Thursday, January 9, 2020

Cabo De Rama Fort- An half-day outing in South Goa




The Fort:

Cabo de Rama - a fort in ruins set against the backdrop of the Arabian Sea; not the crowded typical touristy spot, but blissful in its solitude with only an occasional chirping of birds and rustling of leaves in the dense foliage that has taken over the fort; a perfect place to watch the sunset on a lovely evening in Goa with your loved ones... Sounds charming, doesn't it?




Well it is indeed the place, serene and calm, away from the hustle-bustle of the city life that an urbanite would like to soak in. With the fort walls rising above the sea cliffs on the west, it offers a panoramic view of the Arabian sea and the virgin beaches nearby. This fort is also known as Cape Rama and you guessed it right, it does have an ancient connection with the Hindu God - Rama. Lord Rama is said to have taken refuge at this very place with his wife Sita during his 14-year exile.



The History:

Before the Portuguese invaded India, this fort was under the Raja of Sonda who was a vassal to the Wodeyar Kings. In 1761, when the Wodeyars were defeated by Hyder Ali, the Raja had to move his base to Goa and had to seek help from the Portuguese.  The Portuguese agreed to protect the King and his family in return for lands of Ponda, Sanguem, Canacona and Quepem and this is when the fort changed hands and was taken over by the Portuguese, in 1763 to be precise.

[There is an interesting article on the Forgotten Royals of Goa - https://www.itsgoa.com/forgotten-royal-family-of-goa/. Do read it if you are interested in knowing about the rulers of Goa before the colonial invaders came in.]




The moat


Seeing Around:

Coming back to the fort, it is a moated structure with nothing much remaining except the crumbling walls, a few turrets, a water tank, a few rusty cannons and a renovated chapel which is still in use by the locals. The whitewashed walls of this chapel provide a fascinating contrast to the dark foliages and walls surrounding it.

St. Anthony Chapel




After entering the fort, one is taken in by the solitude of the place. There are hardly any visitors unlike the crowded sites of North Goa. The place is almost entirely covered with trees making the fort inaccessible at certain places. However, the chapel of St. Anthony is right in front of the entrance on the left amidst a clearing.  A well-trodden path along the church takes us to the western walls of the fort sitting tall on the steep cliffs along the Arabian Sea. One can keep walking along the walls of the fort to explore its charm. A few turrets along the wall, opening out to the sea are the best spots to hang around and take in the views. Sunset is the best time to enjoy the this place before dusk sets in.






Location:

This place is some 30 kms from Margaon, situated in Canacona taluka. Bringing our own vehicle would be the best bet to visit this secluded spot; however buses and taxis also ply between Margaon and this fort. The roads are in great condition all the way to the fort and driving here through rural Goa is pure fun.

Fort Timings: 9 am - 5:30 pm
No Entry Fee
Expected Duration of Visit - 1 hour is more than enough time to explore the place.  Depending on the mode of transport, it will take around 2-3 hours of traveling time to and fro, if you are traveling from Margaon
Note: The fort walls are in really dilapidated conditions at some places and have collapsed. Kindly refrain from walking on these walls to ensure your safety.

Nearby Attractions: 

1) Cabo de Rama beach is situated just 2 kms from this fort. Its a virgin beach lined with palm trees as far as the eyes can stretch. Its a popular picnic spot for the locals.

2) Cape Goa Resort's restaurant is a charming place to watch the sunset in a relaxed setting. The resort is right on the way to the fort atop a cliff by the sea and cannot be missed. The service is friendly and unhurried and the food options are good too.

View from the Fort

Cape Goa Resort


The Steps to the Resort's Restaurant











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