By Journey Man
Daman and Diu is a union territory in India, located on the west coast of the country. It consists of two separate geographical areas: the coastal town of Daman and the island of Diu, which is located about 600 km to the south.
Daman is situated on the northern edge of the state of Maharashtra, while Diu is located near the state of Gujarat. The union territory is relatively small, covering an area of just 112 square kilometres.
The region was once under Portuguese rule and has a rich cultural heritage, with a blend of Indian and Portuguese influences. The architecture and cuisine of the region reflect this unique mix of cultures.
Daman and Diu are popular tourist destinations, known for their beautiful beaches, historical monuments, and religious sites. Some of the popular attractions include the Fort of Moti Daman, the Church of Bom Jesus, and the Nagoa Beach in Diu.
Tourists can also enjoy a range of water sports, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and scuba diving. The region is well connected by road, rail, and air, making it easily accessible for travellers from all over India and beyond.
With a geographical distance of almost 650 to 700 km in all, Daman and Diu are a part of a single Union Territory in India. Lying amid the many beaches of Maharashtra, Konkan Coast and Goa, this union territory of Daman and Diu is idyllic, tranquil and still quite unspoilt.
Daman and Diu are best for those who wish to have a relaxing holiday. A coastal paradise, anyone who visits this place is guaranteed to have a blissful vacation while enjoying the sea breeze, resting on the beach chair and enjoying the waves of the sea. Mostly a weekend getaway destination, Daman and Diu has a lot of Gujarati as well as Maharashtrian population due to the close proximity to these two states.
There is a huge influence of Portuguese culture in Daman and Diu. This is because it was under the Portuguese rule for over 450 years, which has obviously left its mark on the districts. This is one of the main reasons why tourists flock to the region a lot. It is also due to this influence that you can find a lot of stunning architecture, lip-smacking food as well as breath-taking art and craft in Daman and Diu.
Beaches & the fort
One of the main tourist attractions here is Devka Beach in Daman. It has an amusement park right beside it, which boasts of vibrantly coloured fountains, a corner especially for kids as well as a food court. For those who wish to take a swim in the cool seawater, you can head to Jampore Beach, located south of Daman.
Additionally, you can also find the St. Jerome Fort on the northern side of the Daman Ganga River. It dates back to the 17th century and has an exceptional structure and architecture which will take your breath away. Furthermore, you can find many notable Portuguese churches scattered throughout Daman and Diu.
Daman and Diu have a rich and varied history, dating back to ancient times. The region was under the rule of several dynasties, including the Mauryas, the Satavahanas, the Chalukyas, and the Rashtrakutas.
In the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in the region and established a colony. They built several forts and churches, which still stand and are popular tourist attractions. The Portuguese ruled over Daman and Diu for over 450 years, until the territory was annexed by the Indian government in 1961.
After annexation, Daman and Diu became a part of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman, and Diu. In 1987, Goa was granted statehood, and Daman and Diu became a separate Union Territory.
Today, Daman and Diu are known for their unique blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures. The region has a diverse population, with people from various religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Tourism is a significant industry in Daman and Diu, with visitors coming to enjoy the beaches, historical monuments, and cultural attractions. The Union Territory is also known for its handicraft, including shell crafts and bamboo works, which are popular souvenirs for tourists.
PLACES TO SEE
Vanganga Lake Garden
With an area of about 7.58 hectares, Vanganga Lake Garden stretches like a mini forest, containing within its vastness a beautiful lake. Unique Japanese style bridges and a modern state of the art Signature bridge connects the central island to the main garden.
Paddle boats, restaurant and a world-class floating musical dancing fountain in the garden add to its charms. Enjoy a leisurely boating ride while watching the dancing musical fountain and feeling the cool breeze. The garden is quite popular with the filmmakers with more than 40 Hindi hit film songs shot here so far.
Ghoghla Beach is situated in the village of Ghoghla, which is around 15 km from the main town of Diu. This beach is a popular tourist spot that has necessary facilities like food and accommodation.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Diu District, this beach has a tourist complex that provides all basic amenities. Parasailing and water scooters are the two most popular adventure activities at this beach.
One of the most attractive places in Diu is the Ghoghla beach. Located in the north of Diu town with not many people, it catches the attention of the tourists who prefer to stay aloof and not with the crowd. With standard restaurants around the place along with water sports, this beach stands complete. Lesser tourists are the reason for a much cleaner Ghoghla beach compared to the other beaches in the town.
The Ghoghla beach is located on the outskirts of the city and hence not many people know about it. However, it’s an opportunity missed for them to discover a splendid new place cut away from the cacophony of the town. Clean and safe it’s a great spot for those who want to enjoy privacy and at the same time indulge in some water sports like parasailing, surfing and banana boat. The beach is well maintained and the best choice for a family holiday but sadly it’s the least explored place.
Naida caves, Diu are located outside the city wall of the Diu Fort, Caves feature a big network of tunnels with square hewn steps, which is yet to be fully explored, which was constructed by the Portuguese. You can reach Naida caves in Diu through Delwada which is the nearest railway station. The place is also well connected by road.
Caves are formed as a result of different geological processes. The locals say that the Portuguese soldiers hid from the Indian Army inside the caves during operation Vijay in 1961.
Naida caves in Diu are within a short distance from the Diu town. Diu’s greatest glory is the huge fort, a sight that justifies the long trip here. The northern side of the island, facing Gujarat, is tidal marshland and saltpans while the southern coast alternates between limestone cliffs, rocky covers and sandy beaches. Diu’s Naida caves have a natural opening in the ground extending beyond the zone of light. Caves vary in shapes and sizes. Speleology is the scientific study of caves. The science incorporates the study of geology, archaeology and biology and thus ranks in special interest for earth scientists of the U.S Geological Survey.
