About Diu Island
The scenic isles of Diu have much to offer to the tourist. Visitors cannot know enough about Diu Islands just at one go. It would take a lifetime to explore the whole of the island. The tranquil ambience of the isles coupled with the angler’s song, the forts and cathedrals of the past era, the sparkling beaches and the cool breezes of the sea casts its magic spell on the visitor and transports him to almost another realm.
Diu Island is a union territory of India. It is located in the vicinity of the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat. The island has an area of 15 square miles or 40 kilometers. The latitude of Diu is 20 º 41’ N, while the longitude is 70º 58’60” E. The island is close to the Malabar Hills, Nawabandar, Akarpati, Dores, Gogola, Kora and Podome. Diu experiences rainfall of about 700 mm annually. The climate remains cool and dry.
In the Depths of Time
Diu Islands was a Portuguese colony in the past. It was once under the dominion of the Chowda Rajputs. The Waghalas and the Muslims ruled it in turn. Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat, entered into a pact with the Portuguese against Humayun, the Mughal Emperor. Under the terms of the alliance, the Portuguese were allowed to build a fort on the island. The Portuguese were the rulers of Diu, for almost 451 years. They were removed from the Diu Island by the Indian military on the 19th of December 1961.
Beaches, Cathedrals and more!
Diu has one of the most gorgeous beaches in India, renowned for its pristine beauty. The deep blue sea, the sparkling sands, the remnants of the architecture of the colonial period, and the calm, quiet ambience of the place make it an ideal place for relaxation and sight seeing. The three beaches in Diu — Jalandhar, Nagoa and Ghogla — are the must visit destinations. St.Paul’s Cathedral, St. Thomas-Museum, and St. Francis of Assissi and the Diu fort are fine examples of Portuguese architecture. Gangeshwar, INS Khukri Memorial, Sea Shell Museum, and Pani Kotha are the other prime attractions of this island. Water sports are a favorite pastime of tourists in Diu Islands.
Where to Stay?
Diu Islands has a host of three star, mid-range and budget hotels, which suit every pocket. The Hotel Kohinoor is the only luxury hotel in Diu. The hotel has 50 well-furnished rooms, a swimming pool with a Jacuzzi, a discotheque, a bar, a multi-cuisine restaurant and bakery, a banquet hall and conference centre. The budget accommodations are located near the fish market and the town square. The six-cottage tourist complex on Jalandhar Beach is also a good lodging option. There is also a camping site at Kevdi that provides economic accommodation.
How to Reach?
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The nearest access point to Diu is the Mumbai airport. The Jet Airways and Indian Airlines operate daily flights between Mumbai and Diu. The nearest railway station to Diu is Delwara, which is only 8 km away. Daily trains to Veraval and Junagadh in Gujarat are available from Delaware. The commonest means of local transport is the auto rickshaw. Mopeds, motorcycles and scooters, which are available on rent, are the other viable options.
The Diu Island is a favorite haunt of the tourists. The nostalgic charm of the old world era exuded by the island, and the calm, gentle breeze of the sea rejuvenates the spirit.
Diu is a part of Daman & Diu, which is a union territory of India. The location of Diu Island is towards the southern coast of Kathiawar Peninsula of Gujarat. The length of its coastline is 21 km. The total area of the island is 40 sq km. Diu Island is positioned at 20º 41’ North Latitude and 70º 58’60” East Longitude.
The Island of Diu is enclosed by the districts of Junagarh and Amreli in the North and by the Arabian Sea on the remaining three sides. The topography of the island is mostly plain. The Diu Island is located six meters above the sea level. Diu witnesses an average rainfall of 700 mm. It has a cool and dry climate.
The population of the isles, according to the 2001 Census, is 44,110. The towns and cities of India, which are close to the Diu Island are Akarpati, Gogola, Kora, Nawabandar, Podame, Malabar Hills and Dores. Flights between Mumbai and Diu are provided by the Jet Airways and the Indian Airlines on a daily basis. Delaware, situated at a distance of nine km from the Diu coastline, is the closest railhead. Veraval in Gujarat also provides regular rail services to Diu Islands. These rail lines connect the Island of Diu to the mainland.ed Tandoor at the Kamat Holiday Homes of Calangute. A wide range of tandoori items available at this eating place are quite popular among the guests.
The history of Diu Island is rich and varied. It has witnessed the rule of many dynasties. The islands were previously under the rule of Indian monarchies like the Mauryas, the Guptas, Maitrakas, Chalukyas, Chavadas, and the Kshatrapas. They were followed by the invasions of Mahmud Ghazni and Alauddin Khilji. Next in line were the Portuguese who succeeded in consolidating their rule over the islands for more than 400 years. They were finally uprooted by the Indian military in 1961.
According to historical documents, Diu Island was ruled by the Mauryans during 322 to 320 B.C. The Mauryas were followed by the Kshatrapas, who ruled from the 1st century A.D. till the second decade of the 5th century. The Guptas, the Maitrakas, the Chavdas and the Chalukyas had also established their stronghold over these islands.
Mahmud Ghazni, established his rule over Diu Island in 1020 A.D. After the departure of Mahmud from the isles, the Chavadas once more established their sway over these islands. The Chalukyas came back to power in 1064 A.D. After that, Diu was successively under the rule of the Chavda and the Vaghela Rajputs. Alauddin Khilji of Delhi put an end to the rule of the Rajputs in 1297 A.D.
The Portuguese Dominion
In 1535, the ruler of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, entered into a treaty with the Portuguese fearing an invasion from Humayun, the Mughal Emperor. According to the terms of the treaty, the Portuguese were permitted to build a fort and station military troops on the island. The attempts of the Sultan of Delhi to occupy Diu Islands were thwarted by the combined forces of the Portuguese and Bahadur Shah. The fort was finally seized by Joao de Castro in 1545. The Portuguese went on to rule the Diu Islands for more than 400 years.
Union Territory of India
Following local discontent towards the foreign rulers, the Portuguese were finally ousted from the island, by the Indian military troops on 19th December 1961. Diu Island finally became a Union territory, on 30th May 1987.
Diu Island was an important commercial hub during the 14th and 16th centuries. It also constituted an important trading port for the foreign traders who came to India. Currently, it is one of the most favorite holiday places among tourists the world over.
Geography of Diu Island consists of a small isle and a piece of land on the nearby Kathiawar Peninsular coast. The island of Diu, amidst the Arabian Sea, has as many as six beautiful beaches. Apart from the shimmering beaches, the geography of Diu is beautified with cliffs and bays.
Picture perfect Diu
Only three kilometers in its breadth and thirteen kilometers in length, this petite landmass is a picturesque place. It is located in close proximity to the Veraval Port. The union territory of Diu is separated from the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat by a narrow canal.
Diu - Paradise relocated
The special features of the Diu topography that attract and mesmerize the tourists are its rocky bays, cliffs that are made of limestone, the hillocks and the sun-kissed golden beaches.
The beaches in Diu are not very deep, making it easy and safe for the tourists to swim and have fun in the clear blue water. The calm water of the Diu beaches is perfect for the various water sports.
The major river in this scenic island is known as Chassi. Tthe river flows for about 13 km, that is, the same length of the island itself.
Vegetation in Diu
Trees like Casurina, procofis, Acasias, Fuliflora, Tortolis, Equisitifolia and Hokka constitute the vegetation in the island of Diu. The palm and coconut plantations scattered all around the place make Diu look all the more beautiful.
Another charming geographical feature of Diu Island is its climate. It remains pleasant throughout the whole year. The wonderful weather conditions in Diu also attract the migratory birds. One will find these migratory birds in Diu between the months of September and May.