An underrated tourist spot, the renovated Reis Magos Fort houses Mario Miranda’s artwork, Portuguese-era cannons, a stellar library and beautiful views of the sea. It’s also perfect to catch a Goan sunset! This 16th century fort brings together three important points of Goa’s history — Reis Magos Fort was built upon the ruins of an ancient Indian pagoda by Franciscans, signifying the incoming Portuguese-Christian rule, and now plays host to the artworks of Mario Miranda (one of Goa’s most beloved artists) — each change signifying the influx of a new era. The fort was originally used as a point of defence. You can expect to find centuries-old cannons scattered about, as well as “death holes”, though which hot oil was poured to prevent intruders. Reis Magos was taken over and occupied by the British for a short period, after which it was converted into a prison. Peek into the chilling solitary confinement rooms, and experience some brief, but very visible, remnants of history. Entry is INR 50, as the fort was recently renovated — something Mario Miranda dreamt of, but didn’t live to see.
Close to Coco beach, you can take a bus that will drop you within 2 kms of the fort. It’s up to you to either hire a car, take an auto or walk! It’s a beautiful trek, although we recommend avoiding it midday, as it is an uphill hike and the sun tends to get rather hot. It has been restored and maintained beautifully, and serves as a great source of information — everything is explained thoroughly on placards, and there’s even a library filled with old literature that is a must-see for all lovers of history and architecture.