aTraveler’s guide to Diu Island – Beautiful Places & Beaches in Diu
Diu is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in India during Christmas and New Year holidays. All kind of visitors can be found here from across the world. The culture of Diu provides both modern and ethnic taste of Indian heritage.
The best time to visit this place is during February and March when the climate is mild and then at the end of the year from October till December end. The place is loaded with around twenty world-famous tourist attractions and is listed as a safe place to travel by proprietors of global tourism.
You can either make a weekend tour to this place or spend a whole week exploring various places.
Here are some of the unique sightseeing options for you in Diu during your visit which you must not miss in Diu Island.
Diu Fort – Sea Fort of Diu
Diu Fort is one of the best local attraction that one should never miss on their visit to Diu. The fort embarks a glorifying era of Portuguese in Diu.
The breathtaking sight of Arabian sea is what makes this location a perfect tourist destination. The panoramic view of Arabian sea from the fort is the best spot to take pictures for the tourists visiting it.
On the right of this massive fort lies a line of hotels and restaurants which makes it appropriate for one to stay and spend a night here.
History of Diu Fort
The fort was built between 1535 to 1541 AD, a period embarked by Portuguese inheritance in Diu. This ear was concluded by Bahadurshah popularly called Sultan of Gujrat on the mark of his loss to Humanyun, The Mughal emperor.
Diu fort is listed in the seven wonders of Portugal and embarks their longest colonial rule of 424 years, starting from 1537 to 1961 and was ousted by Government of India by running “Operation Vijay” to recapture the lands.
The fort has three gorgeous churches namely Church of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Paul’s Church and St. Thomas Church and Venetian Gothic style bungalow and Havelis.
There is also located a Shiva Temple which is dedicated to very famous Gangeshwar Mahadeva and is in the parameters of the fort.
While visiting Diu fort, one should not miss visit the beautiful Nadia caves. Though you may not find much about these caves in the tourist’s Pictionary but the caves provide a quiet escape from the overly crowded Diu fort.
The caves are quite and have various inlets through which light comes inside the cave and creates various formations to play around for photographers. The caves are open for visitors till six in the evening and no one can stay here beyond that as it starts to get dark.
Caves itself are sort of interlinked tunnels with various formations and huge step-like structures which often intricates the explorer within you. Some say the caves are natural formations and others say that Portuguese dug out the stone slabs to build the for here and hence these caves were formed.
Nadia Caves provided an important escape point for Indian soldiers during their “Operation Vijay” to make Portuguese leave the country. You can find various spots around the caves surfaced with trees. Often you are bound to see the famous Hokka trees which are native to Diu.
It’s a good spot to traverse around while your visit to Diu Fort.
Nagoa Beach is one of the main attraction of Diu Island. This makes tourism as main industry around this place and offers various options of water sports. This includes options like boating, parasailing, and yachting.
People often visit here to get the adrenaline rush during their vacations. All water sports are conducted under vigilance of experts and using necessary safety gears.
Others who like the serenity of the beach, also visit this place for its ultimate tranquillity offered by its pristine beauty and calm atmosphere. People come over here from across India to relax and enjoy their vacations. The beach is surrounded by swaying palm trees which provides an ultimate location to laze around on the white sand and blue water.
People often visit here early morning or in evening to witness the mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets.
Hoka Trees Diu
While driving through the coasts of Diu you may encounter a peculiar looking tree on road sides. These are Hoka trees. The tree display a fern like structure. Its looks like three or four coconut trees are protruding out from same trunk.
The tree is peculiar to this part of the country and cannot be found anywhere else. It is specie which is a native of the Nile valley in Egypt and Sudan. It also bears fruits which is used to prepares things like molasses, cakes and sweetmeats. It is also known as doum palm due to its palm-like structure.
The tree is said to be introduced to Diu by Portuguese and its seeds are used to prepare country liquor. People also often craft baskets out its leaves and branches. The tree provides the uniqueness to Diu and although could be germinated to other parts of the country, people often avoid doing that to keep it as a distinguished part of Diu Island only.
Birding Places around Diu
While visiting Diu, you can add an adventure to your trip by visiting Fu dam Bird Sanctuary. You can encounter many bird species in this marshy area which includes flamingos, spoonbills, western reef egrets and lot many blue cheeked bee-eaters.
Best time visit this sanctuary is during winters. You can even hire a boat to travel around wetlands to have a closure look at natural inhabitant species of this sanctuary. You will be mesmerized to see lines of birds feeding their families during evening hours.
People often visit this observatory during morning hours to have tranquilizing view. The land is enthralled with mangrove scrubs which make it a good breeding place for fishes as well.
People often don’t go for this adventure as most of them don’t know that it exists.
Diu is house to birds and hence in addition to this sanctuary, there is also a bird-watching tower and a lake near Hare Krishna Temple where you could encounter the various species of birds. You can find as many as 200 bird species around here.
The fort of Pani Kotha is another gem in the treasure of Diu. It was constructed into a massive structure which spreads around 56,736 Sq. meters on the Arabian Sea and was originally built by Portuguese to shield the Diu against Mughal intrusion.
The fort also has old cells in the basement where it uses to keep its prisoners. People say that the fort related to land through an underwater channel during Portuguese reign and was a place of secrets. That underwater channel though is not present anymore today but the fort hosts a lighthouse.
The lighthouse disseminates lights in various forms and colours during the night which is fun to watch at night. One can even view the lighthouse performance from Diu bridge during the night.
The best time to visit the fort is before two in the afternoon as after that high tides start which can make it difficult for one to travel to the fort and usually entry is prohibited for civilians after 2 PM. the fortress is also famous for its peculiar shape in the form of a ship and hosts a little beacon and a sanctuary devoted to the Lady of the Sea.
INS Khukri Memorial
An Indian frigate named INS Khukri was destroyed in 1971 on 9th Dec in a combat with Pakistani submarine during an Indo Pak war. The incident was daunting as Indian Navy took the decision of deploying two obsolete frigates against a modern submarine due to lack of the adequate number of anti-submarine aircraft.
On 9th Dec, INS Khukri was moving slowly on its course to test an improved version of sonar and was unaware of presence of a warship submarine nearby as it lacked the capability to do so. The Hnagor fired a torpedo directed towards Khukri which got stuck in its oil tank and exploded causing a causality of 18 officers and 176 sailors.
The captain of the ship, Mahendra Nath Mulla chose to go with the sinking ship and was awarded with Maha Vir Chakra after his death in this incident.
The memorial of these dead sailors is in Diu at 20°42′10″N 70°58′37″E which consist of a scaled model of INS Khukri in a glass house and is placed on the top of a hillock facing towards the sea.