Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Aguada Fort

On the 1st after finishing off provisioning I went with Richard up the hill to see the Aguada Fort as I had been staring at it from the anchorage long enough now and also been jogging past it many times. The road up goes past the exit to the Aguada jail and continues upwards past the Catholic church up on the hill. After that comes an exit road to the Helipad and then one arrives the Aguada Fort. The access is free and opening hours are between 0900 - 1730 hrs. The Fort is protected by the Indian ancient monuments act.

M/y Kalizma in front of Miramar beach

The whole area is very photogenic were it not for all the garbage that is thrown everywhere. You can see empty plastic bottles, torn snack wrappers, condoms, paper, broken bottles everywhere. I have seen in the mornings there is a bottle wala coming with a bicycle collecting empty bottles into gunny sacks as one gets money for selling 2nd hand plastic but all the other garbage is left as there is no money in it. India still has a long way to go in terms of waste management and changing the mentality to drop garbage anywhere.

The old lighthouse

Also in the mornings one will see peacocks running about in the bushes as well as domestic pigs. When jogging we have discovered there is a beaten footpath going around the whole of Aguada point under the Taj hotel resort passing the coastal bastions to Candolim beach. The view is breath taking. From there one can then jog back to Sinquerim following the road, a good 6km hike.

The watertank

Originally built in 1612 the remains of the Upper Fort are still very impressive, the moat is still intact and full with vegetation. Inside the Fort one can see the watertank in the middle (capacity 2.376.000 gallons) and the old lighthouse with the utility buildings adjacent in one corner. The Lower Fort was originally serving as Port to visiting Portuguese sailing ships and later on converted to a jail. It is also said there is a secret passage between the Upper and Lower Fort that was used in emergencies. The lighthouse was discontinued of use in 1976 as a new was erected a few 100 meters to the West of the old one.

The moat and a corner bastion

The surrounding walls are very thick and every corner has a defensive tower with ramparts. It is said the Portuguese kept gunpowder in the outer walls which had recesses of which many are now plastered shut, maybe due to constructional strength issues. All in all a nice place to visit but the local Authorities could earn extra kudos by cleaning the surroundings up.

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