Delightful Daman

Family Fun

Some marvelous old colonial architecture, the sea, sun and fun is what you look forward to, in Daman

In 1498, long before the conquest of India by the British, the sea route to India was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama, which led to Portuguese colonial expansions in Asia. The Portuguese established many colonies in India, the most notable ones being Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Diu and Daman.

About 170 kms from Mumbai, on the National Highway No 8 is Daman, part of the twin city Union Territory of Daman and Diu which were absorbed into the Indian union in December 1961, after a short skirmish between the Indian and the Portuguese army. Daman today is a popular tourist destination on account of the sea, sun, food and fun (read- lots of free flowing booze).

The city of Daman is divided into two by the Daman Ganga river, Moti Daman and Nani Daman. Below is an account of these two very distinctive areas of Daman that together make this quaint little town, a wonderful quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. 

The exquisite interiors of the Church of Bom Jesus
Moti Daman has a very Portuguese feel to it and houses some marvelous old Portuguese colonial architectural wonders, which takes you back in time. The Fort of Moti Daman is the predominant structure here overlooking the Arabian Sea and most of the gems of Moti Daman are nestled within its bosom. The fort in itself is massive and has 2 gateways and 10 bastions with a moat encompassing it.
 
Some of the wonders that are there in and around the magnificent Fort of Moti Daman include:
 
a) Church of Bom Jesus- As you enter the fort of Moti Daman through the main gateway, passing lush beautiful gardens, you are quite literally transported into a glorious era gone by. The first structure that greets you, inside the fort is the Church of Bom Jesus. The facade of the church is not too inspiring, but lo as you enter it, the exquisiteness of the very well preserved wooden work inside the church, leaves you awe-struck. The church as we see it today, was re-constructed in 1603 and has been a place of worship since February 02, 1559 which is more than 455 years. Though the church is past its glory, it still stands proudly in testimony to its wonderful past.
 
b) Jampore Beach- Further south of Moti Daman (3kms approx) is the Jampore Beach. This beach is much better and less crowded than the Devka beach in Nani Daman and offers you a plethora of options to indulge in. On one end of the beach, it is not uncommon to find a number of fishing trawlers dropping anchor before they again set out to fish. The beach itself is quite broad and during the low tide you can walk miles into the sea. The beach has shacks, courtesy the tourism department which serve you some lip smacking sea food and also drinks. You could even go for a horse ride or the more adventurous can make their adrenalin flow by partaking in speed boat rides and para-sailing.
The old Lighthouse of Moti Daman

c) The Old Light House- Back inside the fort of Moti Daman is an old light house overlooking the creek of Daman Ganga and the Arabian Sea. Built in the late 19th century, the light house that served as a beacon of hope to ships in distress, today is a major tourist attraction and a favorite haunt for picnickers. Some narrow winding solid stone stairs lead you to the light house, the view from which of the sea and beyond is mesmerizing.

d) The Secretariat- The Fort of Moti Daman used to be the seat of power during the Portuguese colonial rule. It still remains the seat of power, as the beautiful Secretariat located within the fort manages the administration of the quaint Union Territory of Daman and Diu. The building, that exudes an old world colonial charm, coupled with the dainty narrow roads within the fort, are just some of the wonders of Moti Daman that leave an indelible mark on a visitor.

Food and Fun at Nani Daman

e) Eat, drink and make merry in Nani Daman- The other part of Daman, the area of Nani Daman and Devka Beach are a gastronomic paradise. Numerous restaurants and cafes are found in and around the beach which offer you some delectable sea food and an unparalleled view that gets magnified during the high tide. Chilling out here acquires a completely new dimension. A bottle of chilled beer with a plethora of sea food for snacks is enough to beat the summer heat into oblivion. Café High Tide (Hotel Princess Park), Oliaji’s Duke Hotel (authentic Parsee food), Hotel Gurukripa (Seafood) are some great places to be, if you are a connoisseur of good food and love your drink as well.   

The quaint roads of Daman (Fort Area)