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The Portuguese set about building a series of fortifications between the mid-16th and early 17th centuries as their land was threatened by several enemies - the Muslims from the north, Maratha horsemen from the east and the local chieftains in the area itself. Chapora Fort was constructed in about 1617 but fell twice - the first time when the captain of the fort surrendered to Maratha forces without, it is said, a shot being fired; and the second time in 1739 to the Marathas, again. However, the fort was abandoned in the 1890s when the northern area of Pernem came under Portuguese control. There's very little to see here but the views are pretty good (see next tip).
- Historical Travel
HISTORICAL GOA: Fort Chapora
This fort is situated near the Anjuna beach and the Vagator beach of North Goa. It was originally built by King Adil Shah of Bijapur on the bank of Chapora River and was also known as "Shahpur" after him. It is made of red laterite on top of a hillock overloooking the sea. During Portuguese rule, it was taken over by them and they renovated it in their style. It was finally abandoned in the 19th century, and due to neglect, lies in ruins today. From the Fort one can have a good view of the sea. The architecture is a mixture of the former muslim style and the later Portuguese touch.
During Portuguese occupation, these northern areas were threatened by various groups who wanted its strategic location. This area of the Bardez was ceded to the Portuguese in 1543 but the fort was not built until 1617. Chapora was taken twice-once when the captain of the fort gave it over to the Maratha forces under Sambhaji, a Hindu leader, in 1684. It fell again in 1739, to the same group. The Portuguese did remodel and adapt the fort in 1717, adding tunnels for escape and resupply. The fort began to lose importance at the turn of the century and was finally abandoned in the late 1800's. The stone walls are all that remain today but the views are incredible. There are many coconut and cashew plantations to the east. You can look out across Vagator beach and the Arabian Sea and the Chapora River cuts the north view towards Morjim beach which is now a protected sea turtle nesting ground.
If you are staying at Vagator you can climb the hill to enter the fort grounds. The ground is really steep and slippery. The ground is mostly loose gravel.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
This is a fascinating part of the Goan coastline and more genuinely salubrious than Anjuna. It boasts a patchwork of coconut palms and the enigmatic character of Chapora village, which is more unruly farmyard than fishing community doubling as beach resort. The village is on the estuary of the Chapora River and is overshadowed by a rocky hill which supports a well-preserved Portuguese fort. There are sandy coves, pleasant beaches and rocky cliffs at nearby Vagator. Be prepared for Indian coach tourists coming to ogle sunbathing Westerners, and expect any police you encounter to regard you with some suspicion and shake you down for drugs if you mistakenly tell them you're staying at Chapora.
Views from Chapora Fort
These are the fantastic views north across the Chapora river to Pernem, south over Vagator and also far out to the Arabian Sea in the West, from the Chapora Fort.
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