Travel Diu

Escape to DIU where Time stands still.

Diu is from the Sanskrit word ‘DVIPA’, meaning island.

diu
DIU

Location
Diu is an island situated slightly off the coast of Kathiawad near the Port of Veraval in Gujarat, India with a coastal length of 21 kms. and is at a distance of about 768 kms. from Daman, the Capital of the newly formed Union Territory of Daman and Diu.

Diu is bounded by Gir-Somnath and Amreli District of Gujarat in the North and by the Arabian Sea from three sides. It is connected to the mainland via two bridges.

diu-island

How to Reach 
By Air : Diu has an airport which is located in Nagoa. From here, Jet airways offer daily flights to and from Mumbai.

By Train : The nearest railway station is Delwada at the distance of 9 kms. from Diu. But important trains are linked with Veraval which is 90 kms. from Diu. A portion of Diu District is on main land which is named as Ghoghla. A small part of Diu known as Simbor is situated in Gujarat at a distance of 25 kms. from Diu. Diu by rail would be fun since you will come across the rural parts and will have a good chance to witness the beauty of these regions.

By Road – Diu is well linked via roads that connect the National Highways of INDIA. These well maintained roads link Diu to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Vadodara, Daman, Palitana and other major places of the western part of India.

The route taken from Ahmedabad (Gujarat) can be –

  • Ahmedabad – Rajkot – Una – Diu
  • Ahmedabad – Rajkot – Somnath – Diu

Diu Connected By Road

Cities Distance
Veraval 90kms
Palitana 175kms
Rajkot 295kms
Sasangir 120kms
Bhavnagar 215kms
Vadodara 595kms
Daman 675kms
Ahmedabad 495kms
Mumbai 980kms

Climate
The climate of Diu is normally pleasant throughout the year.
The Monsoon season is from: June to September.
Temperature range : 15 ° C to 38 ° C.
Average Rainfall : 55 cm.

Best Time to Visit
October to March, New year is celebrated with great enthusiasm on the beaches with lots of sport activities available during those days.

Places to Stay
A number of good hotels, restaurants and eating-houses are available with A/C and Non A/C accommodation. Tariff ranges from Rupee 200/- to Rupees 9,000/- per day. Resorts in Diu are situated over the sea shores giving an excellent round the clock view of the beach to its visitors. Also there are resorts located outside the town yet providing every luxury and leisure to its visitors. Hotels in Diu provide 24*7 in-house facilities along with a travel desk and reception that is round the clock available for visitors. These hotels also provide with all the basic and luxurious amenities that includes premises security, luggage, and laundry, dry cleaning facilities as well.

 Some of the Hotels and their Contact Details 

  1. Azzaro Resort and Spa, Fofrara-fudam, Diu – 362520, India
  1. Radhika Resort
  1. Hotel Kohinoor, Fofrara-fudam, Diu – 362520, India
  1. Sugati Beach Resort, opposite check post, Ghoghla, India
  1. Rasal Beach Resort, Nagoa Beach, Diu – 362520, India
  • (Room Types – Executive – Rs.4500/-, Deluxe – Rs.4000/-,

Extra person – Rs.750/-)

  1. Kostamar Beach Resort, Nagoa Beach, Diu, India

Culture
The territories of Daman and Diu were under Portuguese regime from 1546 to 1961.
Diu is an extension of Kathiawad Cultural Zone which influences language, dress, patterns, food habits, customs and practice and other culture elements. The ethnic mosaic of Daman and Diu comprises of Hindus, viz. the Kharwa, Koli Patel, Koli, Bhraman, Bania, Vanja, Salat, Sanghadia, Sager, Baria, Kamli, Mitna, Mangela, Bhandari, Macchi, Kumbhar, Mahyavanshi, the tribals, namely the Dhobia, Dubla and Siddi; The Muslim viz. Momin and Khoja descendants of Rajputs which referring to the ATAK (Surname) GOTRA (clan) names. While the Kharwa, Koli, Koli Patel, Vanja, Mangela, Bhandari, Sager and Salat claim to be the original inhabitants of Union Territory, other perceive them as migrants from various places of Gujarat and Saurashtra.

Cuisine 
This place has Portuguese influence in its veins so mouth-watering Portuguese food is common here. Being Costal Region, seafood is available aplenty. Gujarati food is also common due to proximity to Gujarat. You can plan a getaway where you can enjoy an extra ordinary magical land of peace with mouth watering food and a drink or two.

