Comprising about 800 villages and four large towns, the Northern Province was a rural territory along the Northwestern coast of India dependent on the Portuguese empire between 1534 and 1739. During the 200 years of its existence, the colonial territory was densely fortified by the Portuguese. The bigger fortifications of Vasai, Chaul and Daman have been fairly well studied; however, the complex network of smaller structures—forts, bastions, isolated towers, fortified manor houses, fortified convents, etc – remains to be surveyed, mapped and researched. In this presentation, an attempt was made for the first time to present the defensive framework of the whole Northern Province, relating it to the territory’s other networks: religious structures, population settlements, communications infrastructures, etc.
Arch Sidh Mendiratta graduated from the Architecture Faculty of Porto in 2005, after having studied in Coimbra for three years and in the Goa College of Architecture for one year. His final degree work was a study of the Augustinian convent at Old Goa, during which he undertook a collaborative work with the Archaelogical Survey of India (2002-2004).