- Fort Diu: This colossal fort occupies the most prominent position among the places of interest in Diu. Also known as Praca de Diu, its construction was completed by the Portuguese in 1535 AD. They continued to rule Diu from this fort up to 1961, when they were ousted by the Operation Vijay of Indian Govt. The Portuguese controlled Diu for a long 424 years, which is longest among other colonial rule elsewhere in the world. The Fort Diu is surrounded by sea on 3 sides and offers a commanding and panoramic view of the town and sea. The Panikotha fort can also be spotted from here. Several canons are still preserved on the top of the fort. Hike to the large lighthouse located at one end of the fort, from where the 360 degree view of sea can be enjoyed. We specially loved what appeared to be a ruined church, situated just at the corner from where hike to the lighthouse begins.
2. St. Paul’s Church: Located on an orderly avenue, this is one of the 3 churches built by the Portuguese. It is the only functioning church of Diu, serving to its small Christian community. This pristine white church is regarded as one of the best specimens of Baroque architectural style in India. It has extravagant carved decorations in white stucco. The interior is decorated with delicate woodwork. Wonder at an image of St. Mary, which is carved out of a single piece of Burmese teak. Check out the priceless old paintings and statues inside the church. There is also a lovely garden overlooking the church. The ambiance of the church is serene, echoing the general feel of Diu.
3. Naida Caves: A lucky find in Diu, which seems straight outta Indiana Jones movies with its labyrinth of orange colored caves and tunnels, which are mostly covered with network of aerial prop roots of centuries old Banyan trees. It is believed that, the Portuguese broke down sections of huge rock formation, which they used for the construction of Fort Diu. Geological factors also contributed to its creation. Surely the Portuguese did never imagine that the place which supplied them with raw materials for building the fort would one day turn out into this! The sunrays seeping through the prop roots create fascinating play of light and shadow.
4. INS Khukri Memorial: This is the memorial site for INS Khukri, the Indian Naval ship, which was sank by Pakistani torpedoes during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. It remains the only warship of India to be lost after independence. The memorial site displays a model of the warship and has an amphitheatre also. The place provides an excellent 360 degree glimpse of Diu and the Arabian Sea. We would suggest visiting this place during sunset.
5. Beaches in Diu: A trip to Diu remains incomplete without a visit to its beaches. Diu boasts one of the cleanest coastlines in India and is dotted with some of the most beautiful and serene beaches. With their golden sands and pristine blue water, they are ideal spots to sit back and relax after a full day exploration of town. There is the popular Nagoa beach, which is a horse shoe shaped beach with Hoka trees swaying on its shore. Ghoghla beach is another pleasing beach, which is the largest beach in Diu and located on the outskirts of the city. If you are looking for the luxury of solitude, we suggest the small and placid Jalandhar beach, which is situated en route of Naida caves and almost untouched by tourists.
It takes merely an hour to reach Diu from Mumbai via airway. Jet Airways conducts daily service, with the exception of Saturday.The coastal city does not have railway facility. The nearest railway junction is Veraval (about 90 kms from Diu), which in turn, is directly connected with Ahmedabad and Rajkot.Both private and state run buses ply between Ahmedabad and Diu. The journey takes roughly 10 hours.
Diu offers a diverse option of accommodation.The Radhika Beach Resort, which faces the Nagoa Beach, offers a comfortable stay without much pocket pinch. The Krishna Beach Resorts is another excellent option and situated in the same locality. If you are looking for homestays in Diu, we suggest opting for Heranca Goesa, located near the Diu museum.
The long Portuguese domination has left its everlasting mark on every aspect of Diu, including its food. The cuisine in Diu is an eclectic blend of Portuguese and Gujarati influences, resulting in enticing dishes. Head to O’Coqueiro for great food like Prawns in Coconut Gravy and cozy ambiance. A visit to Diu is incomplete without trying out its seafood. Visit The Cats Eye Restaurant, which dishes out the yummiest variants of seafood.
Tips for visiting Diu:
1. October-March is the perfect time for travelling to Diu, as the temperature remains moderate during this time.
2. Pack cotton garments in flowy silhouette, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, umbrella and bottles of sunscreen.
That’s it – everything you need to know for planning a relaxing trip to Diu. Would you love to visit Diu? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Feeling like a more extended holiday? Why not explore the neighbouring state of Gujarat? You can find all about visiting Gujarat here.