The Chapora fort is located in the Bardez taluka and is easily accessible from the market town of Mapusa. The village of Chapora and the fort, get their name from ‘Shahapura’ or, ‘the town of the Shah’. This was due to the fact that it was once the stronghold of the Sultanate of Bijapur.
The fort was held by the Portuguese from 1543. They built the Chapora fort over the remains of an old military outpost which belonged to the previous ruler, Sultan Adil Shah. This was to protect their Northern boundary from incursions made by the Maharaja of Sawantwadi, who ruled over Pernem, on the opposite bank of the Chapora River.
The fort is the only laterite fort in the village of Chapora. Its walls follow the natural slopes and drops of the peninsula. This makes them steep and difficult to climb. The walls also had irregularly spaced bastions with large embrasures to hold canons. The bastions are topped by cylindrical towers with lend an air of interest to the fort. There was once a church dedicated to St. Anthony that stood within the walls. However, it is no longer standing. There were also barracks and officer’s quarters to house the defenders within the fort’s walls, little of which remains today. When the Portuguese rebuilt the fort in 1717, they added tunnels to allow to the fort’s defenders a safe retreat should their battlements be breached, a fortuitous decision as it turned out. Visitors can just see the mouths of these tunnels today.
The fort offers a spectacular view over the peninsula, the Chapora River and the beaches of Chapora, Anjuna and Vagator.