Formerly a Portuguese colony located off the Saurashtra coast of Gujarat state in India, the island of Diu serves as the perfect holiday destination to people. A small stretch of tranquil land rimmed by pellucid blue waters on all sides, the sights and sounds of Diu Island are simply a treat for the senses. You can swim / take a dip in the waters, rest on hammocks under the shade of the tall palm trees, relish tangy coconut juice or just go gallivanting around the island to see the various tourist spots.
Image: By Cláudia Nunes (Pessoal) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Places of Tourist Interest in Diu
Shaped in a perfect semi-circle, the Nagoa is the most popular beach in Diu Island. The mild waves hitting the shores here will coax you to take a dip, play on the edges or engage in sports activities. The particular beach is located in the Bucharwada region. Gomptimata, Chakratirth and the beautiful Sunset Point are the other favorite beaches located a short distance away.
This temple is located about three km away from Diu town in the Fudam village. Gangeshwar temple is dedicated to the Indian god, Shiva. You will find five lingas in the middle of mid-sized boulders along the shore and these are continuously rinsed by the sea waves. Legend has it that these lingas were set up by the famous Pandavas of the Mahabharata epic.
Ghoghla Beach is regarded amongst the most beautiful beaches of Diu District. It offers ample opportunities for water sports to tourists like parasailing, water scooters, etc. You can also engage in swimming, sunbathing, parasailing, surfing etc. over here. The cleanliness and serenity of Diu beaches make tourists feel that their relaxing vacationing never ends.
St. Thomas Church cum Museum –
St. Thomas's Church at Diu Island has been transformed into the Diu Museum by the local authorities. A magnificent edifice based on gothic architecture was constructed here in 1598. This Church contains wooden carvings, statues, idols, shadow clocks and other significant relic gathered from many sites. A portion of this church was turned into a museum to highlight its archeological significance.
Diu Fort is a big, arresting structure found along the coast side of the island. It is believed to have been set up sometime between 1535 and 1541 AD. You get a splendid view of sea from here. The interiors of this fort is bound to overwhelm you by the majesty of the ancient stonework which seem to take you mentally back to the old times of the original dwellers.
St. Paul's Church
Built in 1691, St. Paul's Church at Diu is the only working church in the present time. The spell-bounding wood carving plus remarkably treated volutes and shell-like patterns and designs in the interior makes it among the most elaborate of all the Portugese churches in India.
Gomtimata Beach is counted among the best beaches of the region and is a must-visit. Quiet and covered with natural white sand, it is situated at the western corner of the island. The ambience and the scenery is very picturesque here.
Panikotha-Fortim Do Mar
A commanding stone structure jutting out of the sea, Panikotha-Fortim Do Mar fortress is once believed to have been linked with land by an undersea tunnel. It’s located right at the mouth of the creek and can be reached only by a canoe or a motor launch. It also comprises of a light house and chapel.
This Shrine is situated on a hillock near the beach. Nearby, you will also see a temple of Goddess Chandrika. This is found at a distance of about a km from Diu Town.
When to Visit Diu?
Tourists come to visit Diu all through the year. But the best time to visit is between October and May. A pleasant climate throughout the year, it affords unprecedented peace and tranquility to tourists.
Accommodation at Diu
Finding a proper place to stay at in Diu is no problem at all. Diu Hotels cater to the needs of all types of travelers. There are a variety of hotels and guest houses in Diu. Some of the three star hotels in Diu are Ankur Hotel, Kohinoor Hotel and Hotel Radhika Resort. As beaches form the main tourist attraction of Diu, people simply love to stay in hotels facing the sea. Accommodation both with A/C and without A/C is available and the costs may vary from Rs 200 to Rs 3,000 per day.
How to Reach Diu?
By Air – One can reach Mumbai in Maharashtra or Ahmedabad in Gujarat by air. Diu is near from both these places.
By Rail – The nearest railway station from Diu is Delwada that’s about nine km away and linked via Veraval port town by the metre gauge line. Veraval is a suitably linked to Bombay via Ahmedabad by rail line.