Some of the places to try local food are 

  • Name – Cat’s Eye View
    Type – Multi-cuisine
    Timing – 8-10AM, 12-2.30PM & 7-9.30PM
    Range –  INR 100-500
    This open aired restaurant at Hoka Island Villa with its pleasant, tree-shading ambience is excellent with breakfasts. Their prawn coconut curry and fish & chips are worth mentioning.
    Location – Hoka Island Villa, Nagoa Beach, Diu, India
  • Name – O’Coqueiro
    Type –  Continental, Seafood, Portuguese, Bar
    Timing – 7:30AM- 10:30PM
    Range –  INR 65-260
    This garden restaurant with its fresh ambiance is one with a soul. One cannot miss the delicious pasta, chicken or seafood. Their menu also boasts of a bunch of Portuguese dishes. If you’re looking for a nice place to relax with some good coffee, chilled beer and good music, O’Coqueiro is the place for you.
    Location – Near Diu Museum,Firangiwala Road, Diu
  • Name – O’Coqueiro Music Garden Restaurant
    Type –  Continental, Seafood
    Timing – 7.30AM-10.30PM
    Range –  INR 30-120
    Although the menu card is small, the quality of the food is brilliant. Amazing fish dishes and great veg pastas make this a must visit for everyone who is in Diu. Also, this is one of the few places on can enjoy good coffee as well as good beer.
    Location – Firangiwala Road, Near Diu Museum, Diu, India
  • Name – Apana Foodland
    Type – Multi-cuisine
    Timing – 7AM-10.30PM
    Range – INR 150-500
    Apana Foodland never fails to leave one amazed at the variety of food this outdoor restaurant facing the waterfront has on offer. It does breakfasts, Gujarati, North Indian and Chinese food and to great effect. Once can also pre-order the fish dishes of which a few notable ones are the shark tikka and the kingfish/prawn served with rice, chips and salad. The Gujarati fruit salad is also a must try.
    Location – Before Collector Office, FortÊRoad, Bhavsarwada, Diu 362520
  • Name – Sea View Restaurant
    Type – Seafood
    Timing – 7AM-11PM
    The open-air Sea View restaurant is located just behind the Ghoghla Beach giving its visitors an exquisite menu full of Indian dishes and seafood. The spicy prawn biryani is filling and worth savoring.
    Location – Ghoghla Beach, Diu-Una Road, Diu, India
  • Name – Shri Ram Vijay
    Type – Desserts
    Timing – 9 AM-1.30 PM and 3.30-10 PM
    Type – INR 25-100
    Started as a family business, this small, clean, old-fashioned ice cream parlor has quite a history to its credit. Going strong since 1933, Shri Ram Vijay is famous for its handmade ice creams and milkshakes. Their classic Dew ice cream soda is a must try.
    Location –  Bandar Road, Diu Ho, Diu – 362520
Diu at Glance :
Area : 40 sq. kms.
Area(Rural): 22.24 sq. kms.
Area(Urban): 17.76 sq. kms.
Latitude : 20°-44′-34” (N) to 20°-42′-00” (N)
Longitude: 71°-00′-24” (E) to 70°-52′-26″ (E)
Temperature: Minimum 15° C and maximum 38° C
Rainfall: Average 55 cm
As per the Census 2011
Total Population: 52074
Male Population : 25642
Female Population : 26432
Rural Population : 28083
Urban Population: 23991
SC Population : Male : 927 / Female : 935 / Total : 1862
ST Population(Tribe:Siddi): Male : 69 / Female : 54 / Total : 123
Literacy Rate : 83.46%
Male Literacy : 91.21%
Female Literacy : 76.06%
Inland : The inland is made up of limestone of Pleistocene age
Language spoken : Gujarati, English, Portuguese, Hindi
Local Self Government : Diu Municipal Council
Diu District Panchayat
Bucharwada, Vanakbara, Saudwadi & Zolawadi Village Panchayats
Part of same parliamentary constituency as Daman

History

From the 8th to 13th 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 in 1330. 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 in 1510. 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 were separated from Goa.

Places of Interest

aboutDiuMap

1) Nagoa Beach – best beach of Diu, is in perfect semi-circle shape, sounded by hills gives a breathtaking view of the Ocean. I came to know from locals that there are water events like – boating, paragliding etc also available here but during my stay I did not come across any water sports, so am expecting it to be available only during New Year time since there are numerous tourists in this place as compared to calm and quite otherwise.

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2) Ghoghla Beach – Another beautiful beach accompanied with water sports. One can simply relax or indulge in active sports depending on his choice.

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Gangeshwar Tample ,  INS Khakhri , St Paul’s Church,    Panikotha,   Hoka trees,   Sea shells museum, Museum, Fort are worth a visit.

