Fort Aguada (‘water’ in Portuguese) was one among a string of defensive structures the Portuguese colonists built to ward off threats from powerful enemies, including the Marathas and the Dutch. The Fort in Sinquerim, North Goa, was constructed in the early 17th century to control access to the River Mandovi, and named after its freshwater springs that provided water to ships that sailed through here.
With its 200 cannons, a dry moat, and 5-metre-high walls nearly two metres thick, the bastion presented a formidable profile to any uninvited ‘visitor’, and never once fell into enemy hands during the entire 450-year-long history of Portuguese India. The Fort’s 13-metre-high lighthouse was built in 1864. Originally burning an oil lamp, it was repaired and modernized in 1976. It housed a large bell, which was eventually moved to Panjim’s Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The Fort’s few buildings that still stand today are used as a prison, which is incidentally Goa’s biggest.Image Credits: Aguada Fort - Jishnu Changkakoti