Daman & Diu is known for their beaches and exotic liquors, these twin islands are a tourist's haven for escaping the cacophony of mundane life. Be it the rich historic past or the faint songs of the anglers, everything in Daman and Diu assist in creating a paradise for one in search of tranquility. The forts and churches of the past, and the pubs of today, combine to engender a strange ambience of nostalgia and experience.
LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Both these islands are associated with the Portuguese attempts of colonization and one can see its evidence in the rich architecture. These foreign invaders seized Daman in 1531 and formally took it over by 1559 from the last Gujarati king. Attempts to take over Diu had begun from 1531 but the Portuguese were successful only by 1535 taking advantage of the internal conflict of the king and the Mughal emperor, Humayun. After the peace treaty in 1539, the Portuguese took over full control of the island. Both the islands came under Indian rule by as late as 1961.
SITES TO VISIT
In Daman, one can visit the Fort of St. Jerome at Nani Daman, where there is a Jain temple as well. The 17th-century-old Cathedral and the Church of Lady of Rosary in Moti Daman are also worth a visit, and one can see the exquisite Portuguese carvings on the walls of these churches. Built in ancient Gothic style, these are a feast for the eyes. The stately Light House, the amusement park and the Gandhi Park at Daman jetty are also places of interest. Among the beaches, Devka beach is the most famous. Others include the Jampore beach, which is of interest to the swimmers and is very near the Gujarat border. The lake garden of Satya Nagar Udyan is famous for its fountains and promenades.
In Diu, the Zampa Gateway is of particular interest. It has carvings of lions, angels and a priest and has a chapel inside with an inscription dating back to 1702. The artificial Zampa waterfall is also attractive. St. Paul's Church is the only active church till date. Nearby is the old St. Thomas's Church that has now been taken over by the authorities and converted into the Diu Museum. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi has been converted to a hospital. The Marwar memorial commemorates the victory over the Portuguese. The massive fort built in 1541 is now weathered and weak. It is of major tourist interest. Other places include Jallandhar and Gangeshwar temple. The Nagoa beach is the most famous in Diu. Gomptimata, Chakratirth and the beautiful Sunset Point are the other famous beaches. The Jama Masjid is also famous.
The 1000-feet-high hill resort of Saputara near Daman is quite famous. The name means the Abode of Serpents and one can see a holy serpent image on the banks of the river Sarpaganga. To visit Mahal Bardipara Forest Wildlife Sanctuary (60 km) and the Gira Waterfalls (52 km) Saputara is a popular base. Fudam, near Diu town, has a big church dedicated to Our Lady of Remedies. At the western frontiers of the island, Vanakbara has a Church to Our Lady of Mercy, a fort, a lighthouse, and a fishing fleet.
HOW TO REACH
Daman is provided with an airport and is connected to Baroda and Mumbai. Only traveler's cheques are exchangeable. The main railhead is Vapi, which is 10 km away. Vapi is about 170 km from Mumbai and 90 km from Surat. For Diu, there are regular air services of Gujarat State Airlines that fly to Mumbai. The nearest railhead is Delwada, 8 km from Diu. It is located between Una and Ghoghla.