Planning a visit to Goa? How about spending your vacation at a fort in Goa? This might sound absurd and unusual, but Goa chooses to be different. Among the several unique stay experiences that Goa offers, it now adds Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel to its list.
People can now live in a historical fort and enjoy the comforts of luxury. Fort Tiracol is 17th century fort which currently houses a heritage hotel, a chapel and more.
How to reach the fort?
To reach the fort, one needs to head to Tiracol village, in Pernem Taluka, which is situated at the northernmost tip of Goa.
The word ‘Tiracol’ is said to be derived from the Konkani word ‘Tirakhol’ ( ‘Tir’ means ‘furthest point’, and ‘Khol’ means ‘deep’) — implying that the place is far from Goa, and the depth of the river is great.
Once you reach the banks of the Querim River, you need to take the ferry that will take you to the fort.
The journey to the fort is a splendid one as the fort sits perfectly overlooking the Arabian Sea. Its natural surroundings and secluded location is an advantage, giving visitors a taste of tranquility and peace.
History of the fort
Tiracol fort was built around the 17th century by Khem Sawant of Sawantwadi. Before the Portuguese gained control of the fort, it changed many hands. Due to its strategic location, many eyed the fort.
Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida, also known as ‘Marques de Alorna,’ captured the fort in 1746 and renamed it from Bhonsle’s fort to ‘Holy Trinity Fortress of Tiracol’. He also constructed a chapel, which stands there even today.
Before Goa could be a part of India, the fort played an important role in its freedom struggle. Freedom fighter Hirve Guruji and his two satyagrahis hoisted the Indian flag on August 15, 1955. This act got them killed. You can find the memorial outside the fort under a banyan tree.
The fort, however, remained with the Portuguese till December 1961. Over the years, following the liberation of Goa, the fort was restored and made into a fort-cum-heritage hotel.
The fort also houses the Church of St Anthony, which in earlier times was an important monument to the Portuguese to profess their faith in the domain of the Sawantwadi territory.
Constructed in the Mannerist style of architecture, the altar here is in the Rococo style. It was originally a chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity and, later, raised to the status of a church. Every Sunday, the Eucharistic celebration takes place here.
The heritage hotel
The idea of a heritage hotel was to retain the old charm of the fort, and keep alive the colonial setup through its interiors. Currently, you can find seven renovated rooms and suites here. The luxury suites with verandahs provide a breathtaking view of the Arabian estuary.
Besides that, the balconies and terrace of the hotel provide a sea view. One can spend time at the ‘Tavern’ which has the restaurant, lounge, bar, and verandah. The Garden Café, here, provides the authentic taste of Goan food.
Set under the canopy of thatched leaves and palm trees, its ambiance with old world charm and interesting local food from Goa, are some reasons for you to visit this place.
The rooms and suites are all provided with basic amenities along with Wifi, AC etc.
Activities like dolphin-watching and fishing, beach trips and picnics can also be done here. The venue is also open to hosting corporate events, weddings, meetings, and other occasions.
One can also spend time exploring the neighbouring places as the beaches here offer several interesting water sports and other activities.
If you’re looking to explore the lesser known experiences of Goa, then this is one of the things you should try.
One can just walk into the fort and explore the remains of history and the past of Goa. The view from the fort sets this location apart from the others.
WHERE: Tiracol, Pernem, Goa.
PRICE RANGE: Rs 9,000 onwards