Offbeat Goa: Reis Magos Fort restored to charm

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Reis Magos fort2It’s unlikely to find Reis Magos Fort on a tourist’s wish-list of things to do in Goa. This partially works because you have the beautifully restored fort to yourself. Originally built in 1497 by Adil Shah of Bijapur, the Reis Magos Fort was later captured by the Portuguese in 1543. By the 1900s the fort was no more used as a defensive structure but a prison.

It remained in a state of abandon for over a decade, until 2008, when the Government of India, INTACH and UK based Helen Hamlyn trust pumped money for the restoration of the fort – an initiative by late cartoonist Mario Miranda and architect Gerard Da Cunha. The fort opened its doors to visitors in 2012.

Reis Magos Fort sits enviously on the banks of the Mandovi River in a tucked away village called Verem. For company, is the Reis Magos church – a white washed structure and the first church in the province of Bardez in 1555. Together the fort and the church are beautifully apt examples of Portuguese architecture in existence till date.

The fort also pays a tribute to the works of late cartoonist and Padma Vibhushan recipient – Mario Miranda. About three halls are dedicated to his cartoon sketches, books and biographies including a souvenir shop and a video room that airs his interviews. The chambers in the lower ground have pictorial representations of the development of the Goan state over the years. One can stroll around the artilleries and ammunition on display or check out the solitary confinement cells and some secret chambers that were used to attack enemies.

Reis Magos fortinside Reis Magos fort

Good to know

An entry ticket needs to be purchased at the reception and it includes one way transport to the fort entrance, to spare you the climbing.

Adult: Rs 50
Student: Rs 25
Sundays and Goa Govt. holidays: Rs 10
Children under 8 yrs: Free

Timings: 9.30am to 5pm.

They are closed on Mondays.

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Edwina D'souza

Read write watch, 2 left hands and feet, recluse, gazer and occasionally suffer from wanderlust syndrome!!

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