The Portuguese town: Daman

The island of Daman is sandwiched between the two industrial states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is one half of the beautiful union territory of Daman and Dui. The town was governed by the Portuguese until the year 1961, as a result of which Daman has a lot of Portuguese culture and heritage.

There are multiple options of reaching this union territory. The fastest and the most economical way is by train and the nearest railway station is Vapi, which is located on the Western Railway.  Daman is about 12 km from Vapi railway station. From Vapi station there are plenty of local buses and auto rickshaws that ply to the town. Exit the station on the West.

The other option of getting to Daman is to drive to this town via NH8. Driving is a preferred option for people who are looking for a weekend break from the commercial cities of Mumbai 170 km, Surat 90 km and Ahmedabad 360 km.

The town is divided by the Daman Ganga River into two parts, namely Nani Daman which means small and Moti Daman which means big .  Strangely, Nani Daman is the larger of the two towns. Both Nani and Moti Daman are connected to each other by two bridges. The smaller bridge has collapsed twice and is now closed for public use, but locals still use this bridge to walk and cycle from one end to the other.

Since Daman was a former Portuguese colony most of the attractions in this town are old Portuguese buildings and churches. The main attraction is the church of Bon Jesus, which is located inside the premises of another attraction i.e. the Nani Daman fort.

Jampore and Devka beach attract a lot of crowd during the evenings and these beaches are generally very over crowded on the weekends. The fort of Moti Daman and the old light house tower are the other major attractions.

The best way of getting around the town of Daman is on foot, since most of the attractions are located in close proximity to each other and walking around the town helps soak in the real feel of this union territory.

Accommodation in Daman is available in plenty. Most of the budget guest houses and hotels which are a preferred option for backpackers and budget travellers are located near the bus and rickshaw stand. The more luxurious hotels and resorts can be found closer to the beach.

Daman also has plenty of restaurants and street food stalls that serve up some really tasty food. The street food stalls are mostly Chinese and chaat carts. Since it is a coastal town fish is speciality is nearly all the restaurants. Fish fry and tandoori are a must have while in this union territory, and chicken bullet is a dish which is unique to this place.

Since Daman is a union territory the alcohol taxes are not very heavy and there are no restrictions on drinking. The town is flooded with wine shops. Every second shop in the town is a wine shop. The cost of alcohol varies from shop to shop. Since alcohol is prohibited in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, the low cost of alcohol attracts plenty of people from the neighbouring cities.

Daman is a good place to visit all through the year. During the monsoon the place is covered with greenery all over, while during winters the weather is cool. Even during the summer months of April and May the weather is very pleasant as compared to the neighbouring regions.

This union territory is an ideal place to visit for all kinds of travellers, for those who just want to relax and chill on the beach with a bottle of beer to those who love nature and most of all for those who are interested in the history and culture of this town.


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