Reis Magos Fort, Goa, History, Location, Timing

Reis Magos Fort, Goa is one of the lesser known forts of Goa, but it has an impressive history!

History of Reis Magos Fort, Goa

The Mandovi is a quiet river of Goa, but when Alfonso de Albuquerque made his entry in to the waters he got a feel of the might of a small fortified outpost. The outpost was under the king of Bijapur Yusuf Adil Shah on the southern side of Bardez Taluka. This was in the February of 1510. This outpost located in the narrowest point of the river had strategic significance.

Reis Magos Fort, Goa

Albuquerque somehow managed to stay put at Old Goa. However Old Goa too was soon conquered by the Sultans. With the onset of monsoon that year the Indian soldiers at the outpost caused heavy damage to his forces. But by the end of the same year Albuquerque reversed his losses and conquered the territories of Bardez and Salcete.

Entrance to Reis Magos Fort

There is a taxi drop at the fort gate from the the ticket counter. We spotted a huge banyan tree at the entrance. The history of the tree was neatly displayed on a board there. What looked ordinary did have a story after all!

Banyan (Ficus) tree at the entrance to the fort did not exist here till 1900. It started its life as a parasite on a coconut tree and grew on to strangulate it. In 2008 the dead coconut tree caught fire, the banyan tree began to buckle and collapse. It was trimmed and held with a steel rope and reinforced concrete column. When the tree finally stabilized on its own the supports were removed in 2010.

Reis Magos Fort, Goa, Banyan Tree

 

Tour of Reis Magos Fort

The Fort is situated on the steep slope of headland, a little above the old outpost. Reis Magos Fort is reputed to have excellent defensive system capable of curbing the crossing of enemy ships through the Mandovi waters. It offered first line defense to the port town of Old Goa.

The death hole through which hot oil was poured into enemy troops. This was in the entrance.
Reis Magos Fort, Goa entrance

 

A grilled door of one of the prison cells looking out into sea.
Reis Magos Fort, Goa, prison

 

Gallery displaying Mario’s work. This hall was earlier used as a prison.
Reis Magos Fort, Goa Mario Miranda's art museum

 

This fort was initially used as a prison in 1962 after Goan liberation. They added 8 structures haphazardly to make house stores, toilets, kitchens and converted it to a prison.  Then for some years it was in ruins. After some years of use as a prison the fort has been put to various other uses. Consequently renovations were carried out again and the fort has got a wonderful face lift now.

Today it is a museum dedicated to famous Goan cartoonist Mario Miranda. The gun loops (a series of arched caverns housing cannons pointing towards the sea) at the lower portion of the fort too houses several works of Mario.

In its heyday the fort had 31 canons, now only 7 are left.
Reis Magos Fort, Goa canon

 

Gun loop with a display Of Goan cartoonist Mario’s work.
Reis Magos Fort, Goa 2

 

Location of Reis Magos Fort, Goa Verem, Bardez, Goa 403114, India
Timings: Reis Magos Fort, Goa is open Tuesday to Sunday, from11.00 am to sunset.
Ticket: Rs. 50 for adults.

 

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