The Portugal of India
Daman is one of those places that take you back to the colonised era, not just the visual treats but also with its people and vibe. Nestling peacefully by the Arabian Sea, this coastal city is famous for its alluring beaches, historical monuments and the breathtaking Portuguese Colonial architecture. The lavish beaches, soothing natural treats and above all, the ease of availability of pocket-friendly drinks make Daman a popular spot for partying youth and also as a getaway for those in Gujarat. Here, the culture is a blend of European, Tribal and Indian elements. The city is divided by the river Daman Ganga into two parts- Nani Daman and the Moti Daman. While Moti Daman is mostly uninhabited, Nani Daman stays the tourist hotspot. The twin towns have beautiful sceneries and elegant forts. The city was fortified by the Portuguese during the 16th century to guard against the Mughals who were ruling during that era. There is a significant influence of the Portuguese in the monuments and buildings of the city which can’t be missed. The festivals are celebrated with so much of colour and vigour and the Folk Dance Festival is a significant part of the cultural life in Daman. For all the wanderlust & exuberant people, savvy shoppers and architecture lovers, this is a destination you’d definitely want to visit.
Daman has had a long, chequered history of being ruled by rulers from different dynasties and nations. It was part of the Mauryan Empire during the reign of King Ashoka. Later Daman was ruled by the Rajputs after which the Muslim Emperors ruled for about 2 centuries. After many attempts to seize the region, the Portuguese finally acquired the region in the early 16th century by means of a treaty with the Shah of Gujarat. The Portuguese rule that lasted until the day of its liberation in 1962, has provided major contributions to the architecture, culture and the language - Daman and Diu Indo-Portuguese creole. Though the population is a mix of different classes of the community, the Damania people are very much influenced by their neighbouring state, Gujarat. The most common language here is Gujarati. Daman has a variable cultural lineage. The majority here practise Hinduism, but there is also representation from other major religions of India; Christianity Islam and Parsi. Music and dance is a major part of the Damania people's lifestyle. People here sways to the tunes of various forms of Portuguese dances, traditional tribal dances with social messages as well as regional folk dances like Garba. In Daman, the people of all ages participate in the dance festivals without bias.
How to reach
Daman is well connected by air, rail and road.
How to Reach by Flight
The nearest Airport is located at Surat which is 84 km from Daman. You can hire a taxi from the airport to reach Daman.
How to Reach by Train
The nearest located railway station is at Vapi, a meagre 12 km away from Daman.
How to Reach by Bus
Several buses ply from Gujarat and neighbouring states as well. Tour packages and buses are also available that connect people to Daman.
How to Reach by Road
The National Highway number 8 is used to connect Daman by the motorable road with Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Mumbai among other Indian cities.
How to travel within
Daman, being a tourist's haven, has an abundance of public transport including autos, cabs and buses. Rentals are also available for those who like to explore by themselves.
Daman has its own share of both vegetarian and non-vegetarians delicacies, though predominantly vegetarian. The heterogeneous culture of the city is reflected in its food as well. The seafood is splendid and the island also has quite a street food culture. Cozido is a rich stew with beef and pork that was left behind by the Portuguese which was handed down over the generations and made into a spectacular delicacy that is now a popular and must try dish in Daman. You can also get the taste of authentic Parsi dishes from here. Jetty Rolls is another staple dish of the region which is delicious and also easy on the wallets. It’s similar to the Kathi kebab rolls.
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