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Places to see in Daman

Discussion in 'West India' started by Kaya, Sep 13, 2016.

  1. Kaya

    Kaya New Member

    There are 5 of us going Daman next week as we just want to see the place. The rest of people with us want to decide what to do once we get there, but I am curious to know more about the destination Daman.

    I would like to know what places to see in Dama as I have no idea what to expect from the place.

    We are all free at the moment, no one is studying or working, so the duration of the stay in Daman is not final, but we would be staying there for a minimum of 5 days.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Moderator Staff Member

    Hello, @Kaya, welcome to the forum!

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    (Images from Viraat, Meghana Hassan and Miti Saksena)

    Overview

    Many tourists from the neighbouring state of Gujarat flock to Daman because it doesn't have restrictions on liquor. But despite this seemingly unfair depiction as an alcohol tourism area, Daman has far more aspects worth exploring than just the booze. Daman is a part of the Daman and Diu union territory but takes the back side as compared to Diu, which is located over 600 kilometres away from the former. Daman is rich in heritage and natural beauty though, from its Portuguese heritage sites, up to its coastal areas. Daman is subsequently divided into two areas, the smaller, Nani Daman, and the larger, Moti Daman. Both areas are separated from one another by the picturesque Daman Ganga River, approachable by either a boat ride or a scenic stroll along the bridge.

    Places to See in Daman

    As mentioned above, we can divide Daman into two areas, namely: Nani Daman and Moti Daman. The Nani Daman, or the Lesser Daman, has the more modern establishments and residential areas. The Moti Daman, or the Greater Daman, has the old town area, with some government offices as well. In this guide, we would highlight the attractions in both areas so you can easily cover them in a day or two for each.

    Nani Daman

    Historical
    • St. Jerome Fort - The St. Jerome Fort is also known as the Nani Daman Fort. It has two main entrances: the first small gateway is located at the northernmost end of the fort, close to the Nani Daman town while the second main gateway is located at the southernmost side, close to the Daman Ganga River side. Out of these two gateways, the second main gateway is worth mentioning, as it is more elaborate. This gateway has a statue of St. Jerome on top, flanked by two human carvings on each side. The Portuguese emblem is also present, along with a cross at the topmost part of the gateway. As you enter the fort, it is evident that it has a smaller area than the Moti Daman Fort. The entire fort area can be covered within an hour or so. The walls are very much intact still, and you can find the holes where guns were mounted back then. Unlike the Moti Daman Fort, there are no cannons on this fort though. At the western side of the fort, you'll find the Church of Our Lady of the Sea. The church has a pure white facade, with accents of green and brown. Some part of the church has been converted into a school so you cannot explore it in its entirety. You can also find various ruins of structures like walls, staircases leading to nowhere and doorway-like entrances. A small graveyard is also located within the fort premises.
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    St. Jerome Fort (Image from Shetty Raksha)

    Religious
    • Somnath Mahadev Temple - A few kilometres away from the St. Jerome Fort is the Somnath Mahadev Temple. This is a Shiva temple seemingly very simple from the outside, with its pure white facade. Once you reach the inside, you'll be delighted by the delicate glass works. The inner sanctum where the idol of Lord Shiva is located has air-conditioning too. Aside from Shiva, there are also shrines for Parvati, Ganesha and Hanuman. The halls also have some intricate carvings that are worth exploring. Overall, it's worth a visit for the devout Hindus who would reach Daman from Vapi as it's along the route.
    • Samudra Narayan Mandir - Close to the Nani Daman Jetty is the Samudra Narayan Mandir. In fact, it is visible from the rampant of the southern edge of the St. Jerome Fort. The temple is dedicated to Samudra Narayan, also known as the Vishnu of the Sea. It is a fairly small temple and rarely gets throngs of crowds so you can enjoy a peaceful darshan here. The view of the jetty area on one side and the sea on the other also fits the temple's motif and deity.
    Recreation
    • Devka Amusement Park - This is a small amusement park close to the Devka Beach. Entry fee is very nominal but this place is only recommended for families with smaller children. The park has some rides like bumper cars, merry go round and toy train. It also has a separate children's play area with some swings, slides and see-saws. There is lush greenery all around plus some benches for guests to rest in. If you're short on time, you can skip this park since it is fairly small and caters to children mostly.
    • Satya Sagar Udyan - Located close to the Samudra Narayan Mandir is the Satya Sagar Udyan, a promenade park in Nani Daman. It is famous amongst locals as a hangout spot because of the lush greenery enveloping the place. There are various seating areas as well so you can relax while enjoying the views around. If ever you get hungry, there are a few food stalls around the park too selling some snacks and beverages.
    • Daman Ganga Tourist Complex - This is a tourist complex located close to the Daman Ganga River. It is comparable to the Jetty Garden of Moti Daman. It has facilities such as a health club, restaurants, expansive grounds, amphitheatres and halls. The addition of fountains and small water tanks make the complex even more enticing. Though not necessarily a necessary part of the tourist circuit, the Daman Ganga Tourist Complex can be a good recreational spot for tourists, especially for a group of friends or even a family.
    • Mirasol Lake Garden and Water Park Resort - A bit further from Nani Daman, past the Diu Airport, is the Mirasol Lake Garden and Water Park Resort. This is mainly a resort with amusement park and water park facilities. The dry rides are more suitable for little children though with a mini toy train, play area and other rides. The water park is suitable for families or friends, as it has an assortment of slides and fun additions like umbrella waterfalls. You can opt to stay in this resort as well, since it is conveniently located close to the Nani Daman.
    Beach
    • Devka Beach - The Devka Beach is located to the north of the Nani Daman Fort. It is famous for its rocky promontory and long shallow coastline. Though swimming here is not advised, you can enjoy strolling around the rocky shores. The view of the waves crashing into the rocky shores is very amusing and can take your worries away. There are no water sports here though you can try out camel riding or horse riding along the shores. Numerous beach shacks line the shores too, where seafood dishes are dominant on the menu.
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    Devka Beach (Image from Kashyap)

