My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea, And the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.
Diu, a salmagundi of sea, sky, sun and sand and a well composed medley of beauty, breeze and serenity, is a sublime spectrum yet to be utterly traversed and truly discovered. Fondled all the time by the Arabian Sea, Diu is a small dandy island positioned close to the Gulf of Cambay and the Veraval Port off the south eastern coast of Kathiawar of Gujarat. Flourishing as a Portuguese Colony in olden days and now a division of the Union territory of Daman & Diu, the Diu Island is sliced by a tidal creek from the mainland Gujarat. The multicolored band of local Kathiawari ethnicity and the archaic Portuguese culture endows Diu with an Indo-European spirit pretty similar to Goa. Even though, Diu is primarily untouched by the uncontrolled modern-day commercialization.
The gentle, peaceful and flawless beaches of Diu rested against the utopian scrim of the stony inlets and limestone crags are packed with saltpans and swamplands towards their northern facade. Basking in the glory of its enthralling setting and comforting ambiance, Diu Island presents the wonderful montage for sun bathing as well as swimming. A mainland enclave of Ghoghla linked with a town of the state of Gujarat named Una leads to the Diu Island. Chassi is the chief river flowing on the terra firma of Diu. The plenteous sunlit beaches of Diu bejeweled with the stunning splendor of coaxing twilight and the setting sun summons thousands of travelers every year. Roughly 5000 domestic as well as foreign tourists visit this blissful land of immaculate natural beauty and transcendental composure every single month.
Three most loved beaches of Diu, Ghoghla Beach, Nagoa Beach, and Chakrateerth Beach enhance the glamour of this ‘Promised Land’. Acclaimed for its rich birdlife Diu is also a stopover for the numerous migratory birds mainly visiting this plateau during the months of August and September. Diu is indeed a Paradise regained and an angelic boon gifted to the human kind by the almighty universe. Diu is a place where the load of this agitated world can be relieved for a while and the symphony of the awakened soul can be conceived. Daman & Diu Tourism Board has been recently undertaking a range of programs to promote tourism in Diu. These programs range from the safeguarding and maintaining of the historical monuments to the development of infrastructure and amenities.
Diu in Mythology
It is said that during the Vedic period, Diu belonged to the Kingdom of a demon king named Jalandhar who was killed by Lord Vishnu. The