Chapora Fort

With the word fort comes to our mind history since we do not build forts any more. One such historical fort is the Chapora Fort in Goa. The fort was built by the famous Muslim ruler Adil Shah of Bijapur in the 17th century, as a border post against Maratha invasions, and was known as the Shahpura. Then came the Portuguese who rebuilt the fort in 1617 and gave the fort a Portuguese touch.

The fort has been witness to many battles won and many lost as it kept on fluctuating between the Maratha and the Portuguese rulers who were at war with each other for over a hundred years, from 1617 to 1741. Eventually the fort went to the Portuguese, who finally abandoned it in 1892. History shows us that the fort was under the Portuguese influence for over a hundred and fifty years, and thus theirs was the most powerful influence found in the remnants of the fort.

The Chapora Fort lies on a cliff near the Anjuna beach and has a spectacular view of the sea. It is not a well preserved structure just like some of its other counterparts. The only parts of the fort that remain intact are two tunnels visible from one side of the hill, and the scattered Muslim tomb stones, which remind us of the pre-colonial times.

The Chapora Fort is located about 10km from the Anjuna Beach. It is made of red stone and gives a great view of the Anjuna and Vagetor Beaches on one side and the Morjim Beach on the other. The sea waves splashing on the rocky cliffs create a strange longing in one's being, and transport one to the lap of Mother Nature. The Anjuna Beach is famous for its flea market, which attracts many tourists. The beach has an exotic collection of local handicrafts. The local women sell colourful bead, coral and sea shell jewellery, along with bags and quilts made with hand-woven thread. The sheer sight of these colourful articles makes you feel like picking up at least one as a reminder of the lovely art of the locals.

The fort has a magnificent view and has been used in many Indian movies as a backdrop; the setting sun against the beaches and palms is wondrous. The fort is now in ruins, but the natural beauty of the place beckons us to visit it again and again. Frequent buses run between Panjim and the fort, and Anjuna and Vagator beaches.

This Chapora Fort has stood the test of time and yet a part of it stands like a red bastion atop the cliff near Anjuna, as if challenging us to come and conquer it. It is also significant because it shows us that the struggle for freedom from colonial rule actually began in the seventeenth century and it was the Maratha warriors or the soldiers of Shivaji- the great Maratha ruler- who began this struggle for freedom.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/04

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