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Fort Aguada & Sinquerim Beach
13 km north of Panaji. The startin
g point of the 30 km coastline stretch of Northern Beaches of Goa that covers the most popular hotspots of Goa and India tourism.
This is a landmark beach of Goa tourism, due to the three luxurious beachfront Goa resorts of the Taj Group of Hotels and the seafront Fort Aguada that overlooks them.
The firm sand on this 'exclusive' beach of Goa continues uninterrupted, past Candolim and further north to the happening Goa beaches of Calangute and Baga. This offers opportunities for long Goa beach walks that will take you past the diverse shades of a holiday in Goa.
The sports Amenities are amongst the best of any Goa beach, led by the Sports Complex at the Taj Holiday Village Goa and water-sports center at Fort Aguada Beach Resort Goa. Both are open to non-residents and offer a variety of sports Amenities. The water-sports on offer are windsurfing, parasailing, jet-skiing, water-skiing, scuba diving and sailing. Other sports include tennis, badminton, squash and golf. Dolphin watching boat trips embark from the closeby Calangute beach.
Drawn mainly by the clientele of the Taj resorts the beachfront here has many excellent restaurants and cafes (along with itinerant vendors). The adjoining Candolim beach has exceptional choices in restaurant-bars. The restaurants at the Taj resorts offer superb delicacies from Goa, India and Europe amidst attractive ambiance. RYB at the Taj Holiday Village Goa is a newly opened pub cum lounge with a dance floor. Theme nites and indigenous cocktails are amongst its interesting features.
On the northern tip of the Mandovi estuary lies the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. It was their most important coastal fort for close to 300 years, and what makes the Sinquerim beach of Goa extra special today. It was built in 1609-12 to control the entry into the river Mandovi and to protect from enemy attacks, especially the Dutch and the Marathas (from neighboring Maharashtra).
A large number of freshwater springs in & around the fort, and a large well within it provided water supply to the fort and the ships that called here, also giving the fort its name (aguada=watering place).
The main fortifications with laterite walls, 5 m high and 1.3 m thick, are still intact. The heart of the fort used to be protected by two hundred cannons! and a deep dry moat, which one has to still cross to get inside. Not surprisingly, this was the only Goa fort that remained unconquered during Portuguese rule. Infact, fighting off the Marathas many times.
Though the inside of the fort is no longer intact two features stand out. In the middle of the courtyard steps lead down to an enormous vaulted cistern, which was capable of storing ten million liters of fresh water. And the other unusual vestige is the Portuguese lighthouse, which was originally erected sometime in the 18th century and used an oil lamp. In 1864 an ingenious new mechanism allowed a rotating beam to be emitted every 30 seconds. Next to it lies a modern 21 m high concrete lighthouse. The lower part of the fort has been converted into a prison, Central Jail.
Up the plateau, en-route to the fort, one comes across the small Church of St. Lawrence (1630-43), dedicated to the saint of the sailors. Its unusual porch makes it interesting. The main reason for its location is said to be due to the Portuguese custom of building churches on the outskirts of forts to impede the enemy from firing at close range.
FORT AGUADA & SINQUERIM BEACH, GOA. ACCOMMODATION
The three Taj super luxurious to deluxe Goa resorts are all exceptional. Of these, the Aguada Hermitage is the most exclusive Taj Goa resort, and Holiday Village, the lowest priced (Taj's fourth Goa beach resort is Taj Exotica Goa, at Banaulim). Apart from these, a few midrange and cheap Goa hotels are also available close to this 'exclusive' beach of Goa. Their good value ensures that you can have a fun-filled, yet cheap Goa holiday. For example, one midrange Goa hotel is Marbella, and a typically 'good & cheap' Goa hotel is Village Belle.EXCURSIONS
* Panaji (Panjim)
* Old Goa
* Other northern beaches of Goa
* Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
* Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
* Savoi Spice Plantation
* Temples at Ponda
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