The narrow road northwest of the village leads you past lots of village homes with rooms for rent, up to a small harbour where the day’s...
A tiny, bleak beachfront village at the mouth of the Chapora River, Morjim is the destination of choice for long-staying Russians, many...
Paulo’s Antique Bar
In season this hole-in-the-wall bar on Chapora’s main street overflows with good music and cold beer at night. Even during the afternoon...
Sunrise doesn’t pretend to be anything special but it does open early for breakfast and has perfectly edible food and a decent little...
Chapora Fort information
Chapora’s old laterite fort, standing guard over the mouth of the Chapora River, was built by the Portuguese in 1617, to protect Bardez taluka (district), in Portuguese hands from 1543 onwards, from the threat of invaders. It was built over the remnants of an older Muslim structure, hence the name of the village itself, from ‘Shahpura,’ meaning ‘town of the Shah.’
Today it is a crumble of picturesque ruins with only the outer walls remaining, though you can still pick out the mouths of two escape tunnels and a scattering of pre-Portuguese Muslim tombstones. The main reason to make the climb up the hill is for the sensational views out along the coast from atop the fort walls – north to Morjim beach and the Chapora River, and south to Vagator and Ozran beaches. The best time to climb up is about an hour before sunset.
Though heavily fortified, Chapora Fort was nevertheless captured several times by invaders: first by several groups of Hindu raiders, and next, in 1684, when it was reportedly conquered without a shot being fired. On this occasion the Portuguese captain of the fort decided to surrender to the Maratha forces of the chieftain Sambhaji, his decision perhaps stemming, if legend is to be believed, from the manner in which Sambhaji’s forces managed to breach the fort’s defences: it’s said that they clung tight to tenacious 1.5m-long monitor lizards, who were able to scale the rocky walls with ease.
The Portuguese rebuilt the fort in 1717, adding features such as tunnels that led from the bastion down to the seashore and the river bank to enable resupply or escape in times of trouble, but Chapora fell again to the Marathas in 1739. Soon the northerly taluka of Pernem came into Portuguese hands, forming part of the Novas Conquistas (the ‘New Conquests,’ the second wave of Portuguese conquests in Goa), and the significance of Chapora faded. The fort was finally abandoned to the ravages of the elements in 1892.