Also known as the Portuguese Fort, Diu Fort was built during the period 1535 to 1541 on the ruins of a fortress constructed by an Arabian Governor during 1400. The Portuguese colonialists and the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah jointly constructed this fort to defend their territories against the armies of Mughal Emperor Humayun who intended to annex them.
The 29 m tall fort is situated along the shore line at the end of Fort Road. It is surrounded on its three sides by the sea and its fourth side is connected by a canal. The fort is encircled by two massive walls. While its outer wall stands along the shoreline, the inner one has bastions with cannons mounted upon them.
It is further fortified by two moats. The outer moat is a tidal moat and the inner moat, cut out of sandstone rocks, is situated between the outer and the inner wall. The fort hosts landscaped gardens, pathways dotted with cannons, a prison and a lighthouse. It offers spectacular views of the vast ocean and the surrounding land areas.
Jampore Beach is one of the most enchanting beaches in Daman. The scenic beach is an ideal holiday destination for beach lovers who wish to spend their vacation in the peaceful, sublime and soothing company of nature.
Jampore beach is flanked by spectacular groves of Casuarina trees whose cool shades pacify the taut nerves of the visitors yearning for rest in the secluded terrain far from the hectic business life and noise of the maddening crowd.
What marks out Jampore Beach from a host of other beaches is its sandy expansiveness, especially when the sea is in low tide and its water recedes a long way down the shore. The visitors can leisurely walk upon the wet, soft, cushiony sand exposed by the receding water and collect shells, conches and other oceanic mementoes.
Those who wish to swim and frolic around in the sea can do so safely as the water is shallow, calm above and below its surface and slope under it is also gradual. The ideal time to visit the beach is from September to May when the weather is pleasantly cool.
Devka Beach is one of the picturesque beaches in Daman. It is situated at a distance of about three miles from Nani Daman. A walk along the calm and splendid beach with the cool waves of the sea dancing on your toes provides an unforgettable experience of joy and peace. When the tide is low, the visitors can saunter into the sea and collect conches, shells and other oceanic memorabilia.
The more adventurous can take a swim in the cool and rejuvenating waters to beat the heat of summer. The swimmers should, however, be cautious about their safety as the surface below the water may be riddled with sharp, rough and craggy formations.
If you feel exhausted and bored of swimming or romping about the beach, an amusement park, located within walkable distance, provides the much needed relief and change.
The artistically landscaped amusement park has picturesque walkways, sparkling musical fountains and a host of entertainment options both for kids and elders including pony rides, gaming instruments, food joints and shops selling toys, clothes and electronic merchandize.
The park is brightly lit on festival days, especially on Nariyal Poornima, Folk Dance days, local carnivals and weekends when it attracts hordes of tourists from far and near.
Ghoghla Beach is located close to village Ghoghla and is 631 km away from the main city of Diu. The sandy beach is one of the largest, gentlest and the most spectacular beaches in the district of Diu. The golden sands appear to heave up and down to a point in the horizon where the waves of the Arabian Sea keep lapping constantly creating a hypnotic scene.
The beach is an ideal destination for thrilling activities like swimming, parasailing, surfing and other exciting water sports. Those who are averse to aquatic sports can laze or loll over its soft and soothing sands. It is an ideal retreat for the lovers of solitude, peace and tranquillity in the lap of nature.
It offers spectacular views of the fishing villages, churches and forts of Diu scattered around it. It also hosts a tourist complex that provides delicious food, comfortable accommodation and other amenities for those who wish to spend more time here.
Located in Moti Daman, Church of Bom Jesus, as its name suggests, is dedicated to Bom Jesus. Its construction was started in 1559, and its consecration took place in 1603. It used to be a parish church during the early days of Portuguese settlement.
The building is a living example of the superb architectural skills and exquisite craftsmanship of the Portuguese artisans and designers of those times. Its decorative and intricate design testifies to the matchless quality of Portuguese and Roman style of architecture.
Some of the prominent features of the church include its gold painted wooden altar, artistically carved doorways, intricately designed rococo interiors, superbly bejewelled lofty ceilings and extravagantly styled work in rosewood.
What cannot escape the eyes of the visitors are the statues of six saints which have been brilliantly sculpted in unique traditions of Roman Catholic architecture. All these aspects make the church of Bom Jesus one of the most popular tourist destinations of the region. It, therefore, attracts a large number of pilgrims and tourists from far and near.
