The fort was originally constructed in 1612 to guard against the Dutch. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi River. It was initially tasked with defense of shipping and the nearby Bardez sub-district.
A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name: Aguada, meaning watery in the Portuguese language. Crews of passing ships would often visit to replenish their freshwater stores. The Aguada Fort Lighthouse erected in 1864 is the oldest of its kind in Asia.