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Chapora Fort

The Chapora fort, located in North Goa in mouth of Chapora River, was built by the Portuguese in 1617

The Chapora Fort is in North Goa, 21.7 kilometers from Panaji and just 700 meters from the Vagator beach. It is located on a hill just above the Vagator beach, with the Chapora beach on the other side. The Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea here. The present Chapora fort was erected by Adil Shah of Bijapur on the site of an ancient fort, which existed even before the Portuguese came to Goa in 1510. The Portuguese rulers took over the Chapora fort in 1717, and made it a border outpost for controlling land, allowing easy sea passage, and to prevent enemy attacks.

History Of The Chapora Fort

The Chapora fort has been held by many rulers over the last few centuries. It was established by Mohammed Adil Shah who ruled the Bijapur dynasty between 1627 and 1656. He erected the fort here to prevent attacks by the Hindu raiders. The town was called Shahpura or “Town of the Shahs” after Adil Shah at the time.

The fort was heavily fortified, but it still fell to Sambaji, the son of Shivaji in 1683, during the rule of Sikandar, the grandson of Adil Shah. Reportedly, it was conquered without a single shot being fired. According to a legend, the fort’s captain at the time, a Portuguese, surrendered after seeing how Sambhaji’s forces easily scaled up the steep rocky walls of the fort, much like lizards, and breached its defenses.

Maharaja of Sawantwadi, the Hindu ruler of Pernem attacked later and held the Chapora fort for 2 years. The Portuguese came after this in 1717, but the fort fell once again to Bhonsle in 1739. Between these years, the Portuguese rulers carried out extensive repairs of the fort, adding features like bastions and a tunnel that extended to the seashore and banks of the Chapora River for emergencies.

The Portuguese were able to regain control in 1941, only after 2 years of Bhonsle rule.

Location

Chapora Fort Location: Chapora Fort Rd, North Goa, Chapora, Goa 403509, India

Chapora Fort – Timeline

  • Established by Adil Shah of Bijapur.
  • 1683 – Sambaji attacks and takes control.
  • Maharaja of Sawantwadi takes over control from the Maratha.
  • 1717 – Portuguese rulers conquer the fort.
  • 1739 – Bhonsle conquers the fort from the Portuguese.
  • 1741 – The Portuguese regains control of the fort.
  • 1892 – Abandoned after the importance of Chapora faded. The Portuguese expanded the empire further north, so Chapora was not of high military importance anymore.
  • 1961 – The fort passes into Indian hands after the Portuguese leave Goa.

Presently, the fort is in a dilapidated condition. However, it is a very nice place for wandering around and appreciating the beauty of nature. Climb up the hill for a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea, the Chapora River, and the surrounding areas.

The Chapora Fort is often referred to as the “Dil Chahta Hai” fort, as this popular Hindi movie was filmed here. Quite a few other movies have also been shot here since then.

Chapora Fort

Chapora Fort in Goa

Chapora Fort – Quick Facts

Where is Chapora Fort located?

In north Goa, 21.7 kilometers from Panaji and just 700 meters from the Vagator beach. The fort is on a small hill above the Vagator beach, next to where the Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea.

Who constructed the fort?

Adil Shah of the Bijapur dynasty to prevent Hindu raiders from seeking control of the territory.

Construction

The fort is made of red irregular laterite rocks and steep walls made of stone. The walls have steep slopes on all sides. There are gun ports, murder holes, and arrow slits on the walls. There are ramparts on the walls, over which you can walk.

Held by

Different rulers over time – Adil Shah, Maratha, Hindus Kings, and the Portuguese.

What is inside the fort?

When it was used, the Chapora fort used to have military barracks, bastions with cylindrical turrets, gate, and a church of St. Anthony. There were 2 secret passageways, one to the sea, and a second to the riverside for quick escape in case there was an attack.

Dil Chahta Hai

A Bollywood Hindi movie, which was released in 2001. It was a huge commercial success. Parts of this film were filmed inside the Chapora fort. There is a Dil Chahta Hai corner within the premises of the fort.


Present Condition Of The Chapora Fort

The fort is currently in ruins as it has not been used for more than a century, since 1892. Only a portion of the outer walls remain. The barracks are vaguely visible. Much of the rampart is still there. You can also pick out the mouths of 2 escape tunnels. You can see a few Muslim tombstones as well. However, the small church dedicated to St. Anthony is not there anymore.

There are trees and small bushes everywhere. The Chapora fort trail is made of red laterite stones. It starts from the parking area and ends at the other side, passing through the Dil Chahta Hai corner, the Vagator Hill View, and Vagator Delta View. This path is slippery at some places, so do be careful. Always return back before dark. You can also reach the fort from Vagator beach by climbing up the hill.

Top 5 Reasons For Visiting The Chapora Fort

  1. To learn about Goa’s rich history.
  2. To see military architecture and learn about maritime defense.
  3. Walk on the ramparts and get a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea, Chapora River, Morjim beach, Ozran beach, Chapora beach, Vagator beach, and even up to the Anjuna beach.
  4. To watch a glorious sunset over the sea.
  5. To see the Dil Chahata Hai corner.

Entry is free to the fort. The Chapora fort is open between 10 AM and 5:30 PM, all days of the week. The best time to visit this fort is early morning and late afternoon to see the sunset. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Carry your refreshments.

What To See Nearby

There are many other attractions nearby, like the Vagator beach, Anjuna beach, and the Morjim beach just across the river. In fact, the Chapora fort stands tall on top of the Vagator beach. You cannot miss it. You can also visit the Siolim Fish Market and the Mapusa Municipal Market from here. They are both close.




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