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A coastal paradise at the southern tip of Gujarat, the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu (merged on 26 January, 2020) is one of the few un-spoilt, idyllic, and serene coastal destinations in India. Popular as a weekend getaway location, Daman and Diu are steeped in Portuguese culture who ruled it for over 450 years with an eclectic mix of Gujarati and Maharashtrian cultures.
Daman and Diu are separated by the Gulf of Khambhat. The combined area of Daman and Diu is around 112 square kilometers of which the Daman district is around 72 square kilometers and the Diu district is around 40 square kilometers.
Best Time to Visit Daman and Diu
Being small islets, the weather in Daman and Diu is cool and breezy around the year. While the Daman and Diu temperature during the summer months can range between 23 and 42 degrees C, winters are much cooler with temperatures between 10 and 24 degrees C. Daman and Diu also receive heavy rainfall during monsoon.
Population of Daman and Diu
The population of Daman and Diu is estimated to be around 3.25 lakhs in 2020.
History & Culture
It is believed that the name Daman is derived from the Daman Ganga River that flows through the Union Territory. Also, Diu is probably a translation from the Sanskrit word Dvipa, meaning Island.
Over centuries, the islets of Daman and Diu have been ruled by various powers and finally fell under the control of the Portuguese in the 15th century. They used it as crucial ports for controlling trade in the Indian Ocean. After remaining under their rule for more than four centuries, India finally regained control of Daman and Diu in 1961.
How to reach Daman and Diu
Daman and Diu have excellent connectivity with most parts of India by road, rail, and flights.
Vapi is the nearest railway station from Daman and Diu. The distance from the Vapi railway station to Daman is around 10-12 km. It lies between Mumbai and Ahmedabad and most try plying this route stop at Vapi. You can book a cab from Vapi to Daman and reach there in no time.
Daman and Diu have excellent road connectivity with most cities and towns in western India. You can rent a car for traveling to Daman. Here are some route suggestions from major towns around Daman and Diu:
- Surat – Distance is around 120-125 km. You can take a taxi from Surat to Daman and reach there within 2.5 hours via NH48.
- Nashik – Distance is around 150 km. You can book a cab from Nashik to Daman and reach there within 3.5 hours via NH848.
There is no direct flight connectivity to Daman and Diu. The closest airport is in Surat. You can catch a flight to Surat and then hire a taxi from Surat Airport to Daman. You can also take a flight from Ahmedabad and then proceed on your journey to Daman and Diu.
Interesting Facts about Daman and Diu
Here are some interesting facts about Daman and Diu:
- In pre-modern times, Diu was an important seaport for the spice trade.
- Daman and Diu were freed from Portuguese rule in 1961 via military operation.
- Daman is surrounded by the Valsad District and Diu by the Junagadh District of Gujarat.
- The culture of Daman and Diu is an interesting blend of Gujarati, Maharashtrian, and Portuguese cultures.
- The most popular tourist spots are Nagoa Beach (Diu) and Devka Beach (Daman).
- Daman and Diu are well-known for seafood with lobsters, prawns, and crabs being some local delicacies.
Places to visit Daman and Diu
Despite being separated by the Arabian Sea, Daman and Diu offer a relaxed environment and a beach vacation that can stay etched in your memory forever. Here are some places that you can visit while there.
Daman – Places to visit
A panoramic city, Daman, offers a lot to satisfy the roving eyes of the most avid travelers. Here are some places to visit in Daman:
Beaches of Daman
- Jampore Beach – one of the cleanest beaches in Daman
- Devka Beach – the most picturesque beach in the area. There is an amusement park near the shoreline and a musical fountain near the beach too.
- Moti Daman Beach – one of the quietest beaches in Daman
- Fisherman’s Beach – also known as Vanakbara Beach, the Fisherman’s Beach is famous for fishing boats
- Tithal Beach
Other places to visit
- Daman Lighthouse – a must-visit for photography enthusiasts
- Moti Daman Fort – A 16th century fort built by the Portuguese and one of the most popular tourist attractions of Daman.
