A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships
that called there, giving it the name "Aguada" (meaning 'water'
in Portuguese). On the northern side, it provides a harbour for local
shipping. The fort, at present, houses the central jail. A 19th century
built lighthouse is situated inside the fortress.
Immediately south of Candolim, a long peninsula extends into the sea, bringing the seven-kilometre white sandy beach to an abrupt end. Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders, it is home to several natural springs, the first source of drinking water available to ships arriving in Goa after the long sea voyage from Lisbon.
On the north side of the fort, a rampart of red-brown
laterite just into the bay to form a jetty between two small sandy coves.
This picturesque spot is known as Sinquerim Beach. Fort Aguada resorts,
among the most expensive hotels in India, lords over the beach from the
lower slopes of the steep si ded peninsula.
The ruins of the fort can be reached by road; head through the Taj village, and turn right when one sees the sign. Nowadays, much of the site serves as a prison, and is therefore closed to visitors. It's worth a visit, though, if only for the superb views from the top of the hill where a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia, looks down over the vast expanse of sea, sand and palm trees of Calangute Beach on one side, and across the mouth of the Mandovi to Cabo Raj Bhavan or The Cabo Palace, and the tip of the Marmagoa peninsula, on the other. .