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Terekhol Fort

Often mis-spelt as Tirakol or Tirakhol, situated on the Terekhol River, this fort lies on the northern tip of Goa. Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, built this fort in the 17th century. It was then rebuilt in 1764 after the Portuguese Viceroy Dom Pedro Miguel de Almeida captured it. However, Terekhol was legally incorporated into Goa only in 1788. In 1825, Dr. Bernado Peres da Silva, the first Goan born Viceroy of Goa, used the fort as a base for an armed rebellion against the Portuguese.

The outcome however, was not very fruitful and the Portuguese took over the fort once again. He never returned to Goa. The remains of the fort have now been converted into a hotel, the Terekhol Fort Heritage. In its courtyard is the century old Church of St. Anthony. But it is not open to the general public except on certain occasions such as the annual feast that is usually held some time in May. 42 kms from Panaji, Terekhol fort stands at the northern most tip of Goa’s shoreline, on a hillock overlooking the Arabian Sea, at the mouth of river Terekhol.

Fort Tiracol is reached by a ferry from Querim, 42 km North of Panaji. The name probably originated from the Marathi tir-khol meaning “steep river-bank”. The fort became an important part of Portuguese maritime defences; being extensively revamped in 1764. It remained in Portuguese control till December 1961 when the last of Portuguese territorial positions in the subcontinent were forcibly annexed by India.

Terekhol Fort 1

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DFort Tiracol was a symbolic location where freedom fighters from Goa demonstrated from time to time. On 15 August 1954, Satyagrahis protesting Portuguese rule entered Goa from three different directions – one of which was from the North to Fort Tiracol, which was occupied and flew the Indian flag for a day before they were captured and imprisoned.

A Church for the Holy Trinity was constructed in the fort courtyard by de Almeida after its capture. This later became the century old Church of St. Anthony. Now, in a state of ruins, Fort Tiracol has been converted into a hotel, the Fort Tiracol Heritage. The church is not open to the general public except on certain occasions, such as the annual feast that is usually held in May.

The fort has been converted into a luxury hotel. There are villas and guest houses near the fort. There are several options for budget and mid-range accommodation close to the fort.

The Terekhol fort in Goa is very well known its glorious history and legends of its past. Its architectural style throws light on the battles of the past as well as its surviving ability. This fort is also a major tourist attraction and attracts visitors from far and wide. The fort is also famous for its scenic atmosphere and can be best described as an important landmark of Goa.

Terekhol Fort fort stands strong till date and makes an interesting testimony of history.

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