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Things to do in Diu

Discussion in 'West India' started by SRK, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. SRK

    SRK New Member

    I am going to Diu with my family, well being dragged there. My parents have wanted to go Diu since a long time apparently and I have just been shot with the news we are going next week.

    I have not heard much about this destination and haven't even heard anything popular about it. I need some major help from the forum to give me a list of things to do in Diu, so I won't get bored there and at least keep myself occupied than just sitting idle doing nothing.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, welcome to the forum!


    Overview

    A small island off the coast of Gujarat, Diu rarely gets the limelight from mainstream media as a beach nor heritage destination in India. It is connected to mainland India by a small bridge, as if separating the union territory from the rest of the country. Influences of the Portuguese era can still be seen from many parts of the town, from its structures, to its cuisine and yes, even the organisation of the streets. Sometimes, Diu is compared to Goa, both were Portuguese colonies, have a nice assortment of beaches and filled with heritage sites. As far as the comparison goes, the similarities stop there, because Diu isn't like the party capital at all. There are no rave parties here, nor happening bars, resorts and hotels are limited too. Yet something about Diu begs to be explored, perhaps it's the untouched landscapes, or maybe the uncrowded attractions. Whatever it is, Diu won't disappoint, especially if you're looking for a new destination with unique activities, away from the repetitive city life.

    Things To Do in Diu

    1. Explore the Diu Fort - Have you ever wondered about the past? How the conquerors back then have lived? Diu, being a Portuguese colony in the past, has tons of heritage sites to explore. Just a stroll around the Diu Fort can render you speechless. The fort was built around the 15th century as a defensive structure against the Mughal empire. Originally, the Gujarati leader, Sultan Shah Bahadur, built a smaller fort in the location. When he asked for help from the Portuguese, they formed an agreement, which would then be later used by the colonial rulers to conquer the island of Diu. Overlooking the Arabian sea, even being surrounded by the sea itself on its three sides, with only one side for land entrance, the fort is massive. Cannons, storage areas, water reservoir and barracks also line several areas around it. Climb the tall watchtower, feel like a Portuguese soldier, guarding your fortress from outside attackers. It's hard to compared the fort with the forts of Rajasthan or even Maharashtra. Built mainly as a defensive structure, it served its purpose, there are no frills nor elaborate carvings in the fort. But just a mere few hours of exploring here can give you an idea of just how strong and mighty it was back in the Portuguese era. Just close to the fort, the oldest functioning church of Diu can also be visited, which is the St. Paul's Church.

    2. Take a boat ride into the Fortim Do Mar - Look further from the Diu Fort and you'd spot a white, ship-like fort at the middle of the sea. This fortress slash prison was also a part of the agreement of the Gujarati dynasty and Portuguese colonisers back then. The Fortim Do Mar is also known as the Fort of Pani Kotha. It is restricted for entry of visitors though you can view it from a distance. The more adventurous ones opt for a boat ride amidst the sea, so that they can view the fort closer. Look closely at the stone structure of the fort, picture the strategic defence it served during the Mughal invasions. And finally, enjoy the view of other structures like the lighthouse and small chapel that can also be viewed from a distance from the fort.

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    Boat Ride (Image from Mapio)

    3. Rent a bike or scooter and explore the town area of Diu - If you've had enough of the fort area of Diu, venture away from the seaside, into the town proper. The best way to explore the town is by bike or even a scooter. From point to point, Diu is merely 40 kilometres in length and can be covered by foot, bike or scooter. Ride past the Zampa Gateway, explore the havelis around the main town like the Nagar Sheth Haveli close to the gateway. Further into the town, reach the market area, then into the Parsiwada, where a statue dedicated to the first Parsis who migrated into the region can be found. Venture a bit further to reach the religious sites of the town like the Church of Our Lady of Remedes, Sukhnath Mahadev Temple and Shesh Narayan Temple.

