If you’re in need of a live show, the offbeat Aguad Goa could be exactly what you’re looking for. Jazz fans did recently, when the Goa Jazz Academy presented a concert on the tiny and picturesque Aguad Jetty stage in honour of International Jazz Day.
Traditions and Past
Part of the historic Aguada Fort Sinquerim on the banks of the Mandovi River is the 400-year-old Aguada Goa. ‘Agua’ (water) and ‘Da’ (gives) in Portuguese give rise to ‘Aguad’ in Konkani, the name of a famous building from the Portuguese era. In 1612, the Portuguese constructed a fort at the mouth of the bay that separates Velha (Old Goa) and Nova Goa (Panjim) to protect their colony from the Marathas and the Dutch.
Originally, the area served as a port where ships could dock to restock on supplies and exchange goods like diamonds and arrack. In addition, its natural freshwater aquifer and rainwater harvesting technology gave it Asia’s greatest capability for water replenishment.
In the 1930s, Portuguese dictator Salazar turned the lower Aguad fort into a jail for anyone who dared to resist Portuguese power. It opened in 1961 as the Aguada Central Jail but stopped housing inmates in 2015.
The area will be developed and restored in August 2021 as part of the ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme. According to Naveen Chopra, CEO of Aguad Port and Jail, the Aguad cultural centre is a reimagined set of historic buildings that welcomes locals and tourists into a hub of heritage museums, cultural events, performing arts, live music, eateries and festivals; it is set up as a tribute to the one-of-a-kind history of Goa.
The Shruti Amrut classical music and dance festival at Spic Macay drew large crowds, as did the Music Festivals at the jetty, such as the Monte music festival, which featured internationally acclaimed musicians and contemporary dancers. In addition to hosting the NDFC Film Festival and the inaugural FDIC Men’s Fashion Weekend in January of this year, Aguad also hosted the opening of the solo show “Infinite Light” by the renowned artist Paresh Maity. Tourists interested in the arts can also visit the ‘All At Once’ exhibition of antique pictures by Raja Deen Dayal, the ‘Coexistence’ collection of Goan art in mixed media, and the ‘Goan archives of Souza & Paul.
The Digital Museum: Freedom Struggle of Goa to Art Shows & Exhibitions, Sound, Light, and Digital Experiences, and more await guests. There are coastal hiking paths and marine programming for the intrepid.
The outdoor parts of this facility may be inaccessible during the monsoons, but there are still shows and performances scheduled indoors. According to Chopra, “that enables events to take place simultaneously in the realm of music, art, or the performing arts,” the programming has been constructed in various layers.
The Dogears Book Shop is a great destination for readers. The Black Sheep Bistro and Kokni Kanteen (opening this June) are just two of the popular eateries that have embraced the concept of this location.
Aguad, which can be reached through boat transfers from Panjim, has a distinctive waterfront and pier and is a great place to rediscover Goa’s rich history and vibrant culture at any time of year.
The expanding programme schedule here will merge the best curated experiences from Goa, India, and the world, giving locals and visitors a lot to look forward to.