A land which has seen many dynasties change hands and many cultures colour its habits, Daman and Diu is a union territory which seems blessed by god himself. This small place in Gujarat is a travelerâ€™s delight and stands for such calmness, peace and past that very few places in the country can match its serenity and history. Carrying strong Portuguese influences, the architecture of Daman and Diu is another attraction that makes this union territory a place to experience.
Daman and Diu is situated on the west coast of India as two separate geographical areas within the state of Gujarat. While Daman lies in proximity to the town of Vapi in Southern Gujarat, Diu is close to the city of Junagarh in the Saurashtra Peninsula region of Gujarat. A gurgling Damangangra river flows across Daman, dividing it into two. Diu on the other hand, is an island in the Arabian Sea, connected to the mainland by two bridges. Areawise, Daman and Diu is the second smallest union territory of the country, being bigger only than Lakshwadeep.
With a past greatly defined by the Portuguese, Daman and Diu retains an old world charm which is both quaint as well as subtle. High churches and cathedrals, imposing forts, sunny beaches, rocky caves, and much more lies waiting for you during your trip to Daman and Diu.
Chakratirth Beach : A popular choice with both domestic and foreign tourists, Chakratirth beach is every travelerâ€™s destination for a relaxing and quiet time. Set amongst enchanting hills and a countryside, the Chakratirth beach also offers the traveler. To add to the attraction of this place, an ancient shiv temple and a great sunset point are also there for a visit. This beach should definitely be on your places to see list during your trip to Daman and Diu.
Devka Beach : You can grab the joy of taking a pony ride at this wonderful beach which is one of the most popular destinations in Daman and Diu. Also, an amusement park with some fantastic water fountains is a part of this beach, which makes it a great choice of destinations, especially if you have kids with you.
Nagoa Beach : A rather untouched and unexplored beach of Daman and Diu, this beach is one of the more pristine places you shall see in India. Dotted by palm trees, this unique horse shoe shaped beach is just a 20 minutes drive from Diu.
Fort of Moti Daman : Built in 1559, the massive fort is spread over 30,000 square meters, with 10 bastions and 2 gateways. A moat around it used to serve as a protection during its time. This fort used to provide residence to a number of Portuguese gentry from Daman and Diu during the colonial era.
Pani Kotha : This majestic monument of Daman and Diu is placed in the middle of a sea. A fort made out of stone, it is approximately a nautical mile from the mainland Diu. Tourist boats are easily available for travel to Pani Kotha.
Sea Shell Museum : If you have an eye for ocean life, you are going to love the Sea Shell Museum which has a number of sea shells and water animals displayed under a magnifying glass. There are more than mind boggling 2500 varieties of seashells in the museum. The museum is one of the most visited places in Daman and Diu because of its sheer exoticness.
Diu Fort : Built in 1535 by the Portuguese, the imposing Diu Fort stands as a proud testimony of the royalty and power it once was the seat of. The fort has a fascinating view of the sea and Pani Kotha.
Gangeshwar Mahadev : As per legend, the Pandavas worshipped Lord Shiva here during their exile. The temple has 5 shiva lingams which make it a very sacred and revered place. The place is just 3 kilometers away from the Jethubai Bus terminus of Diu.
St. Paul's Church : Another place of religious importance, the St. Paul's Church was built in the year 1610. A Portuguese church, the architecture is strongly remindful of churches in Goa.
Jampore Beach : This beach is a fascinating place, especially for those with a penchant for water sports. Hordes of palm trees accentuate the beauty and natural splendour of this place. The beach is lighted up during festivals and looks breathtakingly radiant.
Vanakbhara Beach : A bed of sun kissed sands, this beach is your getaway if you desire a day of peace and serenity. The beach is still relatively unexplored and lacks the chaos and hustle bustle associated with a much frequented tourist destination.
Nagoa Beach : You can reach this beach after a short but enjoyable twenty minutes drive from Diu. A uniquely shaped beach, it resembles a shoe. The clear blue waters of the beach invite one to swim while the soft, tender sands alongside the shore entice one to take a relaxing slumber on them.
Zampa Gateway : This place is of particular interest to tourists and features detailed carvings of lions, a priest and angels which are believed to be very ancient. A chapel, which dates back to 1702, is also a part of this tourist spot. Adding to the appeal is an artificially created Zampa Waterfall, which makes for a fascinating sight for the tourists.
The Union Territory of Daman and Diu is robustly connected with the important parts of the country.
By Air: The nearest airport is at Mumbai, which enjoys operations from all the major airlines.
By Rail: Veraval, which is 90 kilometers from Diu, serves as a major railway station in the region and is well connected with other major cities.
By Road: Public as well as private operators ply on a strong roadways network to make the union territory easily accessible.
With a quaint ambience, majestic forts, imposing churches, beautiful beaches and places of religious interests, there is no dearth of things to do in Daman and Diu. One can relax, rejuvenate and explore at leisure in this place which has strong Portuguese flavors to itself. One of the most peaceful places on the Indian land, tourists fall in love with Daman and Diu with ease. And not to forget the delights it offers to the foodies, Daman and Diu has some very interesting Portuguese options for its tourists, one such specialty being a tree known as Hoka, which is not found anywhere else in the country. During the month of February, Daman offers a specialty known as 'papri', which are boiled, sweet and salty peas. Crabs and lobsters dominate the foodieâ€™s palate during the month of October, while several Parsi and Chinese joints are scattered across the region offering some great dishes.
The union territory of Daman and Diu is also known for the fine quality liquor which is produced in the region. Diu is also known for a rich variety of interesting birds, including the blue rock pigeon, doves and parrots. Another recent development has been a lot of industries choosing Daman and Diu as their places of operations. This has surely helped the region see a lot of rapid economic development. Also, the cultural heritage of Daman and Diu is another aspect which deserves to be felt. Dance and music are very integral parts of the lives of people of Daman and Diu. The traditional dances of this region are fairly Portuguese in their style and serve as reminders of the Portuguese past which still lingers as a part of the Union Territory's present. And if you plan your trip well, you may just be lucky enough to experience the festivals of this land. Gangaji fair is an annual event which is held in the village Dabhel, near the Somnatha Mahadev temple. An event of worship of Lord Shiva, the fair also sees a lot of people taking a dip in the holy pond, or â€˜kundâ€™ as it is known. With so much to offer and such varied fare, the union territory of Daman and Diu is a perfect destination for romantic getaways, adventure trips or an exploration into history and culture.
The best time to visit Daman and Diu is between the months of October and May. The union territory enjoys rather moderate climates throughout the year, hence making the said period very cool and pleasant for outdoors. To make matters even better, a cool breeze from the Arabian keeps sweeping over this beautiful union territory.
History indicates that the union territory of Daman and Diu was ruled by the Kushana Emperor during its early days. The Portuguese entered Daman and Diu during the later part of the 14th century and converted the place into a Portuguese colony. However, 'Operation Vijay', a special operation undertaken on December 16, 1961, ended the colonial rule for Daman and Diu. After this event, Daman, Diu and Goa came together to form one unified political unit, but Goa moved away as a full fledged state in 1987.
Moderate climatic conditions prevail at Daman and Diu. While the months of summer, which are from March to June, see temperatures between 20 degree Celsius and 36 degree Celsius, winters between the months of September to February see temperatures ranging from 20 degree Celsius to 26 degree Celsius. Monsoons pour during the months of July to September.