The Union Territory of Daman and Diu was under the control of the Portuguese for over 450 years and has many buildings and monuments which stand testimony to the rich legacy of those years.
When in the islands of Daman and Diu, which stand 198 kilometres from each other, there are many things one can do as a visitor. Both the islands act as serene and beautiful beach resorts, surrounded by the waters of the Arabian Sea. Daman is bordered by the Kalem and Bhagwan rivers, and Diu lies in the Gulf of Cambay near the Veravad Port off the Coast of Gujarat.
Seaside Things To Do In Daman
1. Pick your Own Beach
Daman and Diu offer many beaches, of which the horseshoe-shaped Nagoa is the most famous. There are many other beaches, to offer your pick of solitude and solace. Remember that all the beaches are not safe for swimming but the soothing waters do offer a picturesque beauty to wash away the stress of your daily grind.
2. Sample the Seafood
As with Goa, you will find many beach shacks offering seafood prepared from the fresh catch of the day and the delicious seafood is worth a try, unless you are vegan or vegetarian. The region offers an amalgamation of Indian and European cultures influenced by tribal and African cultures, making the food unique and delightful. You can also expect to sample Chinese, Mexican and Thai food when here.
3. Go Boating
A beautiful lake, landscaped gardens and lovely greenery mark the Mirasol Lake Garden, which also offers boating and a toy train. A must visit place for families with children.
Other attractions of the garden include lighting effects, fish ponds, ducks and water fountains. Indulge the child in you without inhibitions and enjoy the delicious food at the restaurant with family and friends.
Touristy Things To Do In Daman & Diu
4. Indulge in Shopping
Most people never come away from a trip without picking up souvenirs, mementos and gifts for their loved ones. If you happen to be one of them, Daman and Diu will not disappoint you as you can buy many locally sourced, handmade items like pots, mats and baskets made of bamboo and leather slippers. There are some shops which sell seized imported goods at very reasonable prices too.
5. Mark the Gateway
The district of Diu has an entrance called Zampa Gateway, which has a unique architecture which dates its construction back to the medieval era. Visit this gateway to marvel at the carvings of lions, priests and angels which adorn it and also make sure that you visit the intricately designed chapel which lies inside it, dating back to 1702 AD.
6. Climb up to the Lighthouse
There is a lighthouse at the Daman Ganga Bridge, situated inside a Fort from the days of Portuguese rule over this region. This is considered a landmark in itself and worthy of a visit. The lighthouse if fully functional to this day and offers a beacon of guidance to the seafaring boats in the region. Do visit in the evening to enjoy its serene beauty and the imposing landscape surrounding it, to relive your childhood dreams of following in the footsteps of Sinbad the Sailor.
7. Visit the Naida Caves
These caves are prehistoric rock formations which are beautiful to look at and amazing to photograph. The caves are maintained well and attract a number of visitors, especially during the morning and noon times. Find a small temple to Hinglaj Mata in a corner of one of the caves.
8. Visit the Maritime Memorial
INS Khukri is a maritime memorial built in honour of sailors from the Indian Navy whose frigate of the same name sank off the coast of Diu, during the Indo-Pak war in 1971. A model of the downed frigate and the names of the martyrs aboard it can be found here. Patriotism apart, visit here to enjoy the panoramic views offered from the vast platform, with seating, which is part of the memorial.
9. Admire the Forts
There are some remarkable forts to visit and foremost Named after St. Jerome, whose statue stands on top of the main entrance, this fort was built to stand as a sentinel to the sea and the activities in the sea. There’s also the Daman Fort, with its protective moat and 10 impressive bastions, spread over 30000 square metres. Its remarkable architecture draws many visitors, along with the beautiful lighthouse on the grounds, which stands tall to fulfill its duties to this day.
Religious Things To Do In Daman & Diu
10. Pray at a Church
The churches in Daman and Diu stand testimony to the legacy of the region’s colonisation. Two of the churches which are justly famed and draw a number of visitors are the beautiful Church of Our Lady of the Sea within the Fort Jerome and the remarkable Bom Jesus Church in Moti Daman. The Bom Jesus Church testifies to the skills of the Portuguese artisans with its mural-decorated ceilings and intricately carved gateways.
11. Visit a Temple
Legend has it that the Gangeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, located 3 kilometres from Diu, was established by the Pandavas when they ended their term of exile. The temple is more like a cave formation and worshipping is considered by many Hindus to be an essential part of their travel plans to Diu.
12. Seek Peace At A Monastery
Though lying in ruins, the quiet and peaceful atmosphere of the Dominican Monastery at Moti Daman draws a number of visitors who feel a connection to its glorious past. This beautifully maintained archaeological site is located inside the Daman Fort and offers visitors a great memory to take back with them, with its beautiful altar decorated with floral motifs, even though everything lies in ruins. You may need some help in locating it.
We trust that you will have a lot of fun at the beaches in Daman and Diu and also find the time to try these activities. We have tried our best to see that we didn’t miss anything worth doing. Do write in and let us know of any other exciting things worth doing at Daman and Diu.