Reis Magos Fort is one of the oldest fort in Goa and one of the first set up by the Portuguese, and it still stands today in all its majesty. It predates the more famous Fort Aguada by more than half a century, and was one of the first forts built by the Portuguese to protect the mouth of the Mandovi River from intruders. The place was initially home to an outpost of the Adil Shah Sultanate, starting from 1493. A little less than 50 years later in 1541, the Portuguese captured the region of Bardez and built the fort and their first church in place of the armed outpost. They would build bigger forts during their rule over Goa, but Reis Magos would remain an important fort, strategically placed and nearly impregnable to invasions. ALSO READ: Where to stay in north Goa if you’re a single woman traveler
The fort, in its original role, once accommodated Portuguese dignitaries and viceroys and was an important point of defense against the Maratha Empire. It would never fall to the Marathas during its service. It fell to the hands of the British military for a brief period until 1813, and was then converted into a prison. Reis Magos would continue to be used as a prison until 1993, when it was abandoned. What you see today is a restored version of the fort, skillfully done with the supervision of renowned architect Gerard da Cunha. It is now a cultural center, but its old design has been restored as is, and many parts of the fort still remain. In fact, you can see the fort and its red stone walls right from Panaji. CHECK OUT: Top 6 places for sightseeing in Goa that you must not miss!
Ever since it was first built in 1551, it was enlarged to keep up with its important role before being completely rebuilt in 1707. Despite being much smaller than Mormugao Fort, Reis Magos was a crucial point for the Portuguese because of its location. It provided a wide view of the sea, with 33 guns to defend against invaders. The fort also had a fresh water spring within its walls, and could accommodate a small garrison. All this allowed it to stand guard and protect Portuguese territory stretching from Mandovi to Velha Goa. The rise of Fort Aguada would diminish its role, but its majesty and legacy endures to this day. Do not miss out on visiting the immaculate Reis Magos Church nearby when you visit the fort.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOA
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Goa is as given below. The best time to visit Goa is also specified.