The island of Diu lies off the Gujarat coast separated by a long narrow channel. The northern side of the island has marshes and salt-pans while the southern side alternates between limestone cliffs, rocky coves and sandy beaches. The island is full of quarries where the Portuguese excavated limestone to build the fort, city walls, monuments and buildings. Ghoghla a fishing village on the mainland is also part of Diu.
Diu's earliest history starts from 1298, when it was controlled by the Chudasama dynasty. Diu was soon overrun by 'Muhammad bin Tughlaq'. The island then fell into the hands of the Ottomans, who used it as a base to control shipping routes in the northern part of the Arabian Sea. The Portuguese, aware of Diu's strategic trading position with Arabia and the Persian Gulf, continually made advances to gain control of the island. In 1535, they finally gained control by signing a peace treaty with Sultan Bahadur Shah.
The island remained a Portuguese colony until 1961 when after a swift bombing campaign; it became part of the Indian Republic along with Daman and Goa. In 1987, Goa was made a state, acquiring an independent administration, but Diu is still administered separately as a Union Territory.
Population: Approx 40,000
Climate: In summer, Diu's climate ranges between a maximum of 36°C and a minimum of 20°C. In winter, you can expect it to go up to maximum of 26°C and down to a minimum of 20°C. The constant sea breezes also affect temperatures on the island.
Main Language(s): Gujarati , Hindi and English
Time Zone: GMT + 05:30 Phone Area Code: 02875
Best Time To Visit: The best season to visit is between October to May.
Airport Distance from City Center: 8 kms Taxi Rates from Airport to City: Private taxi and three wheelers available to city centre
Fort of Diu: The Fort of Diu is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island and commands a magnificent view of the sea. One can find an old lighthouse within. A strange mist shrouds the entire fort, and is more conspicuous during winter, when fog spreads around. An interesting place to visit.
Fortress of Panikota
The fortress of Panikota is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. You can reach it only by canoe or motor launch. Approximately, one nautical mile from the Diu jetty, it also has a lighthouse and a small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. The fortress makes for a beautiful view whether seen from the jetty, from the fort, from the village of Ghoghla or from the island.
The Diu museum was formerly the old St. Thomas church that was converted. It houses antique statues, stone inscriptions of earlier rulers, wooden carvings, idols, shadow-clocks and other important artefacts, collected from various sites.
St Paul's Church
The beautiful St Paul's church is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. The construction of the church was started in 1601, and was completed in the year 1610.
The temple is situated three kilometres away from Diu in Fudam village. A Shivalinga, known as Gangeshwar, can be found in the midst of the rocks on the seashore, and is washed by the tidal waves of the sea.
Located on a hillock close to the beach, south of Diu town, this is a small shrine crowned with a dome. It contains a niche where a stone-carved face of Jallandhar can be seen. A popular place of tourist interest.
This beach is located in the Nagoa hamlet of Bucharwada village. It is exceptionally beautiful and quiet. Various water sports facilities are available and the beach is safe for swimming. Perfect for a picnic.
The Chakratirth beach is centrally located. The beach is frequented by the locals as well as domestic and international tourists. The hill, surrounding areas and landscape are beautifully illuminated. There's also an open-air auditorium on the hillock, overlooking Chakratirth beach.
The Ghoghla beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Diu district. Besides the golden sand, the sea and the numerous palm trees, a tourist complex provides all the basic amenities to tourists.
This is the most popular folk festival of Gujarat and especially of Diu. It is normally performed by women dressed in colourful costumes with typical ornaments, accompanied by singing of song in praise of Goddess Amba. The colourful costumes, the mesmerising music and the graceful steps are beautiful to watch.
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