Monday, July 15, 2024

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Fort Tiracol

Place : North Goa, Goa
Best Season : Throughout the year  
Timings : 10am - 5:30pm
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Fort Tiracol, sometimes known as Terekhol Fort, is a coastal fort in Goa. Located on the northern tip of Goa at the mouth of the Tiracol River, the fort surveys the confluence of the Terekhol River and the Arabian Sea. It is situated on the north bank of the river which can be accessible by ferry from Keri (Querim) on the south bank, 15 km west of Pernem and 42 km North of Panaji.

The fort was originally built in the early 18 th Century by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, a nearby town in Maharashtra.

The fortress was originally built in the early 18 th Century by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, a nearby town in Maharashtra. It later became a Portuguese territory, conferred under the treaty of 1791.

The fort plays a significant role in Portuguese maritime defenses. The fort revamped in 1764. The fort was contended by the British, to whom it was temporarily surrendered in 1835. It was remained in Portuguese control till December 1961 when the last of Portuguese territorial positions in the subcontinent were annexed by India.

The fort attained fame during the freedom struggle of Goa's liberation against Portuguese; when the Satyagrahas took over the fort and used it as a base. Several demonstrators were killed that time in 1955.

The fort's name 'Terekhol' probably originated from the Marathi tir-khol meaning 'steep river-bank'. After crossing the Chapora by ferry at Siolim, the road winds up through tiny Hindu Villages to a second ferry across the Tiracol with its modern chapel dedicated to St.Antony, up the hill to the main gate of the Fort. The Church for the Holy Trinity was constructed in the fort courtyard by de Almeida after its capture which later became the Church of St. Anthony.

The fort has laterite walls define a small irregular zone on top. The triangular bastions, with lookout posts headed by domical turrets, which gave a commanding view of the Arabian sea and the river.

The inner court of the Fort is dominated by the Church of St.Antony, patron saint of the Army and Portugal's national Saint. The facade of this modest structure has an ornate pediment, with voluted sides flanked by open square towers. Now, in a state of ruins, the famous Hotel Terekhol Fort Heritage occupies the former garrison quarters of the Fort. But, the church is not open to the general public except on certain occasions, such as the annual feast that is usually held in May

Well worth returning via pretty Pernem town to enjoy its main square and temples. Just outside the town lie the magnificent Deshprabhu House, Mauli Temple at Sarmalem and delightlful Malvir Temple found in the forest clearing. Further south, the remarkable Sri Bhagavati Temple is at Parcem.