Fort Anjediva, built on the Anjadip Island, off the coast of the Indian state of Karnataka but under the administrative jurisdiction of the Indian state of Goa, was once under Portuguese rule. It has also in its vicinity an ancient church on the island called the Church of Our Lady of Springs built in 1505. The Chapel of St Francis D’Assissi is also located here but it is in ruins. Though the fort has a rich history linked to Portuguese rule, it is also presently in ruins. Both the fort and the church are located in the island of Anjadip, which covers an area of 1.5 square kilometres (0.58 sq mi).
Anjediv—the name means "fifth island"—(see image in infobox), is the largest of an archipelago of five islands (known as the Panchdiva chain of five islands); the other four islands are the Kurnagal, the Mudlingud, the Devgad and the Devragad. Because of its strategic importance in the seafaring route to India and also as a watering destination for ships, a fort was built on this island by the Portuguese to enhance their military presence and control of trade route.
In March 1505, Dom Francisco de Almeida came to India as Portuguese monarch Emanuel's Viceroy and was the first permanent representative in the East. He had a “Regimento” or mandatory orders to establish four forts in India, which included the fort at Anjadip island, off the West Coast of India (the other three forts were proposed at Cannanore, Cochin and Quilon) where seafaring merchant vessels from Greece, Arabia, Egypt, and Portugal would stop for water on their way to and from the East carrying valuable goods, such as spices from India.
The decision to build the fort was dictated by the fact that Vasco Da Gama had stopped on this island in 1498, on his return from Calicut to Portugal, (after exploring the sea route to India) not only to repair his ships but also to collect water from the springs on the island (considered of good water quality). He had again stopped here in 1502.
It is stated that Vasco Da Gama had appreciated, from his earlier visits to this island, that Angediva would be a good place not only to collect fresh and safe water but would also be a perfect safe site for docking ships during the south west monsoon season in India. In fact, Vasco Da Gama and Gaspar da Gama (a Jewish trader who was converted to Christianity in Cochin) recommended to the King of Portugal to establish a naval fort at Angediva, which eventually could help Portuguese to get control of the neighbouring island of Goa.
Further, the hydrographic conditions at the island location of about 1 mile (2 km) length, and 2 miles (3 km) from its shore to the Karwar head southwards, favoured building a safe fort as water depth of 6 to 7 fathoms (11 to 13 m) in the channel between the fort wall and the shore line was noted. At the outer sea side of the fort, the water depth was reported to be 10 to 12 fathoms (18 to 22 m). A further 4 miles (6 km) away, the depth of water was reportedly 14 fathoms (26 m).
Excavations carried out in the area by the Department of Archaeology and Museums (Goa) has revealed pillars, stones, pots of the 11th and 12th century with the artistic work of Kadambas and Chalukyas. From this, it has been inferred that the findings could be the remnants of the ruined temple of goddess Aryadurga Devi.
The Fort on the island is located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of Baticala, the ancient kingdom of Garsopa, the present day Karwar. Karwar is approached conveniently by road on the National Highway NH 17. From Karwar, a 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) causeway leads to the Officers (Sea Bird) gate and then to the historic fort. In the past, the approach involved a seaward journey of one hour by trawlers and then by a canoe to the island. It is also approachable by boat ride from the Binga beach.