Daman And Diu
Area : 38.5 sq.km.
Population : 340,000
Languages spoken : Gujarati
Best Time to visit : October to May
Situated on the southern border of the state of Gujarat, off the Saurashtra coast bordering Junagadh district, is the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. A colony held by the Portuguese for a long period even after India got independence, Daman and Diu became a part of the erstwhile Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu in 1961. When Goa was conferred with statehood in 1987, Daman and Diu became a separate Union Territory.
The word "diu" is derived from the Sanskrit word dweep , meaning island. From the 14th to 16th century, this tiny island (coastal length 21 kms) was one of India's best sea ports, an important trading centre and a naval base. Today, it is a serenely beautiful getaway with golden beaches, dense palm-groves and historical monuments, but minus the commercial exploitation and environmental degradation that have spoiled so many other destinations. Daman and Diu is, perhaps, one of India's last undiscovered jewels, being virgin, picturesque, clean, and green.
Apart from the tourism industry, Daman has become an important industrial centre, due to its' proximity to the industrialized states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It follows a strict environmental policy - only non-polluting units are allowed to set up shop. Daman accounts for 40% of India's plastic manufacturing capacity and has developed a notable cluster of related industries.
Places to visit
Nagoa beach, horse-shoe in shape, could well be one of the best beaches of the world. Other beautiful beaches are Ahmedpur, Mandvi, Chakratirath, Jallandhar, and Gomtimata. Water-sports facilities are available.
This imposing stone structure, which rears out of the sea, was built in 1535. Today, much of the fort is in ruins and its guns corroded.
The Portugese have left Daman and Diu with an architectural legacy in the form of historical monuments, like the St. Paul's Church built in 1610, and St. Thomas Church, which is now a museum. The church and museum are floodlit in the evenings, and gardens, parks and fountains have been created around the monuments to beautify them.
One of the five satellite villages which form part of the territory, this is a fascinating little settlement that resembles a Mediterranean village. What really makes Fudam different is that it is a village of women, children and old people, the young men having migrated to Lisbon, Portugal to work as masons and labourers. Its residents take immense pride in keeping Fudam spotlessly clean.
How To Get There
Air : The nearest international and domestic airport Mumbai is only 193kms away. All major airlines like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara, Air Deccan, Spice Jet, Kingfisher Airlines operate regular flights to and from Mumbai.
Rail : Vapi, the nearest Railhead is only 12kms away. Mumbai and Ahmedabad are two very important Railway Stations of the Western Railways, which are very close from Daman.
Road : NH No. 8 connects Daman by motorable road with Ahmedabad 367 Km, Mumbai 193 Km, Vadodara 300 Km. etc.