Sunday, January 27, 2019








Located near the port of Veraval, Diu is a small island which was earlier a Portuguese colony. This  union territory is  just 100 kms from Somnath town of Gujarat.  So , after visiting Somnath, we decided  to visit Diu for one day. Traveling by Taxi, It took us more than  two hours to reach Diu as the road  is currently under repairs /  widening . A bridge  connects  Gujrat with Diu .  Tourists and people from Gujrat state  rush to Diu for Liquor.

Spread in an area of about 44 sq  kms, Diu is green, clean and surrounded by sea from all sides. I was told that Portugese arrived here in sixteenth century and were made to leave in 1961 by army action. A massive fort was built by them to house their garrisons .Though August to October is the ideal time to visit Diu, Monsoon season is equally enjoyable over here.
We saw many old buildings with Portuguese architecture. Two old churches also are built in old Portuguese style.

After the  fall of Sassanian empire in Iran, Parsis first arrived in Diu  and stayed here for some years before moving to other places. Mehmood of Ghazni  also attacked Diu  in 1024 AD when he invaded India and   plundered somnath in Gujrat.

Kartik Bhai , Our Taxi driver cum guide said:

" Portugal gives citizenship to all persons born in Diu before 1961. So almost all  old residents of Diu have moved to Europe on Portugese  passport. Since Portugal is a member of European Union, it is very easy to move to Britain on a Portugese passport thereafter.Pesently Gujrati speaking people live in Diu . The population of Diu is about 22000. "

We saw the beautiful Jallandhar and Nagoa  beaches.We also went inside the Fort built by Portuguese. It has a massive presence in Diu.Another interesting place is the Vanakbara village with  colourful fishing boats.

We also visited Gangeshwar Mahadev temple located on sea shore.   After the high tide , generally at 3 PM, all the five shivlings of this temple get submerged in water. The temple is no where to be seen. It becomes visible in morning again.

We also visited the  INS KHUKRI memorial erected  on a small hill overlooking the sea .The naval frigate INS khukri was attacked by Pakistani submarines in Dec 1971 war  . Its captain , commander Mahendra Nath Malla(  A Kashmiri  .) opted to stay in the sinking ship alongwith some officers and 176 soldiers. He was awarded MVC posthumously.
The beautiful NAIDA caves  are something strange with huge  rock structures. These rocks  look like massive Artistic Sculptures. The caves have ample openings for sunlight and Air.

The Hokka Trees (Strange Palm Tree) at Diu are unique and are not found anywhere else in India. The fruits of these trees are edible and have medicinal properties.
A seashell Museum is another attraction in Diu.

So long so much about Diu.

(Avtar Mota)

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