For a long time, I had been thinking of writing about Mario Miranda and his work, but some how I kept postponing it for some reason or the other.
Now I have the perfect reason to write and that is the historic Fort - Reis Magos in
Visited this place last month and I must say I am really impressed. It is a perfect example of how a place can be restored with out loosing its identity. Thanks to Gerard da Cunha, who has done a wonderful job in bringing the place alive. In the first instance you may get the impression that he has done nothing, and that exactly is the highlight of the restoration – to maintain its original identity. In his own words “old monuments are just like corpse but unless you use a building you cannot maintain it. We can reclaim our heritage and earn from it”
The income from the entry tickets may not be substantial but think of the tourists that come from all over the world helping in the economy of the state.
Old materials and old methodology of restoration has been used to give the fort its air of authenticity.
I was also impressed by the staff present at every point, quietly doing their work. After you buy your entry ticket, there is a small vehicle which takes you up to the main gate (as its a steep climb)
Just before the main door of the fort there is this banyan tree. Its interesting to read the history of the tree.
It grew as a parasite on a coconut tree, eventually strangulating it. In 2008 the coconut tree caught fire. Without a core the banyan tree began to buckle and collapse. It was trimmed and held with steel ropes and a reinforced concrete column was cast in the hollow of the tree. The tree stabilized and the stays were removed in 2010.
Just as you enter you will notice a big hole in the roof. This was used to shoot (or throw hot oil) at the enemies who managed to reach that point
Inside the fort, time stands still and you are transported back by about three centuries.
I saw this canon which was mounted on carriages. These gun carriages were copied from the original that were found in
This was how it used to look before restoration.
There were originally 31 canons of which 7 are now left.
A close up of one of them shows some inscription, probably the date of manufacture and the insignia.
Reis Magos is the Portuguese name for the three wise men from the Bible.
The view from the top is magnificent with the Mandovi river in the forefront.
While we were going through the place there was this friendly parrot who was very interested in my friend’s camera.
I showed my camera to the parrot, but he did not even look at it. Nowadays even the birds know the difference between a DSLR and an ordinary camera.
On the way out one has to go down a flight of steps (about 100+) and its real steep. Thankfully hand rails have been provided for safety.
Coming to the best part is an exhibition in the main hall and that brings us to one of my favourite cartoonist Mario Miranda.
More on this in part –II, meanwhile a preview of the pictures that are coming in part-II