Daman & Diu are two small but beautiful paradises on the west coast of India bordering Gujarat. The places to visit in Daman & Diu are the pristine beaches, colonial forts, and churches. Daman is on the mainland near the southern portion of Gujarat while Diu is an island near Una of Junagarh District in Gujarat State. Daman is named after the river Daman Ganga flowing through it. These are the places where every part echoes natural beauty and serenity. These paradises of peace, tranquility, and contentment were a Portuguese colony until 1961. The forts and churches of the past take you back to the days gone by. Daman is renowned for its Portuguese architecture and you can feel the Portuguese influence on its life even today. Both Daman & Diu has a rich cultural heritage. Both are a perfect blend of tribal, urban, European and Indian traditions. For travelers visiting Diu & Daman, this is a peaceful location with sunny beaches, lush greenery, and perfect weather. From a couple of decades, they became the most favored tourist destinations in India.
The magical land of Daman and Diu is quite well connected by Air, Road, and Railways. Conveniently located highway crossing the two major states of India, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.
By Air: Nagoa at Diu is the nearest airport. It has the daily flight from Mumbai. For Daman, Surat and Mumbai are the nearest airports. It is at a distance of 170km from Mumbai and 120km from Surat. From Daman or Diu one can hire a taxi to visit these two beautiful colonial gems of India.
By Road: Situated on National Highway 8 both Daman and Diu has excellent road connectivity with Mumbai & Gujarat. Government transport services from Gujarat and Maharashtra are regularly available. Apart from that one can avail services of rent a car to visit Diu & Daman as well Gujarat.
By Train: The best way to reach Daman through train is Vapi Railway Station in Gujarat and for Diu, the nearest railway station is Somnath and Veraval. One can take Ahmedabad and other major cities by Train. One can hire a taxi or take the State-owned or private bus to reach Daman or Diu from there.
The union territories of Daman and Diu can be reached any time of the year with its weather being pleasant throughout the year. Though it’s slightly warm in summers, the cool winds from the Arabian Sea make it bearable. Temperature is around 35 ° C. Monsoon has its own charm and the normal temperature is around 25 ° C. But the best time to visit Daman and Diu is from October to March. Slightly cooler weather than the rest of the year makes sightseeing and travel an enjoyable experience. it makes you explore the place in the best way. One can also enjoy various water sports and other activities during winters. Temperature usually is around 20 ° C.
• Church of Bom Jesus: The church is one of the earliest church built during Portuguese rule. It was started in 1559 and consecrated in 1603 by Portuguese. Church’s superb architectural skills and exquisite craftsmanship stands testimony to the Portuguese artisans and designers of those times. The church dedicated to Bom Jesus attracts both, tourists and pilgrims, in large numbers. Another highlight of the church is the statues of six saints which are brilliantly sculpted in unique traditions of Roman Catholic architecture.
• Chapel of Our Lady of Rosary: The church is located in the old Moti Daman Fort. It was build in the 17th century and considered one of the oldest religious monument in Daman. It is said that the statue of Mary of Rosary was placed on the altar in thanksgiving by the Portuguese commander for rescue from a Maratha attack by Shivaji.
• Church of Our Lady of Remedies: Situated on the outskirts of the Moti Daman Fort this church was built by the then Portuguese Governor and Captain in 1607 AD. The main altar is carved and gilded with 17th-century engravings.
• Church of Our Lady of Angustias: Situated just outside the Moti Daman Fort. This church was built in 1510 AD on the grave of Agostinho Xavier de Silva Vidigal . This church decorated with rose petals of various colors is a masterpiece of Portuguese craftsmanship.
• Fort of St. Gerome (Nani Daman): Situated On the north side of the Damanganga River, this fort in Nani Daman is named after St.Jerome. St.Jerome was one of the most eminent fathers of the Catholic Church. It is a comparatively small fort and was built in 1672 AD. A large statue of St.Jerome and tw o giant human figures are perched on either side of the gateway. View of the fish market and a fleet of fishing boats anchored is a sight to behold from the fort.
• Fort of Moti Daman: This massive fort was constructed in 1559 AD by the Portuguese against the invasions of the Mughal armies. The fort is protected by a moat on the land side and also connects the river to the sea. It covers an area of 30,000 sq. m. with ten bastions and two gateways – southern (land) gate and the northern (sea) gate.
• Vaibhav Water Park located on Kanta Vapi Road, the park is an ideal place for family and children in Daman. An array of 36 thrilling rides in Vaibhav Waterpark awaits traveler. The park is surrounded by farms of mangoes, coconut, and chikoos .
• Lighthouse Daman: Light House is another popular site for tourists. It is located within the premises of the Moti Daman Fort close to the creek of Daman Ganga. There are two light houses and only the old one build by Portuguese is open for public. It offers panoramic views of the sea
• Jampore Beach: It is one of the most enchanting and scenic beach of Daman. This sandy and pleasant spot flanked by spectacular groves of Casuarinas trees is quite a hit with the tourist. With a broad beach line, Jampore beach is considered quite safe and ideal for swimming and basking.
• Devka Beach: Devka Beach is the most serene and picturesque beaches in Daman. Apart from this, a beachside amusement park has been developed here.It includes kids corner with a toy train, merry-go-round and large garden, fast food center and ice cream parlor.
• Gangeshwar Temple: Located in village Fadum at a distance of 3 km from Diu, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is basically a cave temple located in the midst of rocks on the sea shore. The gentle sea waves offering their obeisance to the “Shiva Lingas” in stone have a mystic aura around them.
• St. Paul’s Church: St. Paul’s Church is named after St. Paul. It was built in 1610AD and is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The design and construction of the church is rated one of the best in church craftsmanship.
• St. Francis of Assisi: The church was built in 1593 AD and is one of the oldest church in Diu. The church still continues to hold prayer meetings, but its cloister has been transformed into a hospital.
• St. Thomas Church: St. Thomas Church was built by the Portuguese in the year 1598. The church does not hold prayer services anymore, though an annual mass is held on the ‘All Saints Day’ on 1st November. A part of the church has been converted into a museum. Museum houses antique statues, various stone inscriptions of the earlier rulers, wooden carvings, and idols, apart from stone sculptures of Christ and Virgin Mary.
• Sea Shell Museum: Sea Shell Museum was set up by a retired merchant navy captain Fulbari. It is the first museum in Asia which has maximum sea shells. The museum boasts of a huge repertoire of approximately 2500 to 3000 types of sea shells. It is the first museum in the world where sea shells are displayed through the magnifying glass of various sizes.
• Diu Fort: Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position as a point of interest in Diu. This majestic fort was built during the period 1535 to 1541 on the ruins of a fortress constructed by Arabian Governor during 1400. The fort commands a magnificent view of the sea. Constructed for defense against Mughals, the imposing fort is skirted by the Sea on the three sides.
• INS Khukri Memorial: It is a memorial to commemorate the martyrdom of the brave warriors.Dedicated to the memory of those brave officers and the sailors of Indian Navy who chose to go down with the warship INS KHUKRI during 1971 war. There is an amphitheater just adjoining the memorial.
• Fortim do Mar or Pani Kotha: The Fortress of Panikotha or Fortim do Mar is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. The fortress is built in the middle of the sea and has the form of a ship. It also has a lighthouse and a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. Situated at a distance of one nautical mile from the jetty in Diu, close to village Ghoghla the fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding ocean, the jetty, Ghoghla village and the city of Diu.
• Nagoa Beach: It is located near the small Nagoa hamlet. It is a semi-circular beach in the shape of a horseshoe. The Beach is exceptionally beautiful and quiet. It is a perfect holiday destination for tourists. Sailing, boating, water skiing and other water activities are available.
• Ghoghla Beach: Ghoghla beach is located close to village Ghoghla in Diu. This sandy beach is the largest and most spectacular beach of Diu.
• Jallandhar Beach: This beach is at a distance of 1 km from Diu Town. Jallandhar Shrine is located on a hillock close to the beach. According to the scriptures, Jallandhar a Demon was killed by the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu. The beach is a haven of beauty, peace, and tranquility. It is an ideal holiday destination in Diu for those who wish to spend their time lazing around.