St. Paul’s Church is named after St. Paul, the apostle of Jesus Christ. Of the three churches built by the Portuguese in Diu, this is the only functioning church where the small residual Christian community congregates and offers prayers.
The church was built in 1610 and is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The design and construction of the church exemplifies the best traditions in baroque style architecture. The interior of the church is embellished with minutely elaborate and artistically carved wood work.
The altar which holds the idol of St. Mary is made of a single piece of Burmese teak which is regarded the best in the world because of its intensity, toughness and long life. It is spacious enough to light 101 candles placed in lines.
The upper side of the altar is decorated with invaluable paintings and idols. The central area of the church hall where the congregation sits has a vaulted nave. The exterior of the church, with carved designs in white stucco worked out by the native artisans, is as much impressive as the interior in respect of elaborate detail in design.
Built by the Portuguese in the year 1559 to protect against the invasions of the Mughal armies, Fort Moti Daman is spread over a massive area of 30,000 sq m. The fort houses a number of cannons and the mouth of each of these is engraved with a crest and the year of its manufacture.
The fort also houses the Church of Bom Jesus, the Chapel of Our Lady of Rosary and the Church of Our Lady of Remedies. The Church of Our Lady of Agustias, however, is located outside the fort.
Those interested in poetry would be surprised and delighted to see the house of Portuguese poet Bocage located close to the main gate of the fort via the sea. A marble tomb of the poet above the door of the small house indicates that the poet used to live here. The house is, however, locked.
An Indian frigate named Indian Naval Ship Khukri - INS Khukri - was destroyed on 9th December 1971 by torpedoes fired by the Pakistani submarine PNS Hangor during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. The ship sank in the ocean 40 nautical miles off the coast of Diu taking along its crew of l8 officers and 176 sailors.
The commanding officer of the ship, Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla was given the choice of saving himself and the crew by surrendering to the invaders, but the valiant soldier refused to be blackmailed. He gave his life-jacket to a junior officer and went down with the sinking ship along with his compatriots.
Captain Mulla was posthumously conferred Mahavir Chakra for his matchless valour and sacrifice for the honour of the nation. It is also well-known that the Indian Navy took the matching revenge by capturing the port of Karachi within just 48 hours of the tragedy.
A memorial to commemorate the martyrdom of the brave warriors was set up in Diu at 20°42′10″N 70°58′37″E. It comprises a scaled model of INS Khukri enclosed in a glass case. It is located on the top of a hillock in front of the sea. The memorial was inaugurated by Vice Admiral Madhvendra Singh, the flag officer commanding-in-chief of the Indian Navy on 15th December 1999.
Located in the old Moti Daman Fort, the Chapel of Our Lady of Rosary was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century. It is one of the oldest religious monuments in Daman. The Gothic style building stands in an overgrown square which also contains the ancient tombstones of the Portuguese settlers.
The marquee of the building is deceptively simple, but one is stunned by the exquisite beauty of its interiors as one crosses the threshold. The church is made primarily of wood and is embellished with superb motifs, graphics and illustrations crafted by artisans in the ancient architectural style of the Portuguese.
The walls of the church are embellished with figures of golden cherubs blessing the visitors and the faithful alike. An array of wooden panels depict the portraits of Jesus Christ along with his disciples. The most striking feature of the interior is its ceiling which is decorated with brilliant garlands of gold-petals designed in a multitude of brilliant colours and shades.
It is believed that the idol of Mary of Rosary was fixed on the altar as a gesture of thanksgiving by the Portuguese for escaping the wrath of the Maratha forces led by Shivaji.
St. Thomas Church was built by the Portuguese in the year 1598. The ancient church is situated on an elevated platform within the walls of the Diu Fort. The construction of the church is designed in Gothic style architecture. The white washed exterior of the building still bears the worn out and faded portraits and paintings of the Portuguese times.
The church does not hold prayer services any more, though an annual mass is held on the ‘All Saint’s Day’ on 1st November. The building of the church has, however, been renovated and converted into a museum with primary accent on Christian religion.
It houses the stone sculptures of Christ and Virgin Mary. Other important archaeological exhibits include 400 year old carvings on fossilized wood, shadow clocks, marble statues of St. Benedict and St. Thomas, antique idols, stone inscriptions and several artefacts collected from abandoned churches or historical places in the island.
