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location_onSTATES AND CITIES

Dadra & Nagar Haveli and daman & diu

INTRODUCTiOn

Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is a union territory of India, located in the western part of the country and situated between the Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

This union territory is made up of 4 geographical regions (1. Daman, 2. Diu, 3. Dadra and 4. Nagar Haveli), which come under the following 3 districts:

  • Dadra & Nagar Haveli district
  • Daman district
  • Diu district

This union territory was created through the merger of 2 former Indian union territories - Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The proposal was made in July 2019 by the Indian government for better administration of these regions, and it came into effect in January 2020.

The official capital of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is Daman, a municipal council situated in Daman district of the union territory.

Language

The most commonly spoken language in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is Gujarati.

Gujrati is largely spoken in all three districts under the union territory of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, but apart from this, Hindi and English are also well understood and spoken by locals.

Culture

The majority of the population in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is Hindu, followed by Christians and Muslims.

Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu are known for their glorious past and rich culture. Their culture is a blend of Indian and Portuguese culture (as these areas were once under the Portuguese empire’s rule/Portuguese India, and some of their influence has settled here). So, the customs, rituals and traditions of this territory’s’ people are Indian laced with some Portuguese traditions.

The union territory is home to many tribes such as: Kokna, Warli, Koli, Dhodia, Kathodi, Siddi, Naika and Dublas. Each of these tribes have their own traditions and beliefs and their practices are also a lot different from each other.

Dance and music are a big part of people’s lives in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, and the performances during tribal festivals and fairs here are a must-see! While Dadra & Nagar Haveli district is famous for Tarpha Nach and Mask dances, Daman & Diu districts are known for their Portuguese folk dances such as Mando dance, Verdigao dance and Vira dance – these are a colourful and unique presentation with themes based on festivity, eating, singing and drinking.

TRANSPORTATION / TRAVEL

For travel within cities, the union territory has modes like rickshaws, buses and private (or rented) vehicles. For travel to other cities from Daman, Diu, Dadra or Nagar Haveli, these are some options:

  • Airports - The nearest major airport to the union territory is Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai which is around 170 km away from Daman.
  • Trains - The nearest Railway station to this union territory is Vapi, which is located at about 18 Kilometres from Silvassa, in the region of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. All major trains are available at Vapi including August Kranti, Shatabdi, Ahinsa, Karnavati, Rajdhani etc. which connect to other major cities across India.

Food

Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu is known for its exotic cuisine of the tribes here. Some dishes are inspired by the neighboring state of Gujrat, and others dishes are local to each region/district, and most of these involve using lots of pulses, and vegetables like wild mushrooms and bamboo shoots (especially in Dadra & Nagar Haveli).

While vegetarian food is predominant in the region of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu is known for its sea food – mainly lobster, crabs and fish. The cuisine in Daman and Diu is partly Goan and partly Gujrati influenced.

Some of the famous dishes in this union territory are:

  • Chicken Xacuti (A Damanese speciality – spicy Daman style chicken curry with special Goan spices)
  • Jetty Roll (The local variety of Kathi roll/wraps)
  • Butter-garlic tiger prawns
  • Khatta Meetha Bhaat (Sweet and Sour flavoured rice)
  • Few Gujrati delicacies such as Kadhi, Khakra, Dhokla and Shrikhand, with some local twist

Attractions

The territories of Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman are Diu are known for their beautiful beaches, greenery, lakes, hilly surroundings, historic forts and churches.

Some of the must-visit places in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu are:

  • Madhuban Dam.
  • Satmaliya deer Park.
  • Dudhni Lake – A beautiful lake formed by the dam water of a reservoir (Madhuban) and is surrounded by small hillocks. Surrounded by greenery and hillocks, this makes for a perfect spot for an outing or picnic with family and friends, or enjoy some serene moments close to nature.
  • Silvassa – the largest city in this union territory, and also the headquarters of Dadra & Nagar Haveli district – also a popular tourist spot.
  • Vapi – A city near the Daman district, dominated by chemical industry; also known as the “City of Chemicals”. Also has many historic temples.
  • Diu (Beaches, birdwatching, water sports, Naida caves).
  • Khanvel – A resort near Silvassa, surrounded by touristic spots like pretty lakes and temples of the union territory; offers a relaxing stay with incredible close-to-nature experiences.
  • Bindrabin Temple – A temple dedicated to Lord Shiva; it is also known as Tadkeshwara Temple among the locals. It is situated on the banks of River Sakartod, which is 18km away from Silvassa city.

HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS

  • St. Paul’s Church, Daman
  • Tower of Silence, Diu
  • The Chapel of our lady Rosario
  • Moti Daman Fortwalls, Daman
  • Old Mosque (Jama Masjid) in Diu
  • Our Lady of Piety church, Silvassa

ADVENTURE EXPERIENCES

Daman offers many water sports and activities that are a must-try for adventure enthusiasts. These include:

  • Speed Boat Ride
  • Water Parasailing
  • Banana Boat Ride
  • Jet Ski Ride
  • Water Scooter Ride
  • ATV bike
  • Bumpy Ride