Rachol Fort

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The ruins of the Rachol fort lie close to the famous Rachol Seminary, about 7 kms from the town of Margao. Of the fortress itself, only a single gateway remains in existence, straddling the road which leads to the seminary. The imposing fortress once encircled the hill on which the Seminary stands today. The dried-up moat can still be seen in places. The Muslim Bahmani kingdom built the fortress at the height of its power. However, the Hindu Vijayanagar kingdom under King Krishnaraya, captured it from the Sultan of Bijapur, Ismail Adil Shah, only to cede it to the Portuguese in 1520 in exchange for military help against the Muslims.

The Rachol fort remained in Portuguese hands over the years, defending the area against Muslim and Hindu attackers, including a siege by the Maratha King Sambhaji in 1684. At the peak of its power, it had as many as 100 guns on its ramparts, helping it to hold the Maratha armies at bay for months. As the Portuguese empire in Goa expanded with the New Conquests, the guns found new areas of deployment and the fort fell from favour and was finally abandoned. The fort soon fell into a state of disrepair and nothing remains of it today except the stone archway which spans the road and the old moat around the hill.

Rachol Fort 1

Rachol, also known as Raitura, is a village in Salcete, Goa, in south-western India. It is located on the left bank of the Zuari River and is home to the famous Rachol Seminary. The famous Portuguese colonial fort of Rachol has been completely erased, leaving behind the traces of the moat and the main gate. The village has many heritage structures and is an important site to study the history of Salcete. The Church of Our Lady of Snows (Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Neves) at Rachol is said to be the first church of Salcete and is called the Matriz of South Goa. Ilha de Rachol (Island of Rachol) is a part of the village.

The fort is built out of laterite stones and offers very scenic surroundings. This fort was controlled by many Indian rulers until the Portuguese took control over the fort. As the Portuguese expanded their empire this fort fell from favor and was finally abandoned.

This fort is well known for its battles between the Vijayanagar and Bijapur empires after the collapse of the Kadamba dynasty in Goa. In the fifteenth century the Hindu Vijayanagar took it from the Sultan of Bijapur and it was then ceded to the Portuguese in 1520 in exchange for military help against the Muslims.

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