Coming to my Personal Experience
“Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.”
Unknown Author

Awesome!! The memories of those three days are still as fresh as today morning in my mind. The refreshing wind, clear ocean water, calm traffic=free wonderful roads and good food, all make it a great holiday package for anyone.

Because of natural beauty of Diu beaches, tourist always looking for good hotels and resorts located on beach side. Nagoa Beach is famous beach of Diu. Many hotels and resorts are available at Nagoa beach.

We reached Diu around 4 pm (from Ahmedabad, Gujarat) and directly went to Radhika Resort, the moment we entered and passed Diu bridge and took a right turn towards Nagoa beach, I knew I was in for a cherished holiday.

Nagoa beach is well rowed with the Hoka trees that majorly attract the visitors for its unique kind of fruit. The water sports like Para sailing and hot air balloon in the air, water scooter, bumper boating, banana boating, speed boat, water skiing, jet skiing and many such more water oriented sports are fun to be enjoyed at the private resorts in Diu near Nagoa Beach. The visitors can have a typical experience of Portuguese period blended into the room interiors as the wooden flooring and stone masonries with wide corridors, crystal clear swimming pool, green lawns, at the luxury hotels in Diu near Nagoa beach.

Radhika Resort is on Nagoa beach itself, and hardly few minutes’ walk to the chilling but clear Arabian Sea. It’s quite reasonable as compared to other commercial tourist places. Radhika is the best place to stay in Diu.

diu8

After relaxing for a bit due to eight hours drive, we headed straight to the beach. Fortunately there were very few people, we were reminded its weekday! Weekends pull more crowd heading for short trips from surrounding states like Gujarat (Dry State) and Maharashtra.

We took long lazy walk to the small hills surrounding the beach. On top of one of them is written DIU with lights highlighting it in the  night. Lots of movie songs have been shot here. The immortal waves in the event of touching the shore takes away some part of it with them every time.

There were two men sitting on the next hill and one of them was playing Bansuri. It was a great joy watching him enjoy totally indulged in music.

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Next morning, headed alone for the beach since my husband wanted to enjoy his beauty sleep and I did not want to miss the sun rise in the middle of the ocean. I was surprised to see only two more females and a kid (local) searching something in the sand near the shore. I assumed they might be searching for some fish. This was more clear in our evening walk when these ladies were searching for things misplaced by visitors, one of them started to dance and was happy beyond words. I thought they were having a good time …she ran and showed something to the other one…then I realized she had found a gold chain on the shore….good JOB!! We did not disturb them in the cleaning process!!

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Last morning I had only two dogs and some birds to give me company. Am sure on the beaches of Goa, Mumbai I will need to jump over people to go from here to there…..

I tried my luck on the new camera but unfortunately the Sun was covered with clouds, when it was visible it had lost its magical rays of colors that were being formed in the water and sky. Still the view was breathtaking. After an hour of walk and watching some local kids running in sand with their teacher, I came back for breakfast.

Around 8.30 am we headed for the beach. I have a bit of aqua phobia so was very cautious and nervous while going in the water.  But after some time I was in better condition getting acquainted with the surroundings. It was a magical feeling to have a wave go over you and then taking back all the sand below your feet to the ocean again. I had a great time! An experience which I cannot express in words. Finally with a heavy heart we came out of the water for lunch.

We explored the pool of the resort in the afternoon and then headed for site seeing. There were hardly any people or vehicles seen on any of the roads, giving me a good chance to try my newly acquainted driving skills.

We started with INS khukri. It has an open air auditorium apart from the monument. The auditorium is constructed in such a wonderful way that it gives a life time memory of the place.  My husband decided to have his conference at that place in future, audience facing the beautiful ocean giving a delightful view. It will not give a hard time for the most lousy person to imagine himself dancing in the moonlight, facing the beautiful ocean on some very soft music….one of the most romantic ballroom dances can be organized  here…I wish I could organize a party here.

Indian Naval Ship Khukri was a frigate of the Indian Navy. During the India Pakistan War in 1971 she fell prey to three torpedoes fired at her by a Pakistani Submarine. She sank 40 nautical miles off the coast of Diu taking down with her a crew of 18 Officers and 176 sailors. Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla Mahavir Chakra (Post Honour) of the Indian Navy, the then Commanding Officer of the ship, chose to go down with the warship. The heroic act of Captain Mulla and his valiant crew is a shining example of unyielding spirit and indomitable courage glorifying the heist traditions of the Indian Navy. There is an amphitheater just adjoining the memorial.

