Day 1 –
First time in Goa. First day in Goa. Me and Anindya.
We were out for tour of North Goa with a local travel agency booked through our hotel. Our first destination was the Vagator beach. We were given 40 minutes time by the tour operators to explore the beach. It being rainy season, the beach was rough. Guards were continuously asking people to come back. Within the 10 minutes that we were there, the sea became even more violent and waves were outrageous. The beach was completely inundated with a few rocks striving hard to keep their heads up. The guard put down a rope not allowing anybody to advance near the water.
The Chapora Fort is visible from the beach. You will be able to spot the walls of the fort perched on the top of a hill. Ourselves and four other members from our bus, decided to explore the fort. The local people showed us a shortcut. The advantage of the shortcut came at the price of passing through knee-deep water at places. Finally the narrow path of gravels winding through houses of the local people brought us to the main road which approaches the fort. The fort is on the top of a hillock. We started climbing the hill.
Half way through, three things happened. We caught a glimpse of the sea which was looking out of the world, we felt a gush of wind which was intoxicating and we felt drops of rain on our skins. It was a warning which we did not take into account. We continued our climb. Once we reached the top of the hillock, where the walls of the fort starts, the view was magical. The color of the sea was extraordinary with the clouds almost coming down onto the sea bed.
And, it started to rain. No shelter above the hillock , no umbrella with us, the nearest shade will be the line of shops after getting down from the hill. We started hurrying down. The hillock is covered with fine gravels , ruins of the fort made of red laterite bricks. As we were hurrying down… ah snap … one of my chappal strap tore off. Few more steps adjusting the the torn chappal on the foot, and snap the other chappal also gave up. “OH! why now!!” I thought. Although, this is not the first time. I have history of my footwear treacherously giving up on me at numerous points in space and time. Bare footed, I tried to move down as fast as possible, but oh, the gravels were hurting. A concerned Anindya offered his shoes. I tried it on, but a no. 9 shoe on a no. 4 set of feet is no match and increases your possibility to topple while descending a slope during rain. Both of us got fully drenched.
After we climbed down from the hill, and waited for 5 minutes in a shop, the rain stopped. Our 40 minutes time given by the tour operator was over. We ran down the road, hoping the bus would not leave us. Thankfully, the bus was there and there were people who were further late than we were.
We had to purchase T shirts for both of our drenched selves and a shoe for me to look and feel civilized for the rest of the days’s sight seeing.
We resolved we will come back to Chapora Fort for what we had seen was just the trailer!
Skip to Day 3 –
It was continuously drizzling in Goa that day. It being monsoon, we cannot complain though. We had done our tour of North Goa and South Goa in the previous two days with a local tour agency. Today we decided, we will roam around on our own, take public transport, eat street food and feel Goa. We did not have enough of Chapora on our 1st day visit. Both of us felt the need to satiate the urge to visit Chapora Fort again and so it was on the top of our to do list.
Chapora Fort, located in the vicinity of the Vagator Beach is at a distance of 22 Km from Panaji. We took a bus from the Goa bus station at Panaji and started off. At Mapusa we got onto another bus which dropped us at a point near the Vagator beach.
Today we had come equipped with umbrellas. A mild drizzle accompanied us as we made our way to the fort, this time through a different way than what we had taken on the first day. This definitely was a better road to approach the fort, despite being a little longer.
Chapora Fort is strategically located on a hill top and oversees a vast expanse of sea on three sides. The name of the fort comes from the name of river Chapora which meets the Arabian sea here.
The remains of the fort found today was built by the Portugese in 1617. But, forts had existed on this location even before the arrival of the Portugese. It is a vantage point that has commanding view in all directions and had been used by the kings of the region to keep an eye on the raiders. Who first built the fort here is a matter of speculation. Earlier to the arrival of Portugese in Bardez, Goa, Adil Shah of Bijapur had a fort ‘Shahpura’ at this location.
The Portugese had occupied Bardez in 1532 and in order to defend their territory from the Bahamanis, Marathas and other Indian rulers, built a number of forts, the Chapora Fort being one among those. In 1683, the Marathas, under the leadership of Sambhaji, the son of Shivaji, occupied the fort. The fort remained with the Marathas till 1717 when the Portugese gained control over the fort again. The Portugese lost the fort to the Marathas a second time in 1739 but this time the Portugese regained control within a couple of years. The fort was finally abandoned by the Portugese in 1892.
The fort was constructed out of red laterite bricks which gives it its distinctive color. Due to proximity to the sea, the fort has been subject to severe damage by the elements of nature. Only partially broken walls of the fort remains and few rocks scattered around amidst pasture of grasses.
Well, the primary reason to visit the Chapora fort is the breathtaking view from the top of it. You can catch a glimpse of the Anjuna Beach, the Vagator Beach and the Chapora Beach. You will be able to see the river Chapora giving in to the Arabian sea calmly. Just sit and relax and enjoy the view around!
And yes, remember the title track of the movie Dil Chahta Hai ? Parts of the song were shot at this very location. Chapora Fort has earned an alternate name ever since Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Khanna sat on its walls – the “Dil Chahta Hai Fort”
There is something extraordinary about the location of Chapora fort. The sea, the wind, the view, the walls of the fort – the concoction is intoxicating and definitely takes you high. So if you are planning to visit Goa, make sure that visiting Chapora Fort, is there in your list of things to do.