Nestling near the mouth of the Daman ganga river as it embraces the Arabian Sea, the Union Territory of Daman is easily your dream destination. Its picture-postcard loveliness never fails to charm the innumberable tourists who select this resort for great gateway. Far from the madding crowd, its beauty, variety and tranquility weave their unique magic. Daman and Diu is a union territory in India. For over 450 years, the coastal enclaves of Daman and Diu on the Arabian Sea coast were part of Portuguese India, along with Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Daman is a beautiful, stunning, striking, gorgeous paradise on earth.
From the 8th to13th century, Daman and Diu, which was a part of Goa was a stronghold of the Chowda Rajputs who were ousted by the Waghalas who in turn were expelled by Muslims in1330. It continued under Muslims rule for another two hundred years when it was conquered by the Portuguese. The Portuguese ruled Goa for 451 years (1510-1961). Albuquerque entrenched himself in the Island of Tiswadi in1510.
His successors had unbroken sway over this lovely territory for four and a half centuries despite mounting resentment and opposition to the alien rule from the people within and outside the territory. Even as the Portuguese were settling down, admirals and seamen of the Indian powers were challenging their might on the high seas. When Bahadur Shah, Sultan of Gujarat, was attacked by the Mughal Emperor Humayun he entered into a defensive alliance with the Portuguese and allowed them in 1535 to construct a fortress on the Island and maintain a garrison there. Later several attempts were made by the rulers of Gujarat in 1536, 1545 and 1546 respectively to oust the Portuguese from the Fort of Diu but to no avail. By the Treaty of 1543 the cessation of Diu to the Portuguese was finally confirmed. The fortress of Diu, an imposing structure was reconstructed after the siege of 1545 by Dom Joao de Castro. By the middle of the 16th century the Portuguese were able to annex Salcete and Bardez Talukas and the coastal areas, north of Bombay and the pockets of Daman and Diu. In 1670, a small armed band of the Arabs of Muscat surprised and plundered the fortress, retiring with the booty they had acquired. Since that happening, the other most worthy event occurred in connection with the liberation of Portuguese settlement-‘Operation Vijay’ just before the midnight of December 16, 1961, ending the colonial rule. The different land blocks on the west coast of India, Daman, Diu and Goa came to form one political unit after liberation from the erstwhile Portuguese regime in 1961. In 1987, when Goa become a full fledged state, Daman and Diu was separated from Goa.
The people of Daman and Diu are not different from the people in the adjoining Gujarat area. They have same outlook and the same customs and traditions as prevalent in adjoining Gujrati territory. The population comprises of Hindus and few Christians and Muslims. Gujarati is the spoken language of the people. The union territory of Daman and Diu has a high degree of urbanisation, 46.80%, as against the national average of 25.7%.
Gujarati is the predominant language of this region and is the most widely spoken. The language of the official work is English. Hindi is understood by a vast majority of the people even in rural areas. English speaking professionals constitute a majority in business and hospitality trade. Only few can now speak the Portuguese language and it is a quaint dialect.
Daman boasts of a multi-faced cultural heritage – a fusion of tribal, urban, European and Indian culture. Customs of birth, marriage sacred thread, other ceremonies ad rituals are religiously observed. Tribal dances with caustic social comments are much in vogue. Various Portuguese dances are well preserved and still widely presented.
Places to Visit in Daman
About 3 km north from Nani Daman, Devka Beach shoreline offers excellent recreation to the visitor. The ambience is serene and easy going. Walking the beach as the waves dance at your toes and the visual drama played out by nature with sea turning its colour and the sky mirroring each passing mood has always charmed the tourists. During low-tide, one can walk right into the sea and collect shells and various stones. The traveler can beat the summer heat by taking swim in the cool water.
About 3 km south of Moti Daman, the Jompore Beach is sandy and safe for swimming, pleasant spot with casuarinas plantation on the sea shore, where one can commune with nature in sublime solitude. One can walk on the soft wet sand with golden tinge right into the sea during low tide. The beach line is broad and quite serene. The sea here is free from undercurrents and dangers. Horse riding is also available at Jampore Beach. Around Rs.40 for an autorickshaw from Moti Daman.
