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Daman and Diu Information

Introduction to Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu is a union territory in India. For over 450 years these coastal enclaves on the Arabian Sea coast were part of Portuguese India, along with Goa and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Goa, Daman, and Diu were occupied by the Republic of India on December 19, 1961; Portugal did not recognize Indian rule in these territories until 1974. Goa, Daman, and Diu were administered as part of a single union territory until 1987, when Goa was granted statehood, leaving Daman and Diu as a separate union territory; each enclave constitutes one of the union territory’s two districts.

Daman and Diu is the second smallest union territory of India. During the early period, Daman and Diu were part of Goa.

It was only in 1987, when Goa become a full fledged state, that Daman and Diu was separated from Goa. These three different land blocks on the west coast of India had come to form one political unit after liberation from the erstwhile Portuguese regime in 1961.

Geography of Daman and Diu

Daman and Diu lie on the edge of the southern borders of Gujarat, which is situated in western India. The northern side of the isolated island, Diu, facing Gujarat, is a 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 meters above sea level, and palms and coconut trees strew this island.

It is about 786 km from Daman and is bound by Chasi River on the north and the Arabian Sea on the other three sides.

Its total area is about 33 sq. km. and is connected to the mainland by two bridges.

Its length from the extreme north to south measures 11Km and width from east to west measures 8Kms. The altitude is 12 m above sea level.

The district is bounded on the north by the Bhagwan river, on the east by the Valsad district of Gujarat state, on the south by the Kalem river and on the west by the Arabian Sea.

The total area of the district is 72 sq. km.

The district is divided by the Damanganga river into two parts.

Three west flowing rivers pass through the terrain viz. the Bhagwan river running along the northern boundary, the Kalem river forming the southern boundary and the Damanganga river lying in between.

Brief History of Daman and Diu

Both these islands are associated with the Portuguese attempts of colonization and one can see its evidence in the rich architecture. These foreign invaders seized Daman in 1531 and formally took it over by 1559 from the last Gujarati king.

Attempts to take over Diu had begun from 1531 but the Portuguese were successful only by 1535 taking advantage of the internal conflict of the king and the Mughal emperor, Humayun. After the peace treaty in 1539, the Portuguese took over full control of the island. Both the islands came under Indian rule by as late as 1961.

Government of Daman and Diu

DAMAN AND DIU is an Union Territory. It means that the City is under the direct administration of the Government of India .

Economy of Daman and Diu

Total industrial units registered as small scale industries in Daman And Diu together are about 535. The main industrial area of the union territory are Somnath, Dabhel, Bhimpore and Kadaiya. In the district of Daman, the important field and garden crops grown are paddy, Ragi, groundnut, pulses and beans, wheat, banana, sapota and mango. The net sown area is about 3727 hectares which forms about 67% of the districts geographical area.

Daman and Diu Travel Information

In Daman, the Fort of St. Jerome at Nani Daman, where there is a Jain temple as well. The 17th-century-old Se Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady of Rosary in Moti Daman are also worth a visit, and one can see the exquisite Portuguese carvings on the walls of these churches. Built in ancient Gothic style, these are a feast for the eyes. The stately Light House, the amusement park and the Gandhi Park at Daman jetty are also places of interest. Among the beaches, Devka beach is the most famous. Others include the Jampore beach, which is of interest to the swimmers and is very near the Gujarat border. The lake garden of Satya Nagar Udyan is famous for its fountains and promenades.

In Diu, the Zampa Gateway is of particular interest. It has carvings of lions, angels and a priest and has a chapel inside with an inscription dating back to 1702. The artificial Zampa waterfall is also attractive. St. Paul's Church is the only active church till date. Nearby is the old St. Thomas's Church that has now been taken over by the authorities and converted into the Diu Museum. The Church of St. Francis of Assisi has been converted to a hospital. The Marwar memorial commemorates the victory over the Portuguese. The massive fort built in 1541 is now weathered and weak. It is of major tourist interest. Other places include Jallandhar and Gangeshwar temple. The Nagoa beach is the most famous in Diu. Gomptimata, Chakratirth and the beautiful Sunset Point are the other famous beaches. The Jama Masjid is also famous.

Food of Daman and Diu

Daman is known for its papri, which are boiled, sweet and salty peas. Crab and lobsters are delicacies in October. The streets of Daman have bars that sell beer, scotch whisky and feni. Tody is also found in abundance. In Diu, rates of hotels are high in the peak season of October to June. Most restaurants have their own eating joints. Food in Diu can be very cheap to expensive. Good seafood and Chinese dishes deserve special mention. With some luck, one can also taste Parsee food here.

Arts & Culture of Daman and Diu

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. The Daman and Diu union territory, between the two units has one representative in the union parliaments, lower house, the Lok Sabha.

Gujarati is the spoken language of the people.

The population comprises of Hindus and few Christians and Muslims.

The union territory of Daman and Diu has a high degree of urbanisation, 46.80%, as against the national average of 25.7%.

The people of the territory live according to the Hindu system prevalent in adjoining Gujarat territory and the customs of birth, marriage, sacred thread and other ceremonies are observed . Daman can boast of a rich and multi - faced cultural heritage.

Dance and Music are very much part of the daily life of Damanite. Here is a true fusion of cultures - tribal, urban, European and Indian. This ornate amalgam is reflected in the traditional dances of Daman. Various Portuguese dances are well preserved and still widely presented.

Tribal dances with caustic social comments are much in vogue.

Select a State in India for more information:

Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | West Bengal

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