    Moti Daman

    Historical
    • Moti Daman Fort - As you cross the bridge that passes over the Daman Ganga River, you'd reach Moti Daman. Alternatively, you can also ride a boat to reach the Moti Daman side of the district. The first heritage site you'd encounter by then is the Moti Daman Fort. The fort has its first gateway on this side, made of stone, with a small entry on its under part. It is not elaborate nor magnificent but provides one with a glimpse of the past even with just one glance. The walls of the fort are still intact but most of the original structures inside are in ruins. However, you can still spot the ancient cannons, complete with inscriptions on the date they were built. Just past the gate, you would find the Pergola Garden, a small but well maintained garden dedicated to the soldiers who died on the Dadra Nagar Haveli uprising. On to the western side of the fort, to the right of the first gateway, you would find an old lighthouse, which was built by the Portuguese. It has a pure white facade, although it's starting to show some signs of age now, just opposite to it is the new lighthouse built by the government. You can climb the spiral steps to reach the top, from which you can get a good view of the sea. Further to the southwestern side is the ruins of the Dominican Monastery, once a thriving institution for Catholic studies but declined after the Portuguese rule. Only the walls of the monastery remain now, which gives this place quite an eerie vibe to it. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is located to the southeastern side of the fort. The church was built around the 15th century and boasts of intricate wood works. Aside from these structures, the fort area houses government offices like the Court of the Civil Registrar, Collectorate's Office and House of Secretariat. It also has a government hospital, other churches and various schools. Walk past the Our Lady of Rosario Prathnalay Church to reach the second gateway, which is a bit more elaborate than the previous gateway. It has typical Portuguese features such as statues, a national emblem and a cross on its uppermost part.
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    Moti Daman Fort (Image from Arunabhz Travels)

    Religious
    • Church of Our Lady of Remedios - Outside the Moti Daman Fort area, to its southern side, close to the Moti Daman Football Ground, is the Church of Our Lady of Remedios. From the outside, it has a very simple facade, with just a pure white motif, highlighted by blue accents. The church was built during the 16th century by then Governor of Daman, Captain Rue De Mello De Sampayo. Though very simple from the outside, the church boasts of its gilded altar wood works, holding a statue of the Our Lady of Remedios as well. The ceilings and reredos are also filled with ornamental paintings and wood works.
    Recreation
    • Jetty Garden - Close to the first gateway of the Moti Daman Fort, along the Daman Ganga River side, is the Jetty Garden. It's just a small garden, with some grasses and fountains, plus some play areas for the children. It is best visited during night time or sunset, as it gives one a good view of the nearby Moti Daman Fort and St. Jerome Fort. You can also enjoy the view of the fishing boats as they are porting to the jetty area. There are many food stalls around too so you can enjoy eating while taking in the views around.
    Beach
    • Jampore Beach - Further to the south of Moti Daman is the Jampore Beach, way past the Moti Daman Market, alongside the Jampore Road. The shores of the beach have a mixture of golden and blackish sands. The water is not that clear though, not because of dirt, but because of the hues of the sand. Jampore Beach is a very lively and vibrant beach in Daman, with an assortment of water sports and activities for tourists. For water sports, parasailing and boating are the preferred activities by tourists. Other adventure activities like horse riding, camel riding and quad biking are also available on the shores of the beach. It's also not uncommon to spot locals or even tourists playing sports like cricket or volleyball on the shores. There are some beach shacks that line the shores too, offering few non-vegetarian meals to tourists plus some beverages.
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    Jampore Beach (Image from Dheeraj Gava)

    Conclusion

    Ready for an adventure of a lifetime? You won't need to spend much money nor time just to reach a place filled with heritage and beauty. Open your eyes to local destinations where you can enjoy the traditions and cultures of people from a different region of the country. Like Daman, a unique blend of Gujarati and Portuguese cultures await you here. The lesser travelled to destination in the Daman and Diu district deserves your attention to and only then will it be developed as one of the major tourist destinations in India.

    I hope this helps you!:)
     

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