays 2012, the following are 5 must-see places to visit in Goa.

This article explores the ever-strong architectures of Goa, explaining why these historical places are worth a watch.

Goa holidays 2012: 5 must-see historical places to visit in Goa

Chapora Fort

Places to visit in Goa - Chapora Fort

The Chapora Fort could never make it in the usual tourism itinerary, before a popular film titled 'Dil Chahta Hai' featured in. Earlier in ruins, this fort was suddenly thrust into the public limelight and newfound interests of tourists. The film brought this beautiful fort in the list of 5 most-visited historical places to visit in Goa.

This fort, located at a distance of about 10 km from Mapusa, can be easily accessed from the Vagator side of the hill. Built by Adil Shah of Bijapur, the Chapora Fort was later taken over by the Portuguese in 1617. Captured at first with intentions of it using it as a border watch post, it was finally left deserted in 1892. The ruins around the fort and traces of Portugal architecture grant it a mystical look.

Casting an excellent panoramic eye over the sea, owing to its location on a cliff, with the view from any direction is blissful: With the south facing the Vagator Beach, the north across the Chapora River to Pernem and afar the Arabian Sea in the West. You must see this place on your Goa holidays 2012.

Aguada Fort

Places to visit in Goa - Fort Aguada

Sharing the same popularity quotient as Chapora Fort, Aguada Fort is also a recognised hotspot with the tourists. Fort 'Aguada' (meaning 'water' in Portuguese) crowns the rocky peninsula and is definitely the largest and best preserved Portuguese fortress in Goa. If you want to get the taste of Portuguese stay in Goa, include this into "have to see" places to visit in Goa on your Goa holidays 2012.

Built by the Portuguese in 1612 AD, the fort was originally constructed to guard the northern shores of Mandovi estuary from external attacks especially from the Dutch and Maratha raiders. The fort has a four storey Portuguese lighthouse erected in 1864, which was set up nearly two and a half centuries later. The lighthouse thus erected is the oldest and first of the lighthouses to be built in Asia. A smaller lighthouse by the name of 'The Aguada Beacon' was later built in 1890 adjacent to the foot of the slopes besides the buildings on the river bank, thus marking the entrance to the river.

Military architects employed by the Portuguese government in Lisbon laid down the design for the construction of the Aguada Fort. Beneath the steps, leading down from the centre of the citadel courtyard, lies a huge underground container with a capacity of nearly 2.25 million gallons of water. A jetty extends out towards the sea on the northern side where the Taj Group Hotel is located just within the outer walls of the fort.

Part of the Aguada fort has been transformed into the Central Jail too. At the new gates to the prison area stands a statue of a man and a woman; the man holding the body of a child in his arms, while the woman has her arms raised to show the breaking of chain bondage in front of the national emblem of India.

Terekhol fort or Tiracol Fort

Places to visit in Goa - Terekhol Fort (Tiracol Fort)

Though not very popular, Terekhol fort (Tiracol Fort), originally belonging to the local king, was acquired by the Portuguese in 1746. Historically, it has a great significance as it was used by the freedom fighters as a base during the liberation of Goa in 1961. Now the fort has been converted into a Heritage hotel. If you want you can stay here or just come to see this fort, which many include in their list of places to visit in Goa on their Goa holidays 2012.

Terekhol fort is surrounded by a natural river flowing east west on its northern boundary beyond which lies the state of Maharashtra making this a very scenic and orderly arrangement. This river had created accessibility problems until recently. However, a bridge over Chapora at Colvale had solved this complication. The most pleasant way to reach the fort still remains by ferry from Siolim across to Chopdem, leaving the visitor at the start of the coast running from Agarvada behind the beaches of Morjim, Mandrem and Arambol, finally passing through Paliem to reach the banks of the river Terekhol.

Cabo de Rama Fort (Cape Rama fort)

Places to visit in Goa - View from Cabo de Rama Fort (Cape Rama fort)

Moving further south along the coast of Goa is the Cabo de Rama Fort, which is also known as Cape Rama fort. This fort was taken over by the Portuguese in 1763 from the Hindu locals and was later rebuilt. Although the fort lies in ruins, the chapel inside the fort is still visited by locals and tourists alike. It gets the current ruined look since it was uninhabited for many years. The stories around the fort claim that Lord Ram took shelter with wife Sita in this fort during his 14-year exile. The fort also houses a tower which stores a couple of rusty-old Portuguese canons. You must include this in your list places to visit in Goa on your Goa holidays 2012 because the ruins of this place have a lot of stories to tell.

Alorna Fort or Halarn fort

Places to visit in Goa - Alorna Fort Map

The Alorna Fort, which is also known as Halarn fort, is situated in the village of Alorna about 30 km from Mapusa and around 10 km east off NH17 from Malpem in Pernem. Way back in the seventeenth century, the Bhonsales of Sawantwadi built this fort which had four guns. Then in 1746, Alorna Fort was captured by Marquis of Castello Novo, later known as Marquis of Alorna for a very brief period of time. Dom Frederico Guilherme de Souza recaptured the fort in 1781 with intentions to strategically use the fort against the Maratha attacks from the north. Under-explored and highly ignored by the tourists and locals alike, this fort stands beautiful as it is perched on the banks of the river Chapora flowing peacefully towards Colvale.

Alorna Fort was the last to go in the list of five places to visit in Goa on your Goa holidays 2012, but this does not mean that the fort has less to offer than the rest four. You must visit these places when in Goa. A trip to Goa will be incomplete if you do not visit any of these places. You must include these in your list five must-see places to visit in Goa on your Goa holidays 2012.

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