21 Feb

About Diu

Diu’s crowning glory is the huge fort, a sight that justifies the long trip here. The northern side of the island, facing Gujarat, is tidal marsh and saltpans while the southern coast alternates between limestone cluffs, rocky covers and sandy beaches. The somewhat windswept and arid island is riddled with quarries from which the Portuguese removed vast quantities of limestone to construct their huge fort, city walls, monuments and buildings.

Diu is a city Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli Union Territory. Diu is an island lying off the south coast of Gujarat’s Kathiawar peninsula, separated from the mainland by a tidal creek. Diu has an area of 40 square kilometer and a population of approx 44,110. The town of Diu lies at the eastern end of the island, and is famous for its fortress and old Portuguese Cathedral. It is also a fishing town. The village of Ghoghla, which lies on the mainland opposite the eastern end of the island, is also part of the union territory.

In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, concluded a defensive alliance with the Portuguese against the Mughal emperor Humayun, and allowed the Portuguese to construct a fortress and maintain a garrison on the island. The alliance quickly unravelled, and attempts by the Sultans to oust the Portuguese from Diu between 1537 and 1546 failed. The fortress, reconstructed by Dom Joao de Castro after the siege of 1545, still stands. The island was occupied by the Indian military on 19 December 1961.

Location: The city Diu is located at latitude 20°7′ in the North and longitude 70°98′ in the East. It is at sea level.

Area: 38.8 km². Climate: Cool and dry. Rainfall: 70 cm. Tourist Season: September to May. Clothing recommended: Cotton in summer, Light Woolen in winter. Languages Spoken: Gujarati, English, Hindi, and Portuguese. Local transport is available from Una

Laid-back island off the west coast of India, Diu has some of the most picturesque beaches in the country. The relaxed, no-rush attitude of the islanders — who thrive on the simple good life, fish and alcohol — is the best welcome for city folks.

Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Diu was an important trading post and naval base for the Ottoman Turks who controlled the northern part of the Arabian Sea. The Portuguese invaded the port in 1531 and soon built a majestic fort here. In 1961, Diu was finally freed from the Portuguese. The influence of the Portugueseis evident when one looks at the old churches, buildings and especially the Diu Fort.

Tourist destinations include the nearby Ghoghla beach, Nagoa beach, Jallandhar Beach, Gangeshwar Temple,the old fort, the St. Paul’s Church and the museum have a strong Portuguese taste.

Diu Fort is an expansive and imposing structure, situated on the coast of the island. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD and offers a magnificent view of the sea. St. Paul’s Church is built during the 17th century. Diu museum houses wooden carvings, statues, idols, shadow clocks and other important artifacts collected from various sites.

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