Reis Magos Fort – the Witness to Historical Changes of Goa
One of the oldest colonial structures of Goa, standing tall and overlooking the Mandovi River, Reis Magos Fort was constructed as strategic bastions by the Portuguese army. Although not the biggest forts of Goa, the monument protected the residents inside against the impending enemy armies. Built before the majestic Aguada Fort, the fort is the work or strategic construction that made it nearly impossible to siege for the invading Maratha armies and the Adil Shahi armies.
In the previous centuries, the fort was abandoned and left in neglect. However, in the recent past, the military bastion has been skillfully repaired and restored.
Keynotes on Reis Magos Fort
Address: Mandovi River, Reis Magos Road, Verem, Bardez, Goa 403114
Opening time: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm (Monday closed)
Architecture: Portuguese colonial style with few elements of Hindu architecture
Suitable for couple, solo or group travelers
Entry fee: Free
History Associated with Reis Magos Fort
The current fort structure was a later addition to the Portuguese army. Initially, in the 15th century during the Adil Shahi rule, the site was used as a military outpost. After the defeat of Adil Shah, the Portuguese went on to lay the foundation of the fort in 1551. With several changes were introduced into the fort, and then in the 18th century, the Reis Magos Fort was reconstructed.
During the initial days, the fort became the early residence of the Portuguese Viceroy and the state dignitaries. However, after several incoming military threats from the invading Indian states, the garrison was converted into a military stronghold.
The Reis Magos Fort was an important strategic military monument of Velha Goa – the Portuguese capital of Goa. However, in the 19th century, after the capital was shifted to Panjim, the monument was left abandoned.
Architecture of Reis Magos Fort
A distinctive landmark in the Panaji skyline, the fortress had very high walls bounded with laterite stones. The strategic watchtowers, a common feature in the Portuguese architecture, were strategically built over the wall to keep an eye in the nearby area. Additionally, the monument had freshwater springs that provided portable water to the resident troops. The fortress had 33 cannons in different sizes meant to keep the enemy at bay.
The nearby Reis Magos Church enhanced the beauty of the fort manifolds. A popular attraction of the region, the white edifice of the church is visible from the opposite banks of the Mondovi River. One of the popular attractions of the church is the wood relief of the three Magis who visited the baby Jesus after his birth. Also, the church celebrates the Epiphany or the Feast of the Three Kings with a grand feast and fair.
Reis Magos Fort Nowadays
In the early 20th century, this fort was abandoned as a military post and was later on converted to prison until 1993. Improper maintenance and wear and tear deteriorated the condition of the fort. In late 2008, several organizations came forward to restore the condition of the fortress. After the completion of the project, the Reis Magos Fort has been converted as a cultural center.
The beautiful Reis Magos Fort is a popular attraction of the region and has been the witness of several changes in the history of Goa and India.
How to reach Reis Magos Fort?
From Nearest Airport- Goa International Airport
Travel time- 45-50 minutes (34.1 km/21.1 miles)
Approximate fare by taxi- INR 800-1,000
Approximate fare by drive- INR 230-340
From Nearest Bus Stand- Panjim Bus Stand
Travel time- 15-20 minutes (7.3 km/4.5miles)
Approximate fare by taxi- INR 350-450
Approximate fare by bus- INR 26-40
From Nearest Railway- Vasco-Da-Gama Train Station
Travel time- 46 minutes (35.2 km/21.8 miles)
Approximate fare by taxi- INR 750-1,000
Approximate fare by drive- INR 300-450