Mirasol Resort and Waterpark
The Mirasol Resort and Waterpark is a wholly man-made wonder where the visitor enjoys boating in the artificially created lake surrounding the two islands connected by bridge. Various interesting features like mini train ride, video games, machan like setting on tree tops, water slides, sumptuous food to make it a favourite family tourist spot. The brightly lit up fountains and the reflected lights during the night cast an amazing and magical spell on the tourist.
An array of 36 thrilling rides in Vaibhav Waterpark surrounded by farms of mangoes, coconut and chikoos on tha Kanta Vapi road, about 7 km from Daman is another place for fun and adventure. An ideal place for family, the place offers non-stop excitement and good facilities. Entry Rs.200. Timing 11:00 to 18:00 hrs.
Damanganga Tourist Complex
Damanganga Tourist Complex is a unique project sure to mesmerize any tourist visiting Daman with its beauty, facilities and sheer size. The complex has cafeteria, cottages, conference hall, water falls, water sports, fountains and garden at one location.
The Fort of St.Jerome
On the north side of the Damanganga river, this fort in Nani Daman is named after St.Jerome, one of the most eminent fathers of the Catholic Church. Started in 1614 AD, after the Mughal Invasion, by the 12th Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Jeronimo de Azevado it got completed in the time of Dom Franciso de Gama in 1672 AD.
Soon after the conquest of Daman in 1559 AD, construction of this massive fort started and lasted till the end of 16th century AD. It encompasses about 30,000 sq. m. with ten bastions and two gateways – southern (land) gate and the northern (sea) gate. The fort is protected by a moat on the land side and also connects the river to the sea. The main street inside the fort runs north – south and all along the inner wall there are barracks of defence personnel.
The Dominican Monastry
This was once a great seat of theological studies, a seminary of global repute for priestly noviciates, and attracted Catholic scholars from far and near. The tell – tale ruins of grand spiritual dream stand as mute testimony to its past grandeur. The floral stone carving can be seen at the abode of the main altar. A public mass is held on 3rd Sunday of December in honour of St. Dominic.
Started in 1559 but consecrated in 1603, the church of Bom Jesus was a parish church in the early days of the Portuguese rule. The monument is living tribute to the craftsmanship of Portuguese artisans in ornate and intricate design. The main feature of the church is its painted an gilt wooden altar reredos and pulpit. The richly carved main south door with the elevated facade, lofty ceiling, embellished with the statues of six saints are aesthetic and pleasing.
At the entrance of the left side, almost attached to the fort gate is the modest dwelling where an 18th century Portuguese poet, Bocage lived. As you walk into the fort gate, a monument, Pargola Garden, raised in memory of the Portuguese soldiers who fell during the liberation up rising at Dadra and Nagar Haveli catches attention. Next is the modern Secretariat building opposite Collectorate.
Chapel of Our Lady of Rosary
Against the fort wall is the Chapel of Our Lady of Rosary dating and glided wooden panels illustrate stories from the lives of the blessed saints. The ceiling features charming carved golden cherubs. The statue of Mary of Rosary was placed on the altar in thanksgiving by the Portuguese commander for rescue from a Maratha attack by Shivaji.
The Church of Our Lady of Remedies was built by the Portuguese Governor and Captain in 1607 AD. The main altar is carved and gilded with 17th century engravings.
Church of Our Lady of Angustias
The stately Light House is another popular site for tourists.
Near By Attractions
Daman can be convenient base for excursions to the nearby Parsi Fire Temple, Udwada, 20 km and the tribal land of Saputara in the Dang District of Gujarat, via Vapi, about 130 km. You can also proceed the popular pilgrimage site of Shirdi, 220 km covering Nasik enroute, 140 km from Daman
FACTS ABOUT DAMAN
|Languages||Gujarati and Marathi|
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Respected Sir, i have gone through this site it is damn.. fantastic and fabulous but i would like to correct about the very top snap the photo which shows snow/ice at tree that is fake one. in daman snow fall never took place so please correct it
Thanks Anil for your concern ..we have removed it