Daman – Gujarat

Daman, which used to be a Portuguese territory, became part of India when Goa and Diu did in 1961. The Portuguese took control of Daman in 1531. There is still a Portuguese feel to the city with the fort, churches, and old Portuguese houses. Daman and Diu now make up the Union Territory of Daman and Diu and are governed from Delhi. Daman has beaches, but they are not clean.

The Daman Ganga River divides the town in half. In the southern part of the city, known as Moti Daman (or Big Daman) is the old Portuguese area where the government buildings and old churches are located. A large wall surrounds it. In the northern part of the city, Nani Daman (Little Daman), most of the hotels and restaurants are located.

Information
The Tourist Office, just south of the bus stand, provides a map of the area (Mon to Fri 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and 2 to 6 pm).

The main post office is in Moti Daman, across from the Municipal Council building. There is another post office in Nani Daman, just over the Daman Ganga Road Bridge.

Executive Travels and Tours, below the Hotel Maharaja, changes cash and travelers’ cheques. None of the banks in Daman change money.

What to See
The most interesting place to visit is the walled-in Moti Daman, the old Portuguese area that has old churches and many old mansions with verandahs and wooden shutters. Se Cathedral (17th century), Moti Daman, is an impressive church with a gilded altar. The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary has an intricately carved altar and Portuguese tombstones set into the floor. The former Governor Palace is now used for government offices.

North of the river in Nani Daman is the Fort of St Jerome (Nani Daman Fort). It is possible to walk around the walls from where there are good views. There is an old church in the fort.
There is a Jain temple on the Nani Daman side of the river, with murals depicting Mahavir’s life.
Devka (or Dwarka) Beach is a fifteen-minute ride away. Jampore Beach is more secluded, and is a nice place to walk around. Not recommended for swimming.

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