Daman and Diu though sound like twin cities, are approx 700 kms apart ! This I wanted to clear before starting the blog, as I have seen many of my friends asking me ..why did you miss Daman? ( p.s, I did visit Daman and shall share my adventures at Daman in a fresh blog later). Coming back to Diu.
Day 1 in Diu
The first and the only major disappointment we came across while visiting Diu islands was..It did not feel like an island atall ! Diu has been connected by the mainland via a bridge . As the kid in me wanted an adventure . I wanted to reach the first Island that I had ever put my foot on via a boat or a ferry or a ship or some sea-bound machine…but that fantasy did not happen…
Due to its strategic position.. the peaceful,tranquil,calm,serene looking island has seen many blood baths…The first recorded war on this island is battle of Diu(1509) and the last one has to be Operation vijay(1961)..The last and the final battle, which retrieved Diu back to India from almost a 450 years Portuguese rule…(1535-1961)…
Diu, one of the seven union territories of India.. was on our must visit list for long in-spite the fact that this island has the lowest female to male ration in India that is .533 (2011 census) :(…The best time to visit the islands is winters…It is just 361 kms from Ahmedabad and can be accessed by road..thanks to the recently constructed bridge….
Gujarat Roads trust me are long drive phobic (so good they are)..It was a smooth drive, we started early morning..Had our lunch at a restaurant near Somnath (Viraval) and reached our hotel at 3:00 Pm..We( mum ,dad,hubby,Daughter) were exhausted but not dead tired..took a power nap..and were up again at 5:00 to see the sun set…:) We Bid a Diu to the sun for the day .. @ Jalandhar beach…( it is near circuit house)…
The beach named after the Demon Jalandhar is without any doubt one of the most beautiful and untouched beaches I have ever seen…. The water is calm and clear and without any undercurrents. A small memorial is located at one of the hills close to the beach containing a stone face of the demon Jalandhar. Legend has it that the head was severed by the Sudarshan Chakra of Lord Vishnu. A temple dedicated to Goddess Chandrika is also located in the vicinity.
I read a very interesting story of jalandhar ( King of Asuras) . "He was born from Shiva ! It so happened that Indra and Brahaspati were going towards mount kailasha to meet Shiva. Shiva dressed as a naked monk,wanted to check their knowledge. Shiva blocke their path. Indra failed to recognize SHIVA and threatened him to vacate the road and let them move ahead, Shiva got furious and this resulted in opening of his third eye…I thunderbolt came out towards Indra,As luck would have it,Indra was saved by Brahaspati, just in time ! But the thunderbolt went and hit the ocean and a boy was born out of it ! This boy grew up to be a handsome young man . He was appointed the emperor of Asuras by their guru Shukra. Jalandhar’s wife was Vrinda ( who later got a boon from vishnu to be Tulsi and is worshiped for her chastity in every Hindu household). Jalandhar was a very good ruler , Lakshmi considered him her brother ,as he was borne out of ocean. His power and might grow so big,that he started ruling ( teen lok). Jalandhar did all well,except one. His biggest sin was to desire Parvati . This resulted in his death by Mahadev.” I narrated this story to my family while we were looking at the setting sun.
For Dinner , some locals informed us that fresh fish is available at the very famous Nagao beach..The deal was alluring so we reached the place…Small shacks have been lined up at the shore..Diu being an union territory has no ban on liquor and non veg…We enjoyed our dinner amidst sea breeze ….It was an early dinner and retreated back home to be charged for the next day….
The hotel that we had booked from makemytrip.com was depressing to be honest..There was not much to do..So we slept early…Next morning we were not even offered chai (Bed tea) as it was only boarding kind of hotel..( Again it took us an hour to get tea, we had to bribe the room boy to get us 4 cups of tea)…All this combined ,we started our day late.. :(
DAY 2 in Diu
First destination : St. Paul’s Church
I learn that this particular style of architecture was known as ‘Barouque’. Baroque architecture is the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late 16th-century Italy. The St. Paul’s Church, named after St. Paul, the Apostle of Jesus also known as the Apostle to the Gentiles, is most renowned, surviving and functioning church. I was told by a local that frontal elevation of the church is a replica of the Bom Jesus Basilica Goa.
( In christian theology, twelve Apostles were the primary disciples of Jesus , they became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus)
Second Destination :DIU FORT
The fort was built in 1535 subsequent to a defense alliance forged by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat and the Portuguese when Humayun, the Mughal Emperor, waged war to annex this territory. Some additions made in 1541 and the fort was strengthened over the years, till 1546. Portuguese ruled over this territory from 1537 (from the year they took control of the fort and also the Diu town fully) until 1961.
The lighthouse is Diu’s highest point, with a beam that reaches 32 km in every direction. There are several small chapels, one holding engraved tombstone fragments. Part of the fort also serves as the island’s jail. It was time for lunch…We were so famished after hoping around the fort.We hit Nagao beach ( Apart from shacks , there are several AC restaurants/hotels on the beach)…After relaxing..We were heading back to the main town ,when we came across this very unique ‘Shell Museum’ This museum has a private collection of shells, dried fish from different parts of the world..The owner is a chirpy naval officer..He did not allow us to take pics..He said he has registered his name in limca book of records and is aiming for Guinness book of world records..
Third Destination: PANI KOTHA
I got the first sight of this beauty from Diu fort…I wanted to get a closer look..no one as able to guide us…Thanks to captain sahab from the shell museum..he told us the gateway to this beauty…I shall revel the secret ! In case you plan to meet this beautiful fort ( PANI =Water + KOTHA =house/fort) ,One has to reach a place called “jetyy’ ( P.S – Plan your trip to panikotha early morning before 2:00 PM, then you can get to enter the fort, after 2:00 PM, water gets a bit violent and hence entry is prohibited). We managed to reach the place after all the searching at 3:30PM, We took a ferry and had a closer look.( fyi -Had to pay 20 rs per head)
PANI KOTHA The fortress of Fortim do Mar (Sea Fort or Pani Kotha) is a magnificent stone structure in the sea. It is made on an island in the shape of a ship ! This fort according to me is the USP of DIU ! It also has a light house and a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea.
Fourth destination: DIU MUSEUM
The old St. Thomas Church has been converted into a museum which houses antique statues, various stone inscriptions of the earlier rulers, wooden carvings and idols, in evening, multicolored fountains and special lighting of the imposing building fascinate everyone. Saddest part, no one was there, to explain anything to us...
Fifth destination: GANGESHWAR SHIVLING
We rushed to this place as we wanted to end that magical day after taking the blessings of (Panch shivling)It seemed to be a popular sight compared to other spots, Five shivlings are placed inside a cave, local legend says that these five shivlings were installed here by the panch pandav from Mahabharat. Everyday the shivlings get abhishek from the sea during high tide!
After all the hoping …we settled down to enjoy the SEA, the SAND, the SETTING SUN and the SMASHING DIU…
ALL dues cleared at DIU now!
How to reach Diu
BY FLIGHT : There is an Airport at Diu. You can easily get regular flights to Diu from major cities of the country.
BY TRAIN :There are no regular trains from other major cities to Diu. Nearest train station is Somnath. Diu 63 km away.
BY BUS: Diu is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular buses.