Well, we all love to visit Goa, don't we! Sun,sand,music,party....you name it, Goa has it! This was my second visit to Goa, and I simply love this place. Every time this place offers something new, something unexpected,something.....! This place has a kind of feel good factor going for it. Ahh! still not out of the Goan hangover.....!
Well, on the very last day of our trip we planned to visit few places in Panjim, before heading for the airport.Our lady cab driver Maria, was very eager to show us this fort, of which I had never heard of before. It was around 12 o'clock in afternoon and trust me, it was so hot and humid outside (even in November), that the very idea to explore such a "non-popular" fort in sweltering heat, didn't make much sense!
But as we crossed the crowded bridge over Mandovi, Maria drove us through endless lanes and bylanes, enroute Reis Magos fort. Well my words will fall short to define the beauty of the place. Hopefully the images might do some justice!
The rocky beaches, the shimmering water, the quaint lanes.....it was sheer magic!
Finally we reached the fort. Got the tickets. Although it was a Sunday, we were the only people at the counter! Although few bikes, scootys and cars parked in the lawn indicated that we won't be the only few souls up there. The fort entrance is a few meters above the road level. One needs to do a 500-600 meters odd trek to reach the fort entrance. A Omni van is also available to carry passengers, from the ticket counter to the fort entrance. So trek or ride, its your wish!
Once we reached the fort entrance, we found few tourists around. The view of Mandovi river from the fort entrance is gorgeous! The view is so refreshing that all the tiredness and reluctance disappeared in a jiffy! So lets explore.....
Before I take you inside the fort, we need to know few stuffs about this place. Trust me, knowing a bit of history will enrich your experience :)
Reis Magos is a village located on the northern bank of the Mandovi River in Bardez, Goa, opposite to the capital city of Panjim. This Fort is surrounded by sturdy laterite walls studded with typically Portuguese turrets, was erected in 1551 to protect the narrowest point at the mouth of the Mandovi estuary.This edifice was built on the ruins of a pagoda in 1550 by the Franciscans, with the sum allotted to them by the Government, and bears a crown on its façade, and the royal arms on its sanctuary and other places. You get to see a lot of Pagoda shaped buildings inside the fort. The pavement is dotted with inscriptions, the most important of which, found in the sanctuary, indicated the spot enclosing the remains of Dom Luís de Ataíde, Count of Athoughia, who twice held the position of Viceroy of Portuguese India and Goa.It was used as a residence for viceroys and later converted to a fortress. It was occupied briefly between 1798-1813 by the British Army. It was subsequently abandoned by the military and served as a prison until 1993. Enough of history? Okay, let's roll..... :)
There is a small nozzle at the entry gates, from which hot oil was poured on trespassers!
There are several exhibition halls inside the Fort. The walls of the halls are adorned with images/frames of historical relevance. Not to mention, the rooms have got an old world charm and the hugh arc shaped windows,gives you a breathtaking view of the Mandovi river.
Well, lets head out to the rooftop now!