Shining sand in the dazzling moonlight, the intense waves of the Arabian sea and the calmness in the surrounding exhibit Diu, an island in Gujarat, a blessing for all. The serenity and beauty of this place cannot be worded and one has to experience it.
Situated nearly 38 kms away from Gujarat, the island, in the peninsular part of Gujarat, is the perfect destination away from the daily mundane of life. The picturesque island not only soothes the wary mind, but also shoo away the physical tiredness with its non-polluted and clean air.
Diu, which is known for its clean beach and heritage buildings however has narrow roads. But nevertheless these roads add to the beauty of this island. The sight- seeing here is not tiring experience and thus makes the place the most sought after.
Daman and Diu were declared as Union Territories along with Goa on December 19, 1961 before that these were ruled by Portuguese for over 450 years before Independence. The twin islands (Daman and Diu) have witnessed several wars. Portuguese, English, Gujarati, Marathi and Hindi are the languages spoken by the natives.
FORT of DIU
Although Diu is full of breath taking natural beauty, there are a few places which were created by humans. And one among them is Diu Fort. The fort was built by Raja Badadur Shah .
Surrounded by water on its three sides, the defensive monument also fears construction finishes by Portuguese. The fort is nearly a century older than Delhi’s Red Fort. The fort has an inside water tunnel. The tunnel was well connected to the arms and ammunition depot, kitchen and storage rooms of the fort.
A boat used to ferry between these rooms for the transportation of the materials. The only way to reach the fort is through waters and thus the water motor boats ferry between the island and the fort. A small ancient temple and a light house are among the few attractions on this fort.
The magnificent view of sea and the island can be viewed from the top of this large and impressive structure of the fort. Several cannons made up of bronze are well-preserved in various bastions of the fort. Cannon at the top of the fort is made up of eight various metals and thus it doesn’t get heated in the sweltering heat of months in May and June. The light house inside the fort also commands a beautiful aerial view.
A bronze statue of Nuna Da Cunha, the then Portuguese governor of the Diu province is also situated inside the fort.
Temples, Hills and Sea Shore
The Saint Paul church constructed in 1610 is also an interesting place to be visited in Diu. It is a wonderful witness of the architectural beauty of Portuguese. The church has a beautiful marble stone carved statue of Jesus Christ.
The Gangeshwar and Jalandar temples are other attractions at this island. The Gangeshwar temple is situated among the rocks of the sea coast and the Shivlinga among the rocks which are continuously striked by the sea waves. The serenity at the temple and the waves hitting the Linga recreate the magic of paying obeisance to Lord Shiva.
Other features of this island are the hills and Nago Beach. The beautiful long hills spell the magic while the beach offers a magnificent view of the sunset which is memorable one. An open air theatre near the Nago beach commands majestic view.
It also stores potable water. The Hoka trees, a special of their kind are found only on this island and nowhere in the country. Many of these trees are spread over the island with their branches creating a wonderful design. Several hues of various flowers fill the air with their aroma.
INS Khukhri was destroyed in an attack by three torpedoes sent by Pakistan. A memorable site has been carved on the coast. It is also an open air stage where cultural programs are organized regularly.
Bright colours to the houses
The entire Diu town has houses painted with amazingly bright colours. Even if the houses are in one row, they will have completely different bright colours which make this town stand differently in comparison with other towns.
Sea Shell museum
The world’s first museum of its kind, the Sea Shell museum is situated near Nago beach. It has a variety of over 3,000 sea shells with varied hues and shapes. The museum has a variety of shells found under water which look splendid as they have been kept under the magnifying glass.
This is an amazing ship shape structure situated in the sea. Tourist boats are available to reach this place. The special light effects on this fort are an experience to experience.
St Paul Church
Constructed in 17th century, it is considered as one of the best architectures by Portuguese. The art and craft carvings inside the Church and the lighting system are world renowned. It is believed that the wood works in the church is one of the world’s best known wood work with a complete Portuguese touch.
St Thomas Church and Museum
The Museum has been constructed on the site of the Church and has the fabulous carvings done by the several rulers who ruled this small island. The fascination of sound and light show and colourful fountains at the place, is one of the tourist attractions.
It is believed that it was brought from Africa by the traders from Arab countries. The 11 meter big tree is huge and thus is the tourist attraction.
The unique tree arrests the attention as it seems that various branches of one tree spread out from one huge trunk towards different directions. This type of tree is found no where else in the world. Portuguese had brought them here. The fruit of this tree has medicinal properties.
Besides sight seeing and visiting places of historical importance, one can enjoy parasailing, water boat riding, boat sailing at Nagoa and Ghogala beaches. The water sports refresh besides giving thrilling experience. Strolling on the beaches in early sun and during sunset also is a divine experience.
Since the island is in the lap of the nature, various items made up of sea shells in beautiful colours and shapes can be bought for.