Forts of Goa – Aguada Fort

Largest, best preserved and the most well-known fort of Goa. Aguada was built almost exactly 100 years after the Portuguese conquest, between 1609-12, at the mouth of the Mandovi. Its impressive walls, 5 m high and 1.3 m thick were guarded by a deep moat, and 200 cannons with were always ready to disperse the enemy.

In the words of a traveller, “The view from the entrance of the harbor is at once picturesque and imposing. To the left stands the stately fortress of Aguada, with a series of batteries commanding the sea coast, and with a castle and a lighthouse on the brow of a rock rising to an elevation of 260 ft (Fonseca). Unsurprisingly, Aguada was the only Portuguese fortification that was never breached by invading forces.

The fort was also well-supplied in other ways, particularly water, or ‘agua’. Nearby springs yielded enough water to fill the 10 million litre tank built in the citadel: and all travellers who came here were given water from these supplies.

Usually teeming with tourists, and a popular location for Bollywood films, Aguada is easily identified by its tall, white lighthouse. Dated to 1864, this is the oldest in Asia and originally used an oil lamp to guide sailors! Later, the bell from the ruined St. Augustine’s Tower in Old Goa range here, until it was moved to the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Panjai, The lighthouse itself was renovated in 1976.

Less than 1 km distant and visible from the fort’s ramparts is the St. Lawrence Church, named after the saint of sailors. Nowadays its gates are often locked.


The Aguada Fort is open all days of the week from 9.30am to 6.00pm

What else to see at Aguada Fort

  • Aguada Lighthouse
  • Aguada Jail
  • Taj Aguada hotel