The union territories of Daman and Diu lie on the edge of the southern borders of Gujarat, in western India. The northern side of the isolated island, Diu, facing Gujarat, is made of tidal marsh and saltpans, while the southern coast alternates between limestone cliffs, rocky coves and sandy beaches. This wind beaten and somewhat arid island is filled with quarries built by the Portuguese rulers. The rocky and sandy interior reaches a maximum altitude of 29 m above sea level, and palms and coconut trees abound on this island. It is about 786 km from Daman and is bound by the Chasi River on the north and the Arabian Sea on the other three sides. Daman is an underdeveloped town with a tropical flavor, and its beaches are very welcoming. It was earlier called Damao and is bound by the Kolak River on the north. The northern part is called Little Daman or Nani Daman and is filled with restaurants while the southern part is called Moti Daman or Big Daman and is known for its ancient architecture. Known for their beaches and exotic liquors, these twin islands are a tourist's haven for escaping the cacophony of mundane life. Be it the rich historic past or the quaint songs of the anglers, everything in Daman and Diu assist in creating a paradise for one in search of tranquility. The forts and churches of the past, and the pubs of today, combine to engender a strange ambience of nostalgia and pleasure
Among the places of tourist interest, the Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after a defense alliance, concluded by the Bahadurshah, Sultan of Gujarat, and the Portuguese when the former was attacked by Humayun, the Mughal Emperor.
Diu Town is protected by the fort in the east and a wall in the west. Fishermen make daily trips from the north coast by wooden boats. A few churches built by the former European inhabitants are still in use, although the Christian population is decreasing. The Church of St. Thomas is now a museum which lies to the north of St. Pauls.
Somanath Mahadev Temple:
The Somanath Mahadev Temple is an important place of worship in Daman. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple is situated in the village Dabhel. It is believed that the Shivalinga was miraculously originated at its present place on the request of a monk who was a true devotee of Shiva. This miraculous incident is believed to have taken place in the19th century, which induced people to hold this place as holy place and they built a small temple. It was rebuilt in the year 1972-73 with glass decorative. It is a pleasant spot connected by good roads. Every year there is a fair organised here known as 'Gangaji Fair'.
The Gangeshwar Temple is unique as it has Shivlingas which are washed by the sea. Located at the Jallandhar beach, there are many other attractions nearby.
Jallandhar Shrine is located on a hillock close to the beach. This small shrine crowned with a dome, contains a niche wherein a stone carved face of Jallandhar is seen. Near by there is also a temple of Goddess Chandrika. The beach is at a distance of 1 km from Diu Town.
The horseshoe shaped Nagoa Beach is one of the best in India. A tented camp offering a different style of accommodation has come up here. Water sports facilities are available and one can also enjoy a good swim.
Devka & Jampore Beach:
Devka is a beautiful and unspoilt beach with a long shore-line situated in the northern part of Daman. There is also a popular amusement park on the beach with multi-colored fountains. Situated in the southern part of Daman near the Gujarat border, Jampore is the right place for a quiet holiday. The broad and even beach line complemented by the undisturbed solitude and serenity makes Jampore a paradise for the sea-lovers. The shore is most suited for swimming as it is danger free. The department of Tourism has also provided sun-shades, picnic platforms and benches near the beach.
St. Paul's Church:
St. Paul's Church is dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The construction of the church was started in 1601 and was completed in the year 1610. The main facade of the church, perhaps the most elaborates of all Portuguese churches in India, is adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell-like motifs, and immediately attracts visitors. The facade has been illuminated by flood lights adding to the evening city glow.
The old St. Thomas Church has been converted into a museum which houses the antique statues, various stone inscriptions of the earlier rulers, wooden carvings, idols, shadow-clocks and other important artifacts have been collected from various sites and displayed.
Fortess of Panikotta:
The Fortess of Panikotta is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. It can be reached only by a canoe or a motor launch. Approximately one nautical mile from the Diu jetty, it also has a light house and a small chapel dedicated to Our lady of sea. Located in the middle of the sea, the Fortess makes for a beautiful view whether seen from the jetty, from the Fort, from the village of Ghoghla or from Diu proper.
The Ghoghla Beach is among the six beautiful beaches in Diu District. A tourist complex built here provides all basic amenities to tourists.
Chakratirath Beach is centrally located and contiguous to the town of Diu. This beach serves the locals as well as domestic and international tourists, providing them with an opportunity to have a worthwhile break. The hill and the surrounding areas and landscape have been beautifully illuminated. The spot has been developed by constructing an open-air auditorium on the seaside of the hillock.