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Fort of Moti Daman

Thursday, June 14, 2012


After crossing the pedestrian bridge over Daman Ganga, I landed up in Moti Daman. Again the entrance is via a small cutout in the walls. Mind it. This is not an entrance to the Fort, but was made recently by some people who cut into the walls of the fort.
As I was entering, school children were exiting the fort via this entrance cum exit. I guess these children were staying at Nani Daman, as the bridge connects the two with each other.

Fortification of Moti Daman from the bridge over River Damanganga

The fort of Moti Daman is bigger than the one at Nani Daman as it is home to various government offices, homes and schools. The walls of both forts appeared to be constructed in a similar manner. I guess both were built around 400 years ago.
Again this is a huge fort and it is best to climb up the walls of the fort to get a good view of the sea, Nani Daman and the structure inside the Fort.

Hole in the wall, used by school children as entry to the Fort

Some parts of the fort have been spoilt by graffiti. Even so, it is good to see that most of the walls are as good as new even though they are 400 years old.
There is a lot of greenery inside this fort. Steps have been taken by the government of Daman to beautify the fort premises.
There are a number of cannons on this fort. The mouth of each of these cannons has an engraving of a crest and a year. I have been too many forts and seen a number of cannons, but never have I seen a cannon with the crest and year of manufacture inscribed on it.

Fortification with huge trees on it

A few ruins of broken down houses still exist on the fort walls. I wondered what they must have been like in their heydays.
There are two lighthouses on the Fort. The old and the new. Civilians are not granted entry to the New Lighthouse, but the Old Lighthouse can be easily viewed. No one is allowed to walk on the walls near the lighthouse for security reasons. A locked gate stops us from entering its premises.
Cannon with royal emblem and year of manufacture, i guess

The Old Lighthouse was, I guess, built during the Portuguese reign. Painted white, it has a spiral staircase in it. The lighthouse is around one storey tall. The lighthouse has an inscription on it stating when and by whom it was built. But the information is rather unclear. The lighthouse offers a very good view of the sea. Of course, the New Lighthouse would have afforded a better view, but we civilians are not allowed there. L
Around the fort premises are many roofless structures standing with wild grass growing around. Due to forest fires this grass has been burned down but the ruins of these walls still stand. How I wish I had a time machine to go back in history to view the splendor of this fort back then!

Light House, New and Old

The house of Portuguese Poet Bocage is very close to the Main Entrance of the Fort via the sea. A marble tombstone has been erected above the door of the small structure denoting that Bocage used to reside here. His house is very small. The government should have worked on renovating his house so that people could see it from the inside. But instead it lies there locked. The window panes of his house are broken. Neglected.
The wall next to the main entrance to the fort has “Rua Martin Afonso” inscribed on it. And on the wooden door, painted beige with rusted metal on it, I saw “ESTA PORTAF OIFEITA AOS 8 DE AGO TODI.” It was Portuguese, but it seemed like Greek and Latin to me. Totally incomprehensible.

House of Bocage

Fortunately, there is some boasting I can do. Rua is Portuguese for road. No doubt the road was named after some important Portuguese official.
The Fort of Moti Daman houses the Court of Civil Registrar, The Secretariat, GHSS Moti Daman, Excise Forest, Collectorate, Government House, the local hospital, the houses of the locals, schools and other ruins. It also houses the Cathedral of Bom Jesus, the Chapel of Our Lady of Rosary and the Dominican Monastary in the Fort premises and the Church of Our Lady of Remedies and the Church of Our Lady of Agustias on the outskirts of the fort.

Underground tunnel near the entrance of the fort
Some parts of the fort are under renovation. Looks like the Daman Municipal Council has taken the initiative to take care of its rich heritage. I noticed that there are two underground tunnels on the fort. As I had no torch with me, I thought that it would be more sensible not to visit them. Someday I will be back to view the tunnels. It would be interesting to see where they lead. A hidden cave with a treasure trove lying undisturbed for centuries or a hidden entrance to some place. Or maybe a dead-end.
The other entrance to the fort near the Post Office leads to Moti Daman outside the fort. There is an inscription in Portuguese placed on the Entrance. Above it is a statue with an emblem alongside. Higher above this is a Cross, indicating that this is a Portuguese Fort.
It took me around 5 hours to see the Moti Daman Fort in its entirety. The place is certainly worth a visit and is worth exploring, particularly if you like walking.

8 comments:

PRANAV KELUSKAR said...

nice info merwyn keep it up..:)

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Pranav

magiceye said...

Well documented.
Thank you for the lovely virtual tour of Daman

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks magiceye

maxi dias said...

Merwyn I Gus's u shld chek DAT underground turnel CU's ven I visited I had gne vd my frnds n as v enterd der was all bats cuming on us v put our bike helmets n v went v reached half way as v felt water on my legs v stopped n returnd back but v noticed lots of rods n some bones BT next time vl b full prepared let me kno if ya intrested

maxi dias said...

This turnel connects to d other fort of nani daman its fun BT lots of unusual activities happens like spirits n all mostly nite after 10pm IST u vl c a girl in white dress on the fort she gets fluctuated frm one place to another its very scary

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Maxi for reading my blog.
Daman, why not.

Unknown said...

The house of Bocage is now renovated from the exterior.

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