Chapora Fort History
Chapora Fort is one of the famous forts in India, located in Goa. It is a beautiful place where we can see the Arabian sea; the Fort rose above the Chapora River. The name of the Chapora came from the river Chapora in Goa. Before 1510 AD, the site of the Fort has occupied by another fort. Later, the Portuguese arrived in Goa in 1510 AD; they wanted to protect themselves from the surrounding kingdoms. The Portuguese wanted to strengthen their base to stand as a solid army to evolute their power in India. Especially in those days, the Delhi Sultans were very strong. To avoid the threat from the Delhi Sultans, the Portuguese built the Fort on the site of an earlier Muslim structure.
In the beginning, the Portuguese used Chapora Fort as a watch post. Later, the Fort changed into many hands of the Hindu rulers during the 17th century. Finally, the Portuguese left the Fort in 1892 due to the changing political scenario in Karnataka. Since then, the Portuguese occupied significant parts of Goa and started the administration from the Chapora Fort.
Changing the Hands of Chapora Fort
In 1683 the Maratha troops besieged the Chapora Fort under the leadership of courageous Sambhaji. However, the local people didn’t digest the incident. Hence they continued the fight against the Maratha troops to save the Chapora Fort. Finally, in 1717 the Marathas withdrew from the besiege of the Fort and left from there. They took preventive steps against the enemies’ attacks and strengthened the Fort. The rulers provided shelter to their people in the Fort. In Indian History, the Chapora Fort was only the Fort that changed into many hands. During the early 18th century, the Hindu ruler of Pernem, the Maharaja of Sawantwadi, defeated the Portuguese armies and rebuilt the Chapora fort in 1717.
He replaced the older fortifications with the present new Fort. He ruled the territories for two years and again lost the Fort to Marathas in 1739. Then the borders of Goa were moved northwards with the acquisition of Pernem. Since then, the concentration on the Fort has declined its importance. So Chapora lost its military significance and became a tourist destination later.
The architecture of Chapora Fort
The Fort was a unique construction; the guards of the Fort could view from all directions. The steep slopes used the walls of the Fort on all sides, so climbing the Fort from outside was challenging. The architect utilized the natural form of the hilly slopes to the irregular outer wall, which makes attack difficult. The entry gate is tiny, and the way into the Fort was constructed deeply and narrowly. The cannons were also arranged in every direction to attack the enemies. We can see a church in the Fort dedicated to St. Anthony. Currently, the Church is ruined, and there are few signs to indicate the presence of the Church.