Naida Caves, Diu have been reckoned among one of the magnificent natural attractions since prehistoric times. Productive evidence of early man’s interest has been discovered in caves dotted throughout the world.
BAPS Swaminarayan Temple
Located on River Daman Ganga banks, Swaminarayan Temple is a perfect example for architectural splendour. If you have a keen eye for architecture, just a photograph of the temple would trigger your interest to plan a trip to the site regardless of your faith. You will be amazed to find that not a piece of the structure is left without carvings. The spacious garden and the magnificent construction mesmerize visitors.
Lighthouse Beach is a hot favourite in the Kovalam area. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse through a spiral staircase until you reach the very summit. Here, all your exhaustion melts away as the first breeze gently cradles your face. Couples flock here to take photographs that adorn family albums for a lifetime. It is among the best vantage points to view the coast line in Southern Kerala.
The Moti Daman Fort houses two beautiful lighthouses that stand as a testament to Daman’s rich Portuguese heritage. These are popularly known as the Old Lighthouse and the New Lighthouse. While the old one was built by the Portuguese, the Indian government constructed the new lighthouse. Visitors can, however, visit only the Old Lighthouse, which is just a storey tall. A winding spiral staircase leads you to the top of the Old Lighthouse that offers a picturesque view of the vast sea. Entry to the New Lighthouse is banned due to security reasons but tourists can still admire its unique architecture. Built close to the Old Lighthouse, the New Lighthouse has a revolving tower and a 204 m diameter lantern on the top.
Among the places of tourist interest, the Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of the sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after a defence alliance, concluded by the Bahadurshah, Sultan of Gujarat, and the Portuguese when the former was attacked by Humayun, the Mughal Emperor.
The fort is skirted by the sea on the three sides. On the Fort stands a giant structure now housing a Lighthouse. A couple of mounds of iron shells can be seen even today inside the fort. Several canons still stare menacingly from the top and some are peeping out of the holes on the walls of this gigantic structure. The main front wall is the view from the eastern Rank of Diu Fort, having five huge windows with stone galleries. A strange mist shrouds the entire fort. It is more conspicuous during winter nights when fog spreads all around, and the lighthouse gives off a misty light.
Daman Ganga riverfront
The Daman Ganga riverfront is a popular tourist destination located in the union territory of Daman in India. The Daman Ganga River is a significant river in the region that originates in the Western Ghats and flows into the Arabian Sea. The riverfront is a beautiful stretch of land that runs along the banks of the Daman Ganga River and is a perfect place for a serene and peaceful getaway.
The Daman Ganga Riverfront has been developed as a recreational and tourism hub, with well-manicured gardens, walkways, and seating areas. The riverfront also has several food stalls, cafes, and restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, making it an ideal place for a family outing or a romantic evening.
The riverfront also has a few attractions like the Daman Ganga Tourist Complex, which offers boat rides, water sports, and other fun activities for visitors. The complex also has a children’s park, a garden, and a restaurant.
Devka Beach is a popular tourist destination located in the union territory of Daman and Diu, which is located on the west coast of India. The beach is situated in the town of Nani Daman, which is part of the city of Daman.
Devka Beach is a long and clean beach with soft sand and clear blue water. It is surrounded by lush green trees and is a great place to relax and unwind. The beach offers a range of activities for tourists, such as swimming, sunbathing, and taking long walks along the shoreline.
There are also several shacks and restaurants near the beach that serve a variety of food and drinks. Tourists can enjoy local delicacies, such as seafood, along with other Indian and international cuisines.
Overall, Devka Beach is a must-visit destination for tourists who are looking for a peaceful and serene getaway. It is a great place to spend time with family and friends and soak up the natural beauty of the west coast of India.
How to reach:
The nearest airport option is Surat and Mumbai.
The nearest Railway station is Vapi on Western Railway.
Dadra & Nagar Haveli is almost touching Mumbai – Baroda – Delhi National Highway No8 (Western Express Highway). Silvassa is about 14 Kms from Bhilad & 18 Kms from Vapi. Mumbai 180 Kms, Surat 140 km, Nasik 140 Kms and Daman 30 Kms.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Daman and Diu is from October to March, during the winter months. The weather during this time is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, making it perfect for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The skies are clear and sunny, making it an ideal time to visit the beaches and indulge in water sports.
The summer months, from April to June, can be hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius. The monsoon season, from July to September, can also be humid, with occasional heavy rains. The rains can sometimes cause disruptions in travel plans, and some of the tourist attractions may be closed during this time.
However, if you are interested in experiencing the lush greenery and natural beauty of the region during the monsoons, then this can also be a good time to visit. The weather is pleasant and the landscapes are rejuvenated with greenery and waterfalls.
Overall, the winter months are the best time to visit Daman and Diu, as the weather is pleasant and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. However, if you don’t mind the heat or the occasional rains, then other times of the year can also offer a unique and enjoyable experience.
Where to stay:
The Deltin : starting price @Rs 3999/-
Located in Daman, this luxury resort offers a range of amenities, including a casino, swimming pool, spa, and several restaurants. The resort has spacious rooms with modern amenities, and is a popular choice among travellers.
The Gold Beach Resort – starting price @Rs 4550/
This beachfront resort is located in Daman and offers stunning views of the Arabian Sea. The resort has a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, spa, and several restaurants. The rooms are spacious and well-equipped, making it a popular choice among families.