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    Biking in Diu (Image from Himani Katreja)

    4. Go bird watching in the Fudam Bird Sanctuary - Park your bike or scooter alongside the town of Fudam. Reach the Fudam Bird Sanctuary, just past the Airport Road, close to the Church of Our Lady of Remedes. Gujarat has many well known bird sanctuaries but Diu also has its very own bird sanctuary. The best part is that it isn't commercialised yet, you get to enjoy the pristine mangrove areas and the views of migratory birds flocking to it. Bird species such as flamingoes, egrets and even spoonbills can be easily spotted here. The months of December to February are considered the best ones for bird sightings. Make sure you reach the sanctuary either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when bird watching is more comfortable.

    5. Take on a spiritual tour - Just a bit past of Fudam is the Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple. This temple has a unique seaside location, wherein its five shivalingas become submerged on sea water during high tide. According to legends, the temple and the shivalingas were built by the five Pandava brothers from the epic, Mahabharata. Spend some time here, paying respect to the Lord of Destruction, Shiva. Just a short distance from the seaside temple, you can visit the Parsi Bangli, where the dakhmas or towers of silence of the first Parsi migrants from Persia are located.

    6. Learn a thing or two with the museums in Diu - Close to the St. Paul's Church in the Diu Fort is the Diu Museum. This is not your typical museum as it is located within a church, the St. Thomas Church. Though the church looks quite simple from the outside, it holds some ancient artefacts inside. Intricate wood carvings line the walls of the church, believed to be over 400 years old already. Statues of saints and other Catholic personalities can also be found inside. Several statue clocks add to the glamour and ancient vibe of the place too. Once done, head on to the Shell Museum of Diu, possibly the only shell museum in the world with microscopic shell specimens. Have some chat with the former navy soldier that runs the place, Mr. Fulbaria and let him explain the stories behind his collections.

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    Seashell Museum (Image from The Wander Collection)

    7. Explore the unexplored Naida Caves - Close to the Jallandhar Beach is the unexplored Naida Caves. These labyrinth of caves is quite interesting because the exact origin of it is not known. Scholars believe though that the caves were created after the Portuguese colonisers quarried into the area. Meaning, the Portuguese mined the area for its rocks, in order to build their Diu Fort. Over time, the boulders became caves, which has crevices through which lights pass through. Because the caves are located quite underground, the adventurous trek to explore it is an experience that you can only have in Diu.

    8. Enjoy swimming and water sports in Nagoa Beach - The most popular beach of Diu, Nagoa Beach, is a hub for all tourist activities. Here you can enjoy swimming, though you need to be a bit careful because of the rocky sea bed and uneven slopes. Water sports are the main attractions of the beach. Perhaps the most popular activity here is parasailing, which costs about Rs. 1,000 per person for one round. Other water sports that you can do here are jet skiing, speed boating, water skiing and banana boat riding.

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    Parasailing in Nagoa (Image from Group Outing)

    9. An isolated adventure in Ghogla Beach - Ghogla Beach is further to the north of Diu Fort. The best part about this beach is that it remains less crowded than the former. Water sports are also widely available here, from parasailing, jet skiing, speed boating and water skiing. For a truly one of a kind adventure, you can even try out hot air balloon riding with your loved ones here. The view of the Arabian Sea from the skies can be exhilarating.

    10. Visit the most pristine beaches of Diu - Want to venture away from the commercialised beaches of Diu? Then head on to Jallandhar Beach, a beach so-named after the demon, Jallandhar, which Krishna killed. If you just want to lay around, stroll in creamy shores and enjoy clear blue waters, the Jallandhar Beach has all that. Or venture a bit to the west of the beach to reach the Chakratirth Beach. In contrast to the former, this beach has rocky shores so it's not suitable much for strolling. The sea bed is a bit rocky too, so swimming can be dangerous. But for a view of the sunset or sunrise, this beach is easily accessible yet away from the crowds. And finally, the Gomatimata Beach, also known as the Vanakbara Beach, is a virgin beach in the island. It is located to the westernmost part of Diu. It is mainly a local fishermen's beach so it is not that developed yet.

    Conclusion

    Despite being a small coastal town, Diu has plenty to offer for the tourists. The best part is that you can explore the town within a day or two completely. So if you have a weekend free, don't be afraid to spend it all in Diu. A place full of heritage, with truly serene beaches, it can help ease your mind off of your worries about work, relationships or family, even if for just a while. It's also a place to just unwind with friends or loved ones. Good luck and I hope this helps you!

    :)
     

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