Our Discoveries in Diu

The fact that Diu is a tiny beach island is known to all. The fact that it is a run-for-a-quick-booze destination with Gujaratis, Gujarat being a dry state, is not clandestine. But on our short weekend trip to Diu we discovered some hidden gems, few enchanting secrets and a few historic tales of the forbidden islands which was once a strategic point of contact between the Indian princely states and the Portugese!

It was perplexing to know that Diu became a part of India only in 1961 after 450 years of Portugese rule! In fact India had to conquer the Islands to win it and the Instrument of Surrender was signed on 19th December 1961.

Diu Museum
The key fact here is the 450 years long Portugese Rule! A logical mind will be quick to imagine the extent of cultural transitions in this tiny island over the span of these 450 years. And doesn't this place reflect the same! In fact the extent of Portugalization - if that was even a word! - of this place is mesmerizing. 

St Paul's Church 
St Paul's Church Diu
With a population of just around 40,000 odd, it is a welcome change from the over-populous tourist destinations across India. In fact when we walked down the empty lanes in the interiors of Diu on our weekend winter afternoon, we could hardly trace a walking soul, it almost felt like a sleeping city. It was a walk down the memory lane as if we were walking through generations of history through the centuries-old churches and churches converted to museums and houses of intense Portugese architecture and finally leading to the vacant beaches - Oh! that feeling of sanctity and peace - is priceless! The intricate designs of doors and windows and gates and aisles of independent bungalows take us back to the Roman, Gothic and Neoclassicism architecture. Only an expert in that field may make accurate revelation of the type of architecture so a naive couple like us can only name it as Portugese architecture.

The distinguishing architecture
The beautifully crafted streetlamps 
The deserted lanes on Saturday afternoon
In fact, subtle things like the design of street lamps make this place feel special. We stayed at Hotel Khushi International and spent our first day just trekking through the old Diu city which is still very much inhabited by locals but has a mystic feel of being a secluded city.

After spending a few moments at the Diu Fort and Jallandhar Beach we walked across the several seemingly residential lanes going through the Fort road, and we found St. Paul's Church on one of those lanes. Just a few hundred meters from St. Paul's Church there is a small museum housing statues which are centuries old. The life-like sculptures was enough to give us goosebumps as we were the only spectators in the otherwise empty musuem. All during these times we were like -Is the city dead? Where are all the tourists? 

But we didn't mind what felt like a private Island tour!

Sun, sand, empty roads and coconut trees
Quite colorful homes they were!
Finally we could spot an Autorickshaw just when we were out of the museum, but wait, this guy was in a lot of hurry. A bit of convincing and extra money did the trick and he finally agreed to drop us to our favourite "Naida Caves". The Naida Caves was the best thing to happen that afternoon. We reached there around 4:30 pm and it seemed like walking into a archeological excavation camp and witnessing history first-hand. It was jaw dropping the view the natural beauty of this place through the glitters of sun light gleaming inside through the natural openings of the caves. We couldn't resist but take lots and lots of photographs of the banyans, the caves, the sunrays and us! This place was pure bliss and I instantly felt that the entire trip was worth right on the first afternoon!

The enchanting Naida Caves

It took us some efforts to find another auto back to our hotel because they were far and few. Luckily, by evening we got our scooter-on-rent that we had requested a few shops in the morning. We immediately knew now that we wont be leaving much of Diu unexplored! And only when we started exploring on our two-wheeler we finally got the answer to our question : "Where are all the tourists ?" Find it in our next post! Till then enjoy the captivating photos below. Plus, there are two surprise short videos below too! Cheers! Happy Travelling!

A Few QuickTips: 
1. There are only about 48 licensed two-wheeler vehicles available on rent in Diu. On winter weekends, due to rush it is hard to get hold of one so make sure to make the first effort to book your scooter.
2. One can easily visit Diu Fort, St. Paul's Church, Diu Museum, Jallandhar Beach and Naida caves trekking through the day if your hotel is around Diu fort. So when one does not get access to scooter, don't bother! Keep other places for the next day when there's a scooter available.
3. If you love photography, this place is a paradise - No entrance fees anywhere, no camera fees anywhere, no photography restrictions anywhere!
4. Of course, winter is the best time to visit as the weather is just perfect to roam around the entire day.
The Diu Bridge connecting Gujarat with Diu Island
Visualization of a relaxing holiday!
The secluded beaches
The landscape of the vintage town
Entrance of Diu Fort
Spell-binding landscapes - ample of them!
The intricate artwork takes us two centuries back

The view of Pani Kotha (Sea Fort-Cellular Jail)

Diu QuickTour through Two Short Videos!

1 comment:

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