Located near the port of Veraval, Diu is a small island which was earlier a Portuguese colony and is now guarded by beaches all around. Diu takes up most popularity given the ample number of beaches, along with Gujarat’s southern coast such as the Nagoa beach, but has a lot more to offer too. Alcohol is legal in Diu
The Diu Fort, a primary imprint of the Portuguese on the area’s heritage and architecture makes up a popular tourist attraction. Another interesting place is the Vanakbara, a small fishing village whose charm has tints of colourful fishing boats and humming of day to day activity. This perfect add-on to a visit to Gujarat will complete your experience with interesting museums such as the Sea Shell Museum, temples and churches.
Places to Visit
Located outside the city wall of the Diu Fort, the Naida Caves are a group of interlinked caves constructed by the Portuguese. The caves are only a short distance away from the Diu town and they feature a big network of tunnels with square hewn steps that remain completely unexplored. Naida Caves is one of the most underrated tourist attractions of Diu but it is as wholesome for an explorer or a history buff as for a photographer.
Naida Caves got their shape eventually after the Portuguese ruled over Diu and broke down sections of a huge rock formation that they used for construction. Interestingly, these caves were formed due to geological irregularities and natural processes over time. Naida Caves is slowly being recognized as one of the most magnificent attractions since prehistoric times. The caves also have a natural opening that lets in sunlight, making it photogenic. During the 20th century, when the Portuguese were not ready to leave Diu, Operation Vijay was launched to seize control by the Indian Army and several soldiers were stationed at the Naida Caves during that time.
Famous for its pristine beauty and swaying palm trees, Nagoa Beach in Diu is an ideal and a recommended place for tourists all over the world. The place is well connected with the resorts, hence it makes it easy for the travellers to relax and explore its beauty at the same time. The beach is surrounded by beautiful palm trees swaying in the cool breeze which creates an exotic environment for the travellers to laze around. The serene beauty of the beach due to its white sands and quiet blue water is worth experiencing and enjoying.
The beach is located in the Nagoa hamlet of Bucharwada village and serves as an attraction for its Hoka trees which produces a unique kind of fruit. It is very much known for its water sports along with camel and pony riding. Sunbathing can turn out to be the most intoxicating experience at Nagoa Beach. Shops and restaurants act as refreshments which are one of its kinds. The beach extends over an area of 2 km from one end to the other. A walk along the shore mixed with witnessing the sunrise and sunset is a great way to relax one’s mind.
Gangeshwar Mahadev Temple
Situated amidst serenity and scenic beauty, the Gangeshwar Temple is dedicated to the transformer of Hindu trinity, Lord Shiva. This ancient Hindu Temple is located 3 km away from Diu in the Fudam Village of Gujarat. Believed to have been built by the Pandavas, this temple is famous for its five Shiva Lingas, i.e. rocks in the shape of Lord Shiva which are present in the middle of the sea. Only the tip of these rocks can be seen whenever there is a high tide because the sea water submerges them.
Gangeshwar refers to Lord Shiva who is considered to be the Lord of River Ganga since it descended to earth starting from the tresses of Lord Shiva who is also the presiding deity of the Gangeshwar Mahadev Mandir.
Fort Diu, located on the Western coast of Indian was built by Portuguese during their colonial rule and is now under the administration of Indian government. The fort- cum – castle, is known as ‘Praça de Diu’ in Portuguese, is situated on the southern tip of Gujarat and is at the mouth of the Gulf of Khambhat.
The Fort of Diu is a colossal structure that occupies a prominent place on the tourist’s list. The enchanting fort commands a magnificent view of the sea, and a jetty constructed on the northwestern coast is still underused and was once used to trade with Cambay, Broach and Surat in Gujarat. The lighthouse that one can climb leads to the highest point on the island and provides a spectacular view of the surrounding. Cannonballs litter the entire place, and the parapet has a fantastic array of cannons.
Along with the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, Diu fort was listed as the seven wonders of Portugal but during their colonial rule. This new achievement further highlighted the importance of the fort and put it on the world tourism map. Diu fort forms a striking structure on the coast of the island.
