Rachol fort

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.

   

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