The church can be reached through a garden path flanked by beautiful fountains. It is brilliantly illuminated in the evenings and, the variegated lights present a charming sight.
The Chapel Of Our Lady Of Remedies is situated on the outskirts of the Moti Daman forte. It was constructed in 1607 AD by the Portuguese governor and captain. An interesting feature of the church is its entrance. It has a charming white cross bearing some flowers and also some words in Portuguese.
The entrance also has an exquisitely carved bell which is suspended from the wooden stand. The colour of the paint on the bell matches the doors and windows of the church. A small cave like niche holding the portrait of Mother Mary stands close to one of the walls of the church.
The design of the building of the church is based upon a combination of Byzantine and Gothic architectural styles. The carvings and engravings on the main altar of the church bear the stamp of 17th century architecture. The walls of the prayer hall are decorated with carved figurines which significantly add to its overall grandeur.
Nagoa beach derives its name from Nagoa, a fishing hamlet called Bucharwada. The beach is a 20 minutes drive from Diu. It is a semi-circular beach in the shape of a horse shoe. The total distance of the beach from one end to the other is approximately 2.5 km.
The beach is situated at a comparatively isolated spot and, therefore, offers a completely quiet and peaceful environment. It is a perfect holiday destination for tourists who are tired of the noisy, stressful and hectic city life.
Nagoa Beach is exquisitely clean and beautiful. It is surrounded by dense groves of Hoka-palm trees which keep swaying to the whispering sound of the sea breeze all through the day lending the area a blissful ambience. The gently lapping waters of the beach invite the tourists to wade through them, or spend their time swimming or frolicking in them.
The beach is quite safe for swimming and other water sports. The more adventurous can take to sailing, boating, water skiing or similar other exciting activities. Those who are averse to swimming can loll about on the soft wet sands on the shores, or just take a nap under the deep and soothing shadows of the palm trees.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Angustias is situated just outside the Moti Daman Fort near the football ground. This is the oldest church in Daman built by the Portuguese. Its history dates back to the period when the Portuguese commander Alfonso de Albuquerque defeated the Sultan of Bijapur in 1510.
It was built by the then Portuguese governor in the 17th century on the grave of Agostinho Xavier de Silva Vidigal who was born in Lisbon and died in Daman in the place where the soldiers of the First World War were buried.
The church is decorated with rose petals of various colours. The walls of the church bear exquisite paintings portraying the lives of the holy saints. The gold plated altar in the church is carved with superbly intricate designs. The gold plated woodwork and the variegated designs on the paintings of Jesus Christ and his apostles in the church testify the brilliant creative art of the Portuguese.
Jallandhar Beach is located just 1 km away from the city of Diu. The beach gets its name from a mythological demon whose shrine is located on a close-by hillock. According to the scriptures, Jallandhar was killed by the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu.
Another temple dedicated to goddess Chandrika is also located nearby. Jallandhar Beach is a haven of beauty, peace and tranquillity. It is an ideal holiday destination for those who wish to spend their time lazing around on the soft sands while the inebriating sea breeze blows over them all through the day.
Visitors can also take a nap under the cool shadows of the breezy palm trees skirting the area. The more active and adventurous can take to a host of aquatic sports on the beach as the virginal water here remains calm and clear without any undercurrents.
The beach area, being close to the city, has been made more attractive by the installation of beautification and illuminating arrangements. When lit, it presents an enchanting view at night.
The word Gangeshwar refers to Lord Shiva who is considered the lord of Ganga because the river descended upon earth through his tresses. Gangeshwar Temple is, therefore, dedicated to him. It is located in a village named Fadum, just 3 km away from Diu.
It is basically a cave temple located in the midst of rocks on the sea shore. The shrine houses five Shivlingas which are constantly washed by the lapping waves of the Arabian Sea. The mystical scene of the waves of the ocean offering obeisance to Lord Shiva inspires deep feelings of spiritual reverence and devotion among the visitors.
According to mythology, the temple was built by the five Pandav brothers who were spending their exile in anonymity in this part of the world for their daily worship. The temple is, therefore, supposed to be as old as the time of Mahabharata. The awe inspiring and strategic location of Gangeshwar Temple on the sea shore lends it immense historical and religious importance.