Fort Tiracol or Fort Terekhol, as it is sometimes called, is the northern most point of Goa. If you drive past the beaches up to the north, you’ll find this fort on the other side, surrounded by river Tiracol and the mountains.
With a small stretch of land that spreads on one side and the vast Arabian sea on the other, Fort Tericol is one of the most treasured pieces of history in Goa. Built by the Maratha Kingdom in the 17th century, it later was a prominent place for the Portuguese, thanks to its strategic location.
One of the best experiences for me was the drive. As I passed through the northern beaches of Goa, the uphill began after Arambol beach, and from there it was a drive amidst the lush hills. After a while, I saw river Tiracol flowing at the foot of the mountain, and it reminded me of the backwaters of Kovalam – Maybe it was the colourful boats that stood on the shore or the fishing nets, which reminded me of Kerala.
Tiracol river forms the border between Maharashtra and Goa. After you drive till the river bed, you’ll see a small stretch of water that separates the mainland of Goa. Once you are there, you have to take a ferry to cross the river. Only one ferry operates and it leaves every half an hour. Locals use this frequently and even load their vehicles.
A 15-minute ride led to the shore. A few steps away is the entrance to the fort. Fort Tiracol has now been converted into a heritage hotel and although the public can visit the fort, you are allowed to stay only for a limited time. I had to take permission as well to take the pictures inside the premises. It was a hot afternoon and a few guests at the hotel were relaxing at the balcony, absorbing the gorgeous view of Querim beach and the horizon of the Arabian sea.
There is a church at the centre of Fort Tiracol, and every year they have celebrations here during which people gather. It was a half day trip that was worthy for me – the drive, the boat ride and the majestic view of the shore.
It is highly recommended if you love long drives or driving for that matter. It’s one of the places that should be on your list if you intend to go beyond the beaches in Goa. You can as well check out Querim beach and head to Arambol for sunset making it an awesome day trip in this region of Goa!
How to Get to Fort Tiracol?
It is located about 42 km from Panaji, and the closest popular place is Arambol. The best way to reach Fort Tiracol is by driving. You’ll have to load your vehicle on the ferry if you plan to carry it to the other side.
A point to note here – Whether you are entering from the river side or via a bridge that connects (you’ll come across this bridge just before you reach the ferry point, on your right), you can’t take your vehicle if the number plate is not yellow (unless you want to pay at the check post). So make sure to borrow a white board vehicle from a local Goan if you plan to cross the bridge and drive ahead to enter Maharashtra.
If you are looking for some offbeat experiences in Goa, check these posts as well:
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