Cabo Da Rama

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To the south of Margao, a long winding road branches off towards the fort from the National Highway-17 going towards Karwar. This quiet bumpy road leads towards the hills on the edge of the sea. A mere 25 km from the main city of Margao, is the lonely Fort Cabo da Rama. Cabo da Rama means Cape of Rama. It is the largest fort in Goa covering an area of 179,600 square meters. The landscape is wild and tranquil with huge areas of terraced fields and cliffs of dark volcanic rock. The only obvious signs of human habitation are a few empty looking buildings dot the landscape. The Cabo Da Rama Fort presents a desolate spectacle of crumbling ruins. But this ancient bastion is steeped in mythological legends. Built in 1679, the laterite is nicely seasoned with a little more than 330 monsoons. The walls have silts in masonry to fire muskets from three directions. The fort has an interesting story as to how it derived its name. It is said that Lord Rama of the Hindu epic Ramayana took shelter here with his wife Sita. This was during the time when they were banished from kingdom and sent on a 14 year long exile.

Unlike many other forts in state, the Cabo Da Rama Fort predates the Portuguese invasion of Goa. Possession of the fort changed hands many a time as dynasties fell and rose during the ages. In 1763 the Portuguese led by Viceroy Conde de Ega claimed the fort after defeating the Raja of Soonda. It was abandoned when the Portuguese left Goa.

st.anthonys-church-cabo-de-rama-fort-south-goa

The Church of Cabo da Rama dedicated to St. Anthony lies desolate with a few lonely crosses and a mini goalpost for company. Once upon a time a whole throbbing village, today the small parish still congregates every Sunday and for feasts. A tall maddi tree stands in front of almost every one of the 159 parish churches of Goa.

The fort presents a stunning view of sea from western side. A couple of kilometers before reaching fort, just off to the right road, is small cove with a patch of beach at the bottom of a steep, rocky cliff shaded by a few clinging palms. There’s no fixed path, and getting to the bottom takes about 10 minutes of trial and error.

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