We were headed to Cabo de Rama, one of the more remote forts of South Goa. I had heard that the views of the seaside from the fort were brilliant. I was hoping that the fort would live up to it’s reputation.
While searching for off-beat locations to visit in South Goa, I chanced upon this old ruined fortress called Cabo De Rama. While the Portuguese ruled Goa, they either built or took over about 20 forts, many of which are today in ruins. Of these Cabo De Rama, seemed the most interesting in South Goa.
We set off from Varca, on our journey towards this fort. The fort is about 25 km from Varca and can easily be reached by an hour’s drive. The drive to the fort is particularly scenic with the long road taking you through the lush greenery and small hamlets of rural Goa. The road seems endless, winding on and on with no sign of the fort, when suddenly it ends at the fort.
The fort, not being one of the more popular tourist destinations, seems to stand in need of urgent repair. It gets it’s name from the myth surrounding the fort, that Lord Ram stayed here with Sita, when he was exiled. So when the Portuguese took the fort over from the Hindu Soonda Kings in 1763, they named it Cabo de Rama or “Cape Rama”, in accordance with local lore. The Fort grew over time to include 21 guns, military barracks, quarters for the commandant and a chapel. Over the years the fort fell into ruins and very little of the original structures remain today.
We entered the fort through a small bridge over what seemed like a valley or moat. The moat must definitely have been filled with seawater in yesteryears. On entering the fort, on the left side was the pretty St. Antonio Chapel. The chapel is a functioning Catholic Chapel where service is still held every week.
After spending some time around the Chapel, we moved on to the western side of the fortress to a watchtower like structure. Here the cliffs dropped sharply to the sea, and the view of the Cabo de Rama beach and surrounding sea was breathtaking. A few cannons were scattered on the top of watch tower, unused and rusty like the rest of the fort.
Standing atop the broken ramparts and staring down at a crescent shaped beach on side, and broken fortifications reclaimed by wilderness on the other side, I could just imagine how the fort must have been at the heights of its grandeur.
In the distance, dark angry clouds seemed to be racing towards the fort. Isolated and staring at the seas pounding the shores, it was an unreal moment of silence that lasted till the first drops of rain fell. In a short while, the drops became a more steady downpour and the heavens opened up, forcing us to end further exploration of the fort. After taking shelter in one of the buildings till the rain stopped, we left for our next destination, but I was forever enchanted by this forgotten decrepit old fort.
Cabo de Rama is about 60 Km from Panjim and about 50 km from Vasco da Gama. The one hour drive can easily be done by hiring a car from either of the cities. Alternatively, make one of the South Goa beaches your base and travel to the fort.
Best Time to Visit
The fort can be visited all year round. Though in the monsoon season, expect frequent rain showers and inclement weather along the way.
Where to Stay
There is no suitable place to stay near the fort and it is best done as a day trip from either Panjim or Vasco da Gama or one of the nearby beaches.