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Diu, an island located off the coast of Gujarat’s Junagadh district, is part of the Union Territory named Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The island still has the colonial hangover of the past and hangs on to its Portuguese monuments and structures. With beaches all over and a thickly forested hilly area in the centre, the island is a great location to spend some time away from crowded tourist spots, especially the beaches. There are about four tranquil beach stretches on the island that are frequented by tourists for the white sand and shallow waves. Diu has enough surprises tucked in that would keep the tourists entertained. The island had a bloody history and was the bone of contention for a long time between the Portuguese, Gujarat Sultans, the Dutch, and many other foreign forces before the Portuguese finally prevailed. Diu is about 150 kilometres from Junagadh and 90 kilometres from Veraval, where major long-route trains stop. The nearest rail link is at Delvada, 10 kilometres away. Diu has an airport with a direct flight from Mumbai.
Nearby Places to See
As the creek empties into the sea, this tiny fort stands alone in the middle of nowhere. It was constructed to act as a port of entry for merchant ships and as a watchtower against potential invaders. These fortifications were constructed by the Gujarat Sultanate. Later on, when the Portuguese established their dominance in the area, they strengthened the fortifications even more. Motorboats can dock at a nearby jetty and transport visitors to the fort. At night, the fort’s lighting creates a picturesque scene.
Given its proximity to the coast, the Shivalingas in this temple frequently receive a cleansing spray from the waves. At high tide, the five Shivalingas are hidden beneath the water, but at low tide, they are a sight to behold. There are more people there than at any other attraction on the island because of its significance as a religious site.
Sea Shell Museum
It’s a private museum that’s convenient to the airport. The owner has an amazing collection of seashells that they hope visitors will marvel at.
It is the most recognisably visible structure on the island and was constructed by the Portuguese in 1535. It overlooks the water and the Panikotha fort, and three of its sides are water, with a small canal visible on the fourth. There are numerous Portuguese structures and two lighthouses crammed into the fort’s expansive 5.6 hectares.
Chakratirth, Gomtimatha, Jalandhar, and Nagoa are some of the most popular beaches on the island. Among those four beaches, Nagoa is by far the most frequented. A Devi temple can be found on every beach.
The Indian submarine INS Khukri went down in the Arabian Sea in 1971, just off the coast of Diu, during the war between India and Pakistan. The 194 lives lost on the INS Khukri are honoured by this memorial.
Three churches, all constructed by the Portuguese, can be found on the island. The churches of St. Francis of Assisi (1593), St. Thomas (1598), and St. Paul (1601) are examples of historic architecture. There is a museum housed in one of these former churches.
The island is home to a remarkable cave system that spans multiple caves and is connected by underground passageways. These old caves have been fixed up and are now one of the most popular tourist spots on the island.
Things to Buy
Things to buy include Bamboo items, Jewellery made of Sea Shells, Artefacts made from Oysters, Electronic Goods, Footwear, Bangles.
Foods to Relish
Sea Food, Parsee food.