The memorial was inaugurated on 15th December, 1999 in memory of the officers and the sailors who chose to go down with the warship. INS KHUKRI

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There were some small temples, and this beach had more foreigners as compared to Nagoa. Another beautiful view….but we had to search for an ATM and petrol pump since our money and fuel both were running out. From the map provided by Radhika, we were able to locate a petrol pump but there was only diesel available at that time. Fortunately we had some left…There were only two pumps and that too with scarcity of petrol, wonder how people manage. We settled for a relaxing lunch in a hotel facing the sea and Panikotha.

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The Naida Caves are an explorer’s delight. Located outside the city wall of the Diu fort, these caves are a network of hewn hollows and steps which beg to be explored. The history of the caves suggests that the Portuguese hacked off building materials during their reign, which resulted in the formation of the caves. Plan a visit on a clear sunny day, and be assured that the cave’s natural openings will not disappoint with a spectacular display of light.

Liquor in Diu is very common, and the proximity to a dry state like Gujarat pulls a lot of alcohol lovers on the weekends.

We saw some big boats busy in capturing fishes, most of them having colored flags indicating very strongly of their religious believes. This might be required being a border area for whatever reasons.

Fort was a walkable distance from there but we were already exhausted for the day and headed for Gangeshware temple in the evening. Oh yes, in afternoon had visited the SEA Sheel museum managed by an ex-navy officer (individual efforts ). You can see numerous shells here and for a shell lover it’s worth the visit. I was not able to make much of it except the varied colors and contrasts apart from different sizes and shapes.

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Coming back to  Gangeshwar temple, the moment we reached there, I hurried to the hill top to capture the sun set, due to it missed the wonderful Aarti going on for Lord Ganesha (Ganesh Utsav was going on those days). Missed the sunset too, it was almost  dark and a bit scary since there was no one there and the water on the shore/rocks created a very different music in its own. We had a good round of walk on the rough mountain and seeing the ocean and huge waves and listening to the sound easily took us to another world. A nature lover, or an artist cannot leave that place so easily. One can sit endlessly just admiring nature at its best. We sat on some benches kept in a row facing the sea. It reminded of some scene in Hindi movies but was not able to recall which one. After a heavy heart we headed  for Shiv Darshan, a bit below the land. It is ocean facing and one has to go some steps down to get the blessings of the Lord, the waves were directly touching the Lord’s feet. As the story goes, this temple is famous among locals because  Shiva saves them from natural calamities. Finally we had to call it a day.

Next in our list was the Fort and we reached around 11 am, we had to see St. Paul’s church after that and finally leave for Somnath.

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No matter how fast we tried, the whole fort took us a good amount of two hours. One can easily spend a full day exploring each and every corner of the fort. There is a jail operating inside.

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Panihotha, visible from here and other parts of DIU is a full time jail, might be for very sever punishments. Public is not allowed inside and can just take a round trip in water only through boats.

Near the fort side, there was another way. We had a good experience of the city by going through a narrow gate, there were numerous house on each side of a small road, hard to drive a single car. With another truck entering the same galli it was difficult to take our vehicle out and come to main road. To our surprise, there were hardly any people seen in DIU, except for the local market area. Most of the houses were locked. Wonder where the occupants were.

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After a quick visit to the church, we finally had to say Good Bye to Diu with a heavy heart. We started for Somnath, taking the other route, avoiding UNA road, which was in horrible condition that time.

Somnath temple, due to threats by terrorists, has a huge amount of vigilance. Parking is quite far off from temple and one has to walk for quite a long time. You have to deposit all your belongings at the gate (common every where these days). The temple was going through some renovation work at that time. Nice view of the ocean again. It holds a glorious history attached to the temple making it a very important place in history. There was a pointer telling something about the equator that side or north pole straight ahead, cannot recall now .

It took us two hours to reach Somnath, and we started at 5.45 pm from there for Ahmedabad. Without stopping in between to cover the maximum bad roads in day light (a bit patchy road whenever we touched NH roads, state government ones were flawless), finally we reached 90 km before Rajkot to have a tea break, it was a nice Open air garden and in last 3 days this was the first time I saw good amount of people. We started for Ahmedabad and finally reached home around 1 am after taking a quick dinner break near Rajkot.

It was a memorable trip in all senses and am looking forward for another DIU trip. A place which is a must visit for anyone looking to admire nature without being bothered by commercialization, pollution and crowd!!!

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6 Replies to “Travel Diu”

    1. Thanks, am glad that you liked it and found it informative. It’s a bit lengthy but I wanted every info at one place. Could have been better edited. Am new to WordPress so still learning it’s menu/formats

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