One of the most attractive places in Diu is the Ghoghla beach. Located in the north of Diu town with not many people, it catches the attention of the tourists who prefer to stay aloof and not with the crowd. With standard restaurants around the place along with water sports, this beach stands complete. Lesser tourists are the reason for a much cleaner Ghoghla beach compared to the other beaches in the town.
The Ghoghla beach is located on the outskirts of the city and hence not many people know about it. However, it’s an opportunity missed for them to discover a splendid new place cut away from the cacophony of the town. Clean and safe it’s a great spot for those who want to enjoy privacy and at the same time indulge in some water sports like parasailing, surfing and banana boat. The beach is well maintained and the best choice for a family holiday but sadly it’s the least explored place.
A beautiful hillock located near the Chakritirath beach in Diu, offers its visitors a mesmerizing view of sunset from here. The hillock and the surrounding areas have been beautifully landscaped and illuminated. Chakratirth Beach is centrally located and contiguous to the Diu Town. Visitors also go to the Khodidhar beach which is another sunset viewpoint.
Situated in Diu, a Union Territory of India, St. Paul’s Church is the largest and the only functioning church in Diu. Renowned all over the world for its stunning Jesuit architecture by Indian craftsmen, the church boasts of rich wood carvings, splendid facade, intriguing volutes and shell-like motifs.
Dedicated to Lady of Immaculate Conception, its construction was completed in 1601 AD. Sharing close similarity with the Basilica of Bom Jesus at Goa, the church mesmerizes with the exquisite work. Sitting in utmost silence in the heavenly beautiful church lit up by lights is surely a soul-soothing experience.
INS Khukri Memorial
INS Khukri Memorial is the memorial site of an Indian Naval Ship that sank during the Indo-Pak War of 1971. The submarine was destroyed on 9th December 1971 when torpedo shots were fired on it, sinking the ship 40 nautical miles off the coast of Diu. At the time of sinking, there were 18 officers and 176 sailors on board. A memorial was set up to commemorate the brave martyrs in Diu consisting of a scaled model of INS Khukri enclosed in a glass case.
The commanding officer on board INS Khukri was Captain Mahendra Nath Mulla, who was given the option of saving himself and his crew by surrendering in front of the invaders. However, he chose to sink with the ship rather than surrendering to the enemies. He was posthumously awarded the Mahavir Chakra and INS Khukri Memorial was built to remind people of such valiant soldiers.
A 16th-century ruin from the Portuguese era, the Panikota Fort was initially a Diu Jail. Formerly known as Fortim-do-Mar, this fort is a historic structure right in the middle of the seas. Hence, reaching this attraction would need a motorboat or a canoe.
Situated opposite to the Diu Fort, this white construction offers an island-like view, given its location. Besides, the fort also cites a nearby chapel and a lighthouse. There are efficient ferry services to the fort as well.
The Zampa Gateway is a major landmark of Diu hemming in the Northern part of the city. The bright red painted gateway wall is carved with dedicated angels, lions and a priest. An artificial waterfall adds to its beauty. The Zampa Gateway is an important historical place in Diu.
Must Try Food in Diu
1. O Coqueiro
2. Tawa Tadka
3. TGH Restaurant
4. Annapurna Restaurant
5. Amigos Refreshment
6. Destin Restaurant
7. Deepee Bar
8. Om Sagar Bar & Restaurant
9. Blue Berry’s Restaurant
10. Gatistvam Restaurant
How To Get Here
Diu is connected to other parts of Gujarat and the country with a good road network. Diu does not have its own railway station and the nearest railhead is at Veraval which is 90 km from Diu. One can take a taxi after Veraval to reach Diu. Diu also has its own airport and daily flights connect Diu to Mumbai and to Porbandar.
Diu can be reached via air from the Diu Airport. It is the only airport that connects the Union Territories of Daman and Diu to the rest of the country.
Nearest Airport: Diu Airport (DIU)
Buses run from Porbandar, Junagadh and Veraval. Therefore, in order to reach Diu via bus, you would have to first reach any one of these destinations. You could also self-drive along NH8 from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Baroda.
The Veraval Railway station is 87 Km away from Diu and is the nearest railway station to reach Diu.