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On the op­po­site shore of the Man­dovi River from Panaji, Fort Aquada still stands guard as it has for over 400 years. Con­structed in 1613 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas, this well-pre­served old Por­tuguese out­post over­looks the beach where the river meets the Ara­bian Sea.

The fresh­wa­ter spring inside the fortress walls gave the fort its name, Aguada, which means wa­ter. The up­per sec­tion of the fort held wa­ter stor­age and for­ti­fi­ca­tion – in­clud­ing 79 can­nons – and a se­cret es­cape pas­sage in case of emer­gen­cies. The lower part served as a safe berth for Por­tuguese ships. The fourstory light­house, erected in 1864, is the old­est of its kind in Asia and was in use un­til it was aban­doned in 1976.

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