They say the best things come in small packages… One visit to  beautiful Daman and Diu and who wouldn’t agree more? Charming tourists and all who visit it, read up on India’s second smallest union territory basking prettily in the southern fringes of Gujarat, with plenty to offer its tourists!

Boasting of a history that dates back to antiquity, this picturesque union territory even finds its mention in the Mahabarata, and is a treasure trove of tourists delights, home to some beautiful beaches,  impressive forts, magnificent cathedrals, and majestic monuments.  Twin islands that were once ruled by the Kushana Emperor, the Portuguese entered Daman in the latter part of 14th century and the first half of 15th century. Since then the places became Portuguese colonies for a period of 450 years, finally getting the status of a separate Union Territory in 1987.

With its sun kissed beaches, historical monuments and thick palm-groves, it attracts tourists from all over. So if serenity and virgin atmosphere is what you’re looking forward to this holiday try Daman and Diu.  Tourists here are most attracted to Daman and Diu for the clean and picturesque beaches it offers. Some important beaches here include the Devka Beach, a place to enjoy the sand and sun, a place also known for its amusement park with a number of colourful fountains.  The Jampore beach, the Nogoa Beach, and the Fisherman’s Beach are other must visits for their spectacular beauty, and are ideal for sunbathers, beachcombers, swimmers, and pony riders

Also home to some interesting forts, some must visits include the Fort of Diu, built over six years from 1535 A.D. Skirted by the sea on three sides, this fort acquires a prominent position and is an imposing structure dominating the town-scape also offering a magnificent view of the sea. The Moti Daman fort is another huge fort that dates back to 16th century. Said to be about 30,000 sq. mt, and known to have 10 bastions and two gateways, this massive fort was used to house a large number of Portuguese gentry within the confineS of the Fort with their families.

Catching one’s eye is Nani Daman – a small fort with high stone walls It encloses an area of 12,250 sq. The most conspicuous part of the Fort is the giant gateway facing the river with a large statue of St. Jerome and two giant human figures, on either side of the gateway. It is also home to an imposing church, the Church of Our Lady of the Sea, and a Jain temple.

Other attractions in Daman and Diu include the 17th-century-old Se Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady of Rosary in Moti Daman. Here one can witness some exquisite Portuguese carvings on the walls of the churches. Like Goa, churches here too are a major attraction…  some noted churches here  for their exquisite architecture and interiors include the Saint Thomas Church and Church of Bom Jesus, a church built by the Portuguese in 17th century, the latter known for its impressive rosewood carvings.

 Enchanting all with its layout, facilities and size, is the Damanganga  Tourist Complex here, an artificially built complex self-contained with a cafeteria, cottages, health club, conference Hall, Amphi Theatre, giant waterfalls, Island gardens, fountains, water sports and more all available under one roof.

Other wonderful gardens / tourist spots include the Mirasol Lake Garden; here one can find two islands connected by a bridge, fountains  beautiful boats, a toy train, and a variety of cuisines. This is a famous tourist spot.

Resembling the Pantheon at Athens, the Pargalo Garden was raised in memory of the Portuguese soldiers who fell during the liberation uprising at Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Another magnificent lake-garden known to be a favorite here is the Satya Sagar Udyan for its colourful fountains and shrub-skirted promenades that offer an enchanting view.

Apart from gardens, try the Hilsa Aquarium, only recently developed; it displays a good collection of exotic and colouful fish.

The Collector’s house, the Government House, the House of Bocage , Municipal Council, Paryatan Bhavan, the Secretariat building, Shaking Tower at Delwada, Forte do Mar, Jallandhar Shrine, Fortress of Panikotta here are also known for their wonderful architecture and should not be missed.

While Daman and Diu is not a typical shopping destination, it is still an interesting experience. From leather slippers to woven bamboo mats and baskets, electronic goods, gift articles and attractive household appliances; one can find them all when you shop here. Daman is particularly noted for Customs Shops selling seized foreign goods at attractive prices.

What makes the place even more inviting is, the fact that even though Daman and Diu is the perfect combination of a beach hotspot, the region is bereft of swarming touristy crowds, rendering you with a pleasant surprise as you visit it! Being conveniently located close to two major Indian states, Maharashtra and Gujarat, reaching Daman and Diu is not a concern at all as it has a well developed communication network with key locations in western India.

Rocky coves, golden sandy beaches, and islands covered by coconut and palm trees are how Daman and Diu can best be described! Owing to its favorable climate, scenic location and serene surroundings, Daman & Diu is not only a popular weekend gateway,but a great getaway for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts on India’s west coast.