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Daman

Monday, June 11, 2012

Whenever one thinks of Daman, what is the first thing that comes to one’s mind?
If your answer is liquor, then you are absolutely right. Daman is supposed to be a haven for people who love to drink. Most people visit Daman to drink liquor as it is available a cheaper cost, compared to Maharashtra and Gujarat.
There are liquor shops all over the place. Every third shop is a liquor shop plus most of the hotels too serve liquor. I guess this is the reason why it is a haven for all drinkers. But of course the price of liquor is cheaper in Goa than in Daman. Then why do people head here? I don’t know.
Daman was a Portuguese colony like Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Vasai and Mumbai. For a history buff, Daman has loads to offer, including old churches, forts and old houses.
Daman is located near the confluence of the Daman Ganga River and the Arabian Sea. As history states, Daman was acquired by the Portuguese from the Shah of Gujarat. For 400 years, it was ruled by the Portuguese until in 1961 it was integrated into India after the Indian Army, the Navy and the Air Force joined hands to make it a part of India.
Daman consists of Moti Daman and Nani Daman. Moti Daman is older than the other. But both are old enough. Moti Daman and Nani Daman are connected by two bridges, one meant for heavy traffic and the other for pedestrians and cyclists. Though the water in the river recedes when it is low tide, one cannot cross via the water. The fishing boats parked at both Moti and Nani Daman do not allow passage between the two.
Daman has many historical monuments. The forts that guard the coast are St Jerome Fort in Nani Daman and the Fort of Moti Daman. As Daman is a Union Territory, all the government buildings are located in Moti and Nani Daman. It is also famous for its beaches, Devka Beach and Jampore Beach.
There are four churches here. The Church of Our Lady of the Sea is situated in St Jerome Fort, and the other three are located in the Fort of Moti Daman. These are the Church of Our Lady of Remedies, the Church of Our Lady of Augustus, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary and the Cathedral of Bom Jesus.
Moti Daman Fort also houses the New and the Old Lighthouses, the Dominican Monastery and the House of Bocade and offers a spectacularly beautiful view of the fishing boats parked in the creek that divides Moti and Nani Daman.
The streets near the beaches are very narrow and mostly deserted. But these streets lead to beautiful and old houses. These houses are either ground-floor structures or a storey tall with tiled roofs. They are brightly painted and provide good material for photographers. Most of the houses have a small porch ahead of them, but nothing like the houses in Goa. Even though both Goa and Daman were earlier ruled by the Portuguese, the architecture and design of the houses is markedly different.
The windows of these houses are what caught my attention.  Though all of them are made of wood, each one appears to have been designed in a different and unique manner.
The markets here are flooded with goods, both Indian and Chinese makes of almost everything. Daman offers accommodation options to suit everyone. There are options for the budgeted traveller, businessman as well as those willing to shell out more for luxuries. In terms of food too, there is something for everyone. North Indian, South Indian, Moghlai, Gujarati food, take your pick. Sadly, Daman does not seem to have anything special to offer by way of its own particular cuisine.
There are mini buses, taxis and rickshaws which cater to travel needs within Daman, other than the private vehicles. But they leave from various locations across Daman. There is no common point for public transport here. Daman is so small that you can view all the sights here in two days.
Most travel websites talk about Daman and Diu together. I guess this is so because of long-ago history lessons in which we learned to speak of Goa, Daman and Diu in the same breath. I too made the mistake of assuming that Daman and Diu were near each other on the map. In reality, you have to undergo a ten-hour journey just to reach Diu from Daman by road or rail transport. So don’t be fooled the way I was into thinking I could tackle both places on the same trip.
As for how I got here, I alighted at Vapi and got in a shared taxi, which took me to Nani Daman.
Daman is very close to Vapi railway station. Outside the station there are shared taxis which charge Rs 20 per head, rickshaws which charge Rs 150 for a special trip and Gujarat State Transport buses. I don’t know the price of the bus ticket. One can reach Daman by road, rail and air as a mode of transport.
So do plan a trip to Daman. There is much to see and do here.

10 comments:

Paul De said...

Daman has a lot of garbage all over the place. A very dis organised place

PRANAV KELUSKAR said...

Very nice description, liquor is banned in Gujarat, so people from Gujarat are the main customers for liquor at Daman.

R Niranjan Das said...

Well narrated. Nice article. Should visit Daman sometime.

www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Pranav and R Niranjan Das

Anonymous said...

Very informative and well - written.

Hithakshi

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Hithakshi

Rajat Sharma said...

Thanks for this great post...Radio Taxi in Lucknow

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Rajat Sharma

Anurag Baraskar said...

nice trip

Anurag Baraskar said...

nice trip

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