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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40 Responses

  1. Haddock says:

    Among all the tourists that visit Goa, a few visit this place as they are not aware that such a fort exists.
    Its a pity that Mario Miranda was not around when this place was inaugurated.
    Had visited this place two years ago.

  2. Very interesting thanks for sharing.

  3. TexWisGirl says:

    very interesting displays, now.

  4. Very nicely you have given the details. Thanks Indrani.

  5. Sylvia K says:

    What a fascinating post and terrific captures for the day, Indrani! I always enjoy learning the history of places like this!! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Interesting pick to house Mario Miranda's work! Looks like a lovely place, well worth a visit

  7. Gail Dixon says:

    Amazing how the ficus tree started and how it was helped to grow on its own. Fascinating stuff!

  8. A bit of history,plenty of information and lots of pictures are the distinguishing features of this nice post.One would like you to be travelling frequently to get a feel of our country through your posts!!!

  9. Cloudia says:

    Such fascinating history I must know! Thank you, I

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

  10. Felicia says:

    what a great piece of your history. wonderful images Indrani.

  11. Lovely post on Reis Magos fort.

  12. ladyfi says:

    What a lovely and interesting place.

  13. Wonderful post and beautiful photos.

  14. eileeninmd says:

    It is an interesting place.. I like that the ficus tree survived, great story.. Have a happy day!

  15. Hilary says:

    Very cool. You end up in the most interesting places.

  16. DeniseinVA says:

    A fascinating history and wonderful photos. Thank you Indrani!

  17. Lovely post.. And goes to prove one thing.. There is so much to see in India and most of us have do not even have a clue.. A shame that it is not promoted properly

  18. Reader Wil says:

    Thank you for this interesting piece of history!
    Have a great rest of the week.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  19. Interesting post….. Thanks for sharing!!

  20. How interesting that the fort has been made into a gallery!

  21. Fly Girl says:

    I am currently reading An Area of Darkness: A Discovery of India by V.S. Naipaul and he covers some of the fascinating aspects of Indian history like how these forts were used. I can't believe they poured hot oil on the prisoners!

  22. Bibi says:

    Very interesting post. I hope to get to Goa one day.

  23. Pretty interesting stuff…the picture of the "Death hole" is amazing…

  24. Najm Nisa says:

    Beautiful ! Love your pictures!

  25. Carver says:

    I enjoyed the shots and interesting narrative.

  26. Goa known for its beaches and its different culture but your post showing another face of Goa. great pics

  27. Goa is a all time destination for photography.

  28. Interesting post Indrani… good that the banyan tree is saved and its great it houses stuff of Mario.. I love his work .. Beautiful share 🙂

  29. Lovely post! The kind of Goa you don't read about, often. 🙂

  30. Great post. It's fascinating to know the history of the Banyan tree. How do you get this information?

  31. I was here in 2011. Didn't know one could go in. I had heard they were planning to convert it into a hotel?

  32. Mridula says:

    What a fascinating place! Loved the banyan story as well. Never heard of it before.

  33. Anita says:

    All the pics speak, Indrani 🙂

  34. Priyashi says:

    Wonderful clicks Indrani…..:)

  35. Jeevan says:

    Great tour to this fort come museum! Prisoners should have got a great view from there to be glad at least.

  36. Loved the canon and the tree.

  37. kumar gvk says:

    Thanks to share such a nice post and I missed to visit this place wen i come at goa.

  38. Sudhir R says:

    Glad you could explore Goa, Indrani and bring in the off beat locations. I know many more would be discovered in the next few years!

  39. Dina says:

    That is a very tenacious tree!

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