Dil Chahta Hai Fort aka Chapora Fort
Updated: Feb 10, 2019
How do you get archaeological ruins their share of Fame? You shoot a movie of Course! The fans WILL follow. This is literally how The Chapora fort became one of the top destinations for Indian tourists. Located at the top of the Hillock, one can have a panoramic view of Vagator beach, the Chapora River and Morjim beach at the same time. Originally constructed during the Adil Shah reign, the town was called Shah-pura (City of Shah) which eventually became Chapora. Thus the name was branded on the fort. The Portuguese however took over for a short period before the Marathas attacked. Later, the Portuguese returned and took it back for good.
From then on, there hasn't been much activity other than a few fortifications to strengthen the structure. The fort remained in ruins and wasn't popular until the movie 'Dil Chahta Hai’ had a scene shot there. Once it was released in 2001, more than it being called the Chapora Fort people called it Dil Chahta Hai Fort. One scene where the main actors Amir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna sit on one of the walls overseeing Vagator beach gives the feel of a free spirit living life to the fullest. As most of the Indians can relate to the fort more from the movie, the name has stood strong to this day. It's funny that even one of the local snack stands have called themselves ‘Dil Chahta Hai corner’.
One can visit the fort easily as there is a road uptown the bottom of the hill. A ten minute trek up the slope will get you to the entrance. Inside there isn't much to do as the area is plain and open.
Barracks and a little church that once stood here aren't present anymore. The view is stunning from every edge of the fort. The beaches, the river and even the land behind looks picturesque from above. Since it is at a height the breeze is lovely.
Things to know before you visit:
Best time to visit is in the evening nearing sunset. Day time is hot with almost no shade on top.
Carry water to the top as you will feel thirsty in the time that you would spend there. It would take roughly 45 minutes to cover the whole place.
Official timings are 10-5:30 PM. You could get in even later but it is not advisable as the place gets dark pretty quick.
No entry fee.
A visit during the monsoons will give you a greener panoramic view from the top.
Proper food is not available on top. However, there will be vendors selling fruits and packaged juices around.
Paid Parking is available at the bottom of the hill for 2 wheelers and 4 wheelers.