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India >> India >> West >> Diu
Diu West, India
  Overview   Holiday Ideas 
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Diu comes as a stunner to its visitors. A beautiful blend of sea, sand and sun, Diu is a God's gift to those in quest of a blessed land where the weary weight of this jumbled world can, for a while, be lightened to hear the soul sing to the music of the nature. This tiny island of breeze, beauty and serenity situated off the southern tip of the Saurashtra (Kathiawad) peninsula of Gujarat, lapped by the Arabian Sea, is a picture of calmness with superb beaches and a fascinating history.

 

Diu has a very great heritage and a rich culture, woven inextricably by the mixture of local Gujarati culture and the foreign Portuguese culture. Diu is ideal for those seeking a relaxed holiday to laze, stroll, swim, take plunge for water sports and treating the taste buds at restaurants serving freshly caught sea food.

 

Diu was ruled by many well-known kings and dynasties during the prehistoric, ancient and medieval times. It was a Portuguese colony until 1961. It is now a Union Territory, separated from Goa in 1987. It was an important trading post and naval base from where the rulers controlled the shipping routes in the northern part of the Arabian Sea between the 14-16th centuries.

 Orientation

The fort of Diu is one of the most popular tourist attractions. A 15th century creation, the fort is an expansive and gigantic structure, situated on the coast of the island, commanding a magnificent view of the sea that surrounds it on three sides. Constructed after a defense alliance between the then rulers of Gujarat and the Portuguese Governor Nuno De Cunha, one can still see a couple of mounds of iron shells inside the fort and several canons still stare menacingly from the top.

 

The fortress of Panikotha, a grand stone structure in the sea, is definitely worth a visit too. Built right at the mouth of the creek, it can only be reached by navigating the waters. About one nautical mile from the Diu jetty, the fortress welcomes you with a light house and a small chapel dedicated to the lady of sea.

 

For more glimpses of what life in Diu was like so many centuries ago, one may want also to visit the Diu museum, in what used to be the old St. thomas Church -  one will find antique statues, various stone inscription of earlier rulers, wooden carving and different idols.

 

Diu is also home to a wealth of churches, snippets of the Portuguese legacy, as well as other spiritual places. One must visit St. Pauls church; it boasts one of the most elaborate facades of all Portuguese churches in the country, adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell-like motifs. The Gangeshwar temple, located three km from Diu in Fudan village is another must see as it comprises a shivlinga, known as Gangeshwar, that sits in the midst of rocks by the seashore. Another attraction close by is Jallandhar shrine (Gazetteer of Goa, Daman and Diu says that Diu was known as Jallandhar Kshetra during Satyug and is famouos for its Jallandhar temple. As daitya (Demon) Jallandhar harassed the Gods, Lord Vishnu left Sudarshan Chakra after killing Jallandhar is known as Chakratirtha which is situated in Diu), which sits atop a hillock.

 

And finally, when all you want to do is to abandon yourself idle for hours and enjoy the delights of the beach and waves, head to the Nagoa or Chakratirth Beach. Located in the Nagoa hamlet of the village Bucharwada, the beach is filled with beauty and calm. It is shaped like a horseshoe, and the water here is safe to swim in, should you want to take a dip or two. For the more enthusiasts, there is also a range of water sports offered here. The beach of Chakratirth is surrounded by hills and scenic landscape soothing to the eyes.

 

Also, if one really wants to experience the spirit of Diu, however, one should plan holiday to coincide with the Diu festival that takes place on December 19th every year and lasts three days.

 

Diu was noted for its expertise in weaving and dyeing during the Portuguese rule, as well the craft of weaving a special bridal saree for the Kharwa women, both of which are craft that have survived the test of time. This also is a place to buy bangles and other ornaments made out of turtle-shell by the Sangharias, a craft unique not only to India, but Asia as a whole.

 Getting there

Location

Diu District is an island lying off the south coast of Gujarat's Kathiawar peninsula, in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. It is separated from the mainland by a tidal creek. It has an area of 40 km and a population of 44,110 (2001 census). The town of Diu lies at the eastern end of the island.

 

Distance

The closest railhead to Diu is at Veraval (90kms) in Gujrat. Ahmedabad is around 495kms and Mumbai is about 980kms from Diu.

 Fast Facts
Name Diu Best Time To Visit September to may.
Location West   India   Destination  
Open From 0000-00-00  To 0000-00-00 Type Island city with culture and heritage.
Temperature Summar   20c- 36c      Winter   20c 26c      Rainy   20c - 30c
 Map
 
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