Diu – Gujarat
The relaxed island of Diu, just south of the southern tip of the Saurashtra Peninsula, is a good place to take a break. Diu is a fairly popular place with travelers because of its nice laid-back beaches. Diu is an island 13km long and 3km wide, which also includes Ghoghla, a strip of land connected to the mainland. This area is popular with Gujaratis because Gujarat has prohibition laws and many of them come here to drink.
Diu, along with Goa and Daman, was a Portuguese colony until 1961, when India took it over. The Portuguese established their first fort here around 1539. There is still a Portuguese influence in the town, shown by the churches, old buildings, and the impressive fort. Diu and Daman are governed as a Union Territory by Delhi.
The Tourist Information Bureau, Burder Rd, near the Main Square, has a map of Diu. You can arrange camping here. Open Mon to Fri 9.30 am to 6 pm, Sat 9.30 am to 1.30 pm.
Travelers cheques can be exchanged at the State Bank of Saurashtra, near the GPO.
St Francis Hospital is located in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 250m north of Jallandhar Beach.
This large, interesting fort, built in 1541, is surrounded by a moat. There are a few cannons in the fort and the views of the sea and town, especially at sunset are excellent. The city jail is within the fort. Open daily 9 am to 5 pm.
What to See
The old city is full of Portuguese buildings and villas, and this along with the winding streets makes it an interesting place to visit. ThePortuguese Nagar Seth’s Haveli is one of the most impressive houses.
There are three old churches in the town of Diu. St Paul’s has excellent paintings and a high ceiling with arches. Mass is still held here. WithinSt Thomas’s is the Diu Museum, which has Catholic statues and religious paintings. St Francis of Assisi Church is now a hospital.
Nagoa Beach, 7km from town, is the longest and most beautiful beach in Diu. It forms a half circle and is surrounded by palm trees. It is a good place to relax.
Jallandhar Beach, conveniently located south of town, is small, as is Chakrakirth Beach, which is slightly further west. Sunset Point is where the locals like to go. Women alone should be careful while sunbathing.
Fudam village, near Nagoa Beach, has a Portuguese atmosphere with its old houses and an old church. The village of Vanakbara, on the west side of the island, has Our Lady of Mercy Church and is an interesting place to walk around.