Only an archway made of stone and a dry moat remain of Rachol Fort, one of the oldest forts in Goa. Built by the Bahamani sultans, it was captured by Krishnaraya, king of Vijayanagar, but later bartered to the Portuguese, in 1520, for their alliance against the regions’s Muslin ruler.
Today, Rachol, located 7 kms from Margao, is known for its Jesuit Seminary, which was once contained within the fort. Once, however the citadel housed 100 guns and withstood a siege by the formidable Sambhahji and his Maratha army in 1684.
With the New Conquests of the 18th century, the Portuguese troops moved away from its walls and it gradually fell to its current state of disrepair.
One of the fort’s captain, Diogo Rodrigues, has acquired some degree of historical notoriety for having supervised the destruction of many temples in Salcete taluka in the mid-16th century. His tombstone, in the Rachol church, proclaims ‘Here lies Diogo Rodrigues, “o do Forte”, captain of the fortress, who destroyed the pagodas of these territories. He died on the 21st of April of the year 1577’.