- Dominican Monastery – The oldest ruins in Daman, this monastery stands testament to its ancient heritage.
- Churches and Temples.
Diu – Tourist Places
Pristine and mesmerizing are two words that can come close to describing what Diu has to offer. Here are some tourist places in Diu for you to consider:
Beaches of Diu
- Ghogla Beach – a relatively unknown and the cleanest beach in Diu
- Nagoa Beach – a white sand beach that is preferred by most tourists
- Jalandhar Beach – named after a demon king Jalandhar who, according to mythology, had killed most of his enemies on this beach.
- Chakratirth Beach – a serene beach with tepid waters and gardens along the shoreline
- Gomatimata Beach – a horseshoe beach with amazing views
- Simbor Beach – known for its serene environment
Other tourist places
- Diu Fort – a castle and a fort during the Portuguese rule, it was once one of the Wonders of the World.
- Naida Caves – If you want to experience how thieves from ancient times used caves for hiding and escaping, a visit to the Nadia Caves is a must.
- Shell Museum – a museum dedicated to seashells collected over years.
- Churches and Temples.
Things to do in Daman and Diu
You might be so occupied exploring the by-lanes and immersing into the culture of Daman and Diu that time will fly. Here are some things to do while in Daman and Diu:
- Rent a bicycle and explore the lanes and immerse yourself in the culture of Daman and Diu.
- Set out on foot to explore the street food in Diu. The place will make you feel alive.
- Engage in some water sports at Ghogla Beach.
- Daman and Diu are also popular for decoration items and artifacts that can be found in abundance across stores and street souvenir shops.
Places to eat in Daman & Diu
Being coastal towns, Daman and Diu are popular for their seafood. However, there is much more to them than seafood. Here are some places where you can eat.
Places to eat in Daman
Here are some of the best restaurants in Daman:
- Miramar Hotel, Devka Beach – Multi-cuisine restaurant, pub, and vegetarian-friendly
- Daman Delite Restaurant, Nani Daman – Indian and Asian food and vegetarian-friendly
- Veera Da Dhaba, Nani Daman – Dhaba-style food with vegetarian and vegan options
- Spice Galleon, Devka Road – Italian, Chinese, Asian, and Indian food
- Mirasol Lake Restaurant, Kadaiya Village – Indian and Asian food
Unexplored places in Daman and Diu
Here are some hidden gems of Daman and Diu which you must explore:
- Somnath Mahadev Temple, Daman – an intricately carved temple dedicated to Lord Shiva
- St. Jerome Fort, Daman – facing the Daman Ganga River, this fort is steeped in history
- Mirasol Lake Garden, Daman – for boating and unwinding in lush green surroundings
- Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple, Diu – A lord Shiva temple with five Shiva Lingas. It is believed that the temple was built by the Pandavas from Mahabharata.
Places to visit near Daman and Diu
Here are some places near Daman and Diu that you might consider while creating your travel plans:
- Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli – Located at a distance of around 27-30 km from Daman. This place offers further insight into the Portuguese culture and is surrounding by the Western Ghats and mountains.
- Bharuch, Gujarat – Located at a distance of around 174 km from Daman. It is an industrial city steeped in culture and religious festivals.
- Somnath, Gujarat – Located at a distance of around 84 km from Diu. This place is known for being a pilgrimage destination and offers a beautiful beach to help unwind too.
- Gir National Park, Gujarat – Located at a distance of around 67 km from Diu. A popular national park for lion safari, forest walks, and camping in the wild.
Where to Stay: Daman and Diu Hotels & Resorts
Here are some hotels and resorts in Daman and Diu:
- The Deltin, Daman
- The Fern Seaside Luxurious Tent Resort, Daman
- Hotel The Grand Highness, Diu
- Mirasol Resort, Daman
- Radhika Beach Resort, Diu
- The Gold Beach Resort, Daman
- Hotel Palms, Diu
- Silver Waves Resort & Spa, Daman
- Kostamar Beach Resort, Diu
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