The industrial town: Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
Silvassa is a city located in the tiny union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli which is sandwiched between the commercial states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. Silvassa is the capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli which were under the Portuguese colonel rule until the year 1954.
The most economical way of getting to Silvassa is by boarding a train to Vapi and then exiting the railway station on the east. Vapi is the nearest railway station and is located 14 km from the town. From Vapi station the best way of getting to Silvassa is by hiring an auto rickshaw. The rates are fixed by the union so getting ripped off is unlikely. Public buses also ply but are generally overcrowded and unreliable.
The other option of getting to Silvassa is to drive to this town via NH8 via Vapi and then take the road leading to Silvassa from Vapi.
Since Silvassa is located in close proximity to the state of Gujarat most of the people in this union territory speak a dialect of Gujarati, but all of them can speak and understand Hindi very well. Even though it was a Portuguese colony barely anyone speaks Portuguese any more. The locals say the language died out in the 80’s since it was no longer taught in the schools.
Being a union territory Silvassa has plenty of industries which are located within the town. The low taxation has made this town an industrial hot spot.
Silvassa has a few tourist spots in the form of the local gardens which are really well maintained and have pedal boat facilities all through the year other than during the monsoon. The tribal museum is a must visit place for all those travel to this Union territory. The museum has no entry fee and has a good array of tribal instruments.
The Portuguese built church of Our Lady of Egypt is one of the few things in the town that will remind people of the Portuguese rule in this place; the rest of the town has not much trace of the Portuguese unlike its contour parts in Goa and Daman.
About 35 km from the town of Silvassa is Dudhni a place that has become very famous for its water sport activities in the form of kayaking and canoing. Tribal dances are also performed here during season time in the evenings.
Accommodation in Silvassa is very affordable so much so that an AC room is easily within reach of a budget backpacker. There are plenty of accommodation options around the bus stand and near the main junction.
Food available is Silvassa is noting unique and special it’s very much the usual in India. unlike other union territories in India like Pondicherry and Daman has barely a couple of dingy wine shops and the alcohol is not as subsidised as the other union territories. Many who come in the hope of having a good couple of days with affordable alcohol are left disappointed.
The best time to visit Silvassa is during the winter months from November to February.
Silvassa is a great place for people who are looking for a relaxing weekend and is also ideal for a traveller looking for something off beat. Other than the water sport activities in Dudhni, the town has nothing to offer.