Silvassa is the capital city of the Indian Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It was known as Vila de Paço d'Arcos during the Portuguese rule. Far from the madding crowds, Silvassa is a popular destination for those who wish to commune with nature and also experience the rich cultural heritage with strong Portuguese roots.
Silvassa was just another sleepy village until the 19th century. It was in the year 1885 that the Portuguese administration decided to shift headquarters from Darará. A decree passed in February 1885 changed the fortunes of Silvassa – it was converted into a town and was named Vila de Paço d'Arcos. Today, Silvassa forms the base to explore the region of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. As the interest in wildlife and nature tourism grows, Silvassa as a tourist destination for nature enthusiasts continues to gain centre stage.
There is much that you can see and do in Silvassa. The main attraction is the Roman Catholic Church, which boasts a distinct Portuguese style of architecture. Dadra and Nagar Haveli is home to several tribes and to understand their culture, history and traditions, you can visit the Tribal Cultural Museum. The wildlife enthusiasts can opt for the Vasona Lion Safari, approximately ten kilometres from Silvassa.
The safari park hosts lions which, were transported from the Gir Sanctuary. Madhuban Dam is located approximately forty kilometres on the downstream of the river Damini Ganga. It is a haven for lovers of water sports. Dadra Park, about five kilometres from Silvassa, has a picturesque lake and several Bollywood songs have been filmed here. The nearby Vanganga Lake is also a favourite with the film makers and tourists.
Want to share your reaction with friends?
You can also visit Dudhni, an expansive water front formed from the river Damanganga. This splendid water sports complex is surrounded by the scenic foothills of Western Ghats. Luhari, a place of spectacular beauty, is situated approximately 14 kilometres from the capital city silvassa and, is a great place to soak in the tranquillity of nature. Khanvel, situated 20 kilometres in the south of Silvassa, offers a stunning landscape teeming with verdant mountains, rolling green meadows, terraced gardens, pastoral cottages and the bubbling river Sakartod winding its way through the thick forests.
The Satmaliya Deer Park, as the name suggests, hosts several deer species and other animals. You can also visit Kauncha, a typical tribal village, situated 40 kilometres in the south of Silvassa, and Bindrabin Temple, honouring Lord Shiva.
Silvassa is easily accessible via air, road and rail.
Novermber to June is the best time to visit Silvassa.