Ruled by the Portuguese for over 450 years, the union territory of Daman and Diu along with Goa were a part of a single union territory of India. In 1987, Goa gained its statehood leaving Daman and Diu as a single and distinct union territory. The union territory consists of two districts, namely Daman and Diu which are around 198 kilometers from each other. The place, being a former Portuguese colony, houses various number of buildings and monuments evident with the Portuguese styled architecture and town planning. In this article we shall discuss the top 8 places to visit in Daman and Diu.
1. Fort Jerome
Located at the North side of Damanganga river at Nani Daman, Daman; Fort Jerome was named after St. Jerome whose statue is placed on top of the main entrance. The fort was constructed in order to keep watch on the activities in the sea. The main attraction of this fort is the Church of Our Lady of the sea which is a remarkable example of Portuguese style architecture, a part of the church has now been converted into a school. The other thing to see in the fort premises is the Portuguese war cemetery which is nearly as old as the fort. The thick walls of the fort, even though more than 4 centuries old show no sign of breakage. The fort is a remarkable place to visit for the people who want a glimpse at the remarkable Portuguese style architecture.
2. Bom Jesus Church
Located in Moti Daman, Daman; the construction of the church began in 1559 AD and was completed in 1603 AD. Bom Jesus Church displays its remarkable and brilliant roman styled architecture. Inside the church you will find 6 beautiful statues of the Saints. The altar of the church are carved from wood and is a fine specimen of the Portuguese artisans. The ceilings are decorated with murals and the intricately carved gateways are sure to attract immediate attraction of the visitors. The church is not only a remnant of the Portuguese art and architecture but also is a major part of the heritage of Daman.
3. Zampa Gateway
The gateway marks the entrance to the District of Diu. The construction of Zampa Gateway was done somewhere in the medieval era which is pretty evident by its unique architecture. The walls and the gateway have remarkable carvings of lions, priests and angels. Right inside the gate lays a chapel which was built around 1702 Ad and is another beautiful and intricately designed monument. The site is a must visit for every tourist.
Located at Daman Ganga Bridge, the lighthouse is situated in the premises of a Fort which was built during the Portuguese era and is considered to be one of the major landmarks of the district of Daman. The Lighthouse is fully functional and provides guidance to all kinds of sea traffic both outbound and inbound. The fort itself is a must visit place and has a remarkable architecture and covers an area of around 30,000 sq meters. The fort was protected in old times by a moat on the land side and has a total of 10 bastions. The lighthouse is a serene place to visit, especially during the evening when the fort and the sea provide an amazing landscape, thus enhancing its beauty.
5. Jampore Beach
One of the most enchanting and alluring beaches of Daman, Jampore beach is located at the south of moti Daman. The beach is ideal for casual swimmers as its famous for its calm waters and during low tide one can easily go further into the sea. The environment of the beach is relatively quaint and is usually not crowded. The beach is perfect for a peaceful picnic with your family or friends as the Casuarinas plantation near the shores provide ample amount of shade from the sun. If you’re a shutterbug then this beach can offer some enchanting photographs especially during the sunset.
6. Devka Beach
Another amazing beach in Daman, Devka beach is really popular among the tourists who visit this place. Although the beach being rocky is not fit for swimming or water sports but if you want to enjoy an evening with friends and stroll on the beach, Devka beach is the place for you. The main attractions of the beach are the amusement park and the musical fountain which are amazing places to visit. The beach is well suited for the visitors of all age. The various food joints offer some really peppy and scintillating Indian fast food. The beach shore boasts of its clean waters and white sand, which is perfect for various activities like taking a stroll and photography.
7. Gangeshwar Temple
Located at a distance of around 3 kilometres from Diu, Gangeshwar Temple is a Hindu Shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, the five lingas here were established by the Pandavas during their anonymous stay of their 13th and final year of their exile. The place is a revered pilgrimage spot for the Hindus and is a must visit. The temple seems like its carved out of a cave like formation and the breeze from the sea gives an intoxicating feel when you enter the temple. The place is not only a place for worship but is an essential part of the Indian culture and is of prime mythological significance.
8. Nagoa Beach
A perfectly semi-circle beach, with its calm waters and white sands, is in our opinion the best beach you can visit in Daman and Diu. Nagoa beach is located near the Bucharwada village. The beach is comparatively less crowded and boasts of its blue and crystal clear waters. One can enjoy the thrill of various water sports at this beach and it is perfect for swimming as well. Be it a casual stroll, a volleyball match with friends or a simple nap under the palm trees, the beach has an activity to offer to all the people who visit. This amazing and enchanting beach is a recommended visit and is less crowded as compared to other beaches of Daman and Diu.
Daman and Diu has a rich and vast culture associated with it. The aforementioned places are only a handful of recommendations by us from the huge list of undiscovered attraction this Union Territory and former Portuguese colony has to offer. Please feel free to mention more places which can be added to this list in your comments.