28 Feb Tiracol Fort and Village – Beautifying the Northern End of Goa
Tiracol Fort sits like a cherry atop a cake on the Northern tip of Goa. North of Arambol beach, there is a ferry point called Keri-Tiracol and on the opposite shore is the Tiracol Village and Fort. During Novas Conquistas, the village was captured by the Portuguese from the Bhonsales of Sawantwadi in the year 1746. Tiracol was and till today remains a bold and brazen Goan toe-hold in the state of Maharashtra. The fort currently functions as a heritage hotel, overlooking the beautiful Tiracol river. The chapel of St. Anthony is located inside the fort and is open to tourists/visitors only when guided tours are available.
A small fort, Tiracol was built by the Khem Sawant of Sawantwadi. If history is to be believed, it appears as if the fort was like a ball passed between its various lords. The journey began under Adil Shah of Bijapur, then moved on to Shivaji Maharaj and then was captured by the Portuguese. Even the British tried their hands at it, but in vain. There are many who believe that Tiracol fort is a part of a series of forts that line the Konkan coast. All these forts were under Chhatrapati Shivaji at one point of time.
Interestingly, the fort played a vital part in the Goan freedom movement from the Portuguese.
On 15th August 1955, freedom fighters Hirve Guruji and two others were killed in this fort for hoisting the Indian flag. A memorial stands in their name just outside the fort gate below a huge banyan tree. After Goa’s integration with India, the fort was taken over by Goa tourism to convert it into a hotel. As mentioned above, tourists can take a ferry from Keri-Tiracol point in Goa.
The church of St. Anthony, which is more than a 100 years old, stands in the middle of the courtyard of the Tiracol fort. The entire village is in attendance for Sunday Mass every week.
The hotel has a vintage feel to it; there is too much history seeped in its walls and surroundings. Boasting of breathtaking views of the sea, there’s a calm that enshrouds the place at all times. Interestingly, this heritage property is one of the best hotel in Goa.
A catholic village, Tiracol has a population of about a 100 families. The village has a chapel, a Padre’s house and a small platform next to the river where all village festivals are celebrated. The two primary professions of the people are farming and fishing. Villagers usually refer to Tiracol as Terekhol. There’s greenery all around the village and one can sight a few peacocks every now and then.
Tiracol is where you should escape to, if seclusion is what you are looking for. It’s far from Goa’s maddening crowds and chaotic scenes. In so many ways, it is a peaceful world of its own. You can cuddle up to read a book, daydream with sea views and enjoy morning and evening walks around the fort. Luxury and leisure follow you in this beautiful village everywhere you go!