Diu is a city in the union territory of Daman and Diu, India. It is famous for being the location of the pivotal Battle of Diu in 1509 between Portugal and a combined force of Turkey, Egypt, Venice, the Republic of Ragusa (now known as Dubrovnik) and the then Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada.
It is famous for its fortress and old Portuguese Cathedral. It is also a fishing town. Among the places of tourist interest, the Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD.
Famous Places in Diu
Diu Museum : The Diu Museum has a very interesting story to tell regarding itself. The setting up of the Museum was in limbo view lack of availability of any dedicated space for the museum. The buildings in Diu were not considered fit enough to house these masterpieces (mostly antique and Stone inscriptions) it was decided to convert the old St. Thomas Church into a museum.
The museum proudly displays idols, wooden carvings, shadow clocks, statues and various other artifacts acquired from numerous sources. The museum also plays host to a wide collection of Catholic statues. Stone remnants of a Jain temple (originally located at the site) also adore the museum.
Diu Fort : Among the places of tourist interest, the Fort of Diu occupies a prominent position. It is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. The fort commands a magnificent view of sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD. The fort is skirted by the Sea on the three sides. On the fort stands a giant Light House. Several canons still stare menacingly from top. The main front wall is having five huge windows with stone galleries. The Fort has been creatively lit, which creates a breath taking views at night.
Rugged yet gentle, fierce yet loving. The majestic structure stands on the coast of DIU as a sentinel. Once inside, you are overwhelmed by the gaunt majesty of the ancient stone work which transports you to a bygone era of gallant soldiers where time stands still.
Fortim-do-Mar(Pani Kotha): The Fortress of Panikotha is a magnificent stone structure in the sea, built right at the mouth of the creek. Approximately one nautical mile from the Diu jetty, it also has a light house and a small chaple dedicated to Our Lady of the Sea. Located in the middle of the sea, the fortress creates a beautiful view whether seen from the jetty, from the Fort, from the Village of Ghoghla or from Diu proper. Special light effects at night give it a mesmerizing beauty. To reach Panikotha, tourists boats are available.
Gangeshwar Temple : This is situated 3 Km away from Diu in Fudam village. Five shivlings, are located in the midst of the rocks on the seashore, washed by the tidal waves of the sea. It is believed that the 5 Pandavas during their exile worshipped Lord Shiva in this temple. The gentle sea waves offering their obeisance to the “Shiva Lingas” in stone have a mystic aura around them in the cave temple of Gangeshwar where the Lord makes his presence felt.
Ghoghla Beach : The Ghoghla Beach is a sandy beach. A tourist complex nearby provides all basic amenities to tourists. It is the largest and gentlest beach of Diu. The Golden sand beach undulates into the horizon while the Arabian Sea laps away at the edge as though imploring the sands to let it find its own peach. You can do swimming, sunbathing, parasailing, surfing etc.
Chakratirth Beach :This beach which can also be seen an attachment of the town is beautiful located right at the centre of Diu. The beach takes its name from the ancient scripts that discern the story of the demolition of the demon Jallander by Lord Vishnu. Lord who carried his Sudarshan Chakra (disc with star-like points) is dais to have unleashed his chakra on the demon who had turned out to be uglier than he was by virtue of extracting boons from various gods. The Sudarshan Chakra was left at the beach after the job was completed and thus the beach came to be known as Chakratirth beach. The adjoining hill and the serene atmosphere at the place is further enhanced by some creative and innovative illumination.
Church of Our Lady of Remedies : The Church of Our Lady of Remedies was built by the Portuguese Governor and Captain in 1607 AD. The main altar is carved and gilded with 17th century engravings.
Sea Shell Museum : First museum in Asia which has maximum sea shells. First museum in World where sea shells are displayed in magnifyng glass of various sizes. The collection of about 2500 to 3000 sea shells in museum.
St. Francis of Assisi : It was the friary of the Franciscans. It was built in 1593. The Church is still in use and the cloister has been converted into a hospital.
St. Paul’s Church : 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 main facade of the church is perhaps the most elaborate of all Portuguese churches in India. The facade has been illuminated by flood lights.
The church adorned with curiously treated volutes and shell – like motifs and the magnificent wood carving is considered to be the most elaborate of all the Portugese churches in India. St. Paul Church, built in 1691 is consecrated to our Lady of Immaculate Conception. In architectural style it resembles Bom Jesus Church at Goa. The dominant features are, no doubt, Gothic. The wood – panelling of the church is rated one of the best in church craftmanship.
St. Thomas Church : 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. A huge edifice in gothic architecture was built in 1598. A part of it has been converted into a museum – an archaeological treasure house.
Water Sports : The water sports facilities are available at Nagoa and Ghoghla Beach. There are various sorts of water sports facilities available such as Parasailing, Water Scooter Riding, Boat Sailing etc. In addition to this there is availability of Evening Boat Cruise at Diu Bunder. This facility is managed by Diu administration. The Evening Cruise ride starts from 7:30 P.M to 8:30 P.M with Music, Masti and light refreshments.
Hoka Trees : Diu has plenty Branching Palm tree called “Hokka” (Hyphaene Indica) which are found nowhere else in the country.. Only one Indian species of African genus. Brought by Portuguese. Diu, the only place in India to have luxuriant growth of these trees. Fruit is cute and edible, believed to have medicinal properties.
Jallandhar Beach : Jallandhar Shrine is located on a hillock close to the beach. This small shrine crowned with a dome houses a stone carved face of Jallandhar a mythological demon who was killed by Lord Krishna. Near by there is also a temple of Goddess Chandrika. The beach is at a distance of 1 km from Diu Town.
Nagoa Beach : It is located near the Nagoa hamlet of the village of Bucharwada. The Beach is exceptionally beautiful and quiet. In this horse – shoe shaped beach, various water sports facilities are available. It is completely safe for swimming. Plenty of Hoka trees whisper and sway in the intoxicating sea breeze all day long. The virginity of the beach and serenity of the surroundings give the visitor peace and pleasure beyond expression.
A perfect semi circle beach where the gentle lapping waves beckon you to wade into them for a fun filled time of swimming, gamboling or just lolling around the soft sand shores or to find you napping under the palm trees filled with the soothing breeze.
Gomatimala Beach : The main city of Diu has been liberally consecrated with a vast seashore, ample sunshine and extremely pleasant and comfortable weather throughout the year. This translates into an assortment of sea beaches and fun. Gomatimala beach located 25 km from the city of Diu has a vast stretch of white talcum sandy beach and affords an opportunity of a lifetime to relax and laze in the sun and sand.
The peaceful atmosphere at the beach, cool sea breeze and the gentle swaying of the coconut trees is capable of relaxing and putting to sleep the most strenuous minds.