Located in Canacona taluka, Cabo de Rama (Cape Rama), takes its name from Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana, who according to local legend, along with his wife Sita holed up here during his exile from Ayodhya. The promontory was crowned by a fort centuries before the Portuguese cruised in and wrested it from the local Hindu rulers in 1763.
The Portuguese erected their own citadel soon after, but this now lies in ruins; a crumbling turret still houses a couple of rusty old Portuguese cannons. Until 1955, the bastion housed a prison; now it’s only habitable building is a lonely government observation post occupied from time to time by a couple of young scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography.
The fortress on this site was held by various rulers for many years, and it was in 1763 that it was gained by the Portuguese from the Raja of Sonda. It was subsequently rebuilt, and what remains today, including the rusty cannons, is entirely Portuguese. Although the fort saw no real action after it was rebuilt, it was briefly occupied by British troops.
There is little to see of the old structure beyond the front wall with its dry moat and main gate, and the small church which stands just inside the walls. The church is still used, and its pristine whitewash contrasts notably with the blackened stone of the ruined front rampart. The western side of the fortress, where the cliffs drop sharply to the sea, provides a great view both to the north and south. You have to arrange your own transport to reach the fort.