Daman and Diu, the twin islands are home to virgin natural beauty and serenity. The islands of Daman and Diu make for the second smallest union territory in the country. The islands are situated in the west coast of India in the midst of Arabian Sea. The islands were under the control of Portuguese for over 450 years. A long period of time over which impressions of European culture and the religion of Christianity were left on the islands defining it to be what it is today. The islands are studded with magnificent cathedrals and forts that tell the story if the European era. The sandy, secluded, white beaches are attractive coupled with delicious seafood in the cradle of natural ambience. The water presents the opportunities of water sports. Daman and Diu are a perfect weekend getaway destination.
The travel to Daman and Diu is quite convenient as the Mumbai Airport is a mere 193 kilometres away with to and from flights to Diu airport at regular intervals. Diu airport is located 5 kilometres away from the town and is north of Nagoa Beach. If you don’t want to have the flight risk you could travel by rail to Vapi. Mumbai and Ahmedabad are the closest railway stations to Daman. However if you are instilled with the adventurous spirit you could enjoy a road-trip from Mumbai or Ahmedabad via National Highway No.8.
A large number of resorts, hotels and guesthouses are present to accommodate the vast number of tourists flooding in all over the year. Accommodation is available in wide price-range and is not hard to figure an affordable place. The Daman and Diu tourism department is very cooperative and can be contacted in time of an emergency.
Daman and Diu is blessed with a pleasant climate over the year. The beautiful weather is because of the cool breeze because of being situated in the Arabian Sea. The best time to visit the twin islands is from the beginning of October to the culmination of March.
The best places to see in Daman and Diu are:
This place is fun as it has an amusement park. The park has a number of colourful mountains to fool around with. While exploring the beach you might discover so beautiful sea creatures washed off on the beach by the tide. You might also encounter various kinds of rocks and you might want to pick up a few to add to a rock collection or to just use as decorations around your home.
Moti Daman Fort
The massive fort was built around the sixteenth century by the Portuguese. Portuguese officials used to reside in the fort with their families. The fort is constructed with ten bastions and two primary gateways. There is a garden located inside called the Parola Garden which stands in the memory of soldiers who gave their life to free the Dadar and Nagar Haveli. This place can tell a lot about the history of the islands during the European era.
The Sao Jeronimo Fort
The huge fort is located holding its head high in front of the Damanganga River. This fort gets its name from the twentieth viceroy, Don Jeronimo. The fort is an amazing place of military architecture and has located within its complex a church of the Lady of Sea, a major gateway and a minor one. There are various inscriptions describing the history of the fort.
The temple is dedicated to the Destroyer, Lord Shiva. It houses five ‘lingas’ located in the midst of massive rocks on the seashore.
Church of Bom Jesus
The Portuguese have contributed significantly to the culture and architecture of Daman and Diu. The Church of Bom Jesus is one such example. The church is famous for the beautiful rosewood carvings.
Daman and Diu Cuisine
You can never leave a place without stuffing a part of their culture into your stomach. Daman foods mainly consist of vegetarian preparations, the prime reason being the influence of Gujarat. However non-vegetarian food is prepared in many restaurants mainly consisting of seafood. Daman and Diu have a heterogeneous culture as people from all over the country have settled in the region. Parsee food is prepared and served in various restaurants. Gujarati and Portuguese food is also commonly prepared. Roti and tea make for a common breakfast, roti and saag for lunch and some kind of curry for dinner. Some of the famous dishes are puri, lapsee, potaya etc. Though Alcohol is prohibited in the neighbouring Gujarat, drinking is common in Daman and Diu owing to the vast influence of European culture.
Shopping is an integral part of the culture of Daman and Diu. Though the place is not like a cliché shopping hub, you can explore the culture while walking along the old lanes and buying souvenirs. Some of the best markets for shopping are the Maharaja Supermarket and the Princess Park on the Devak Beach. The items that can be bought from these markets include regular like seashells and oysters. However you might also want to pick up the perfumes and hand-woven bamboo mats and baskets.
The Twin Islands make for a fun weekend getaway destination to enjoy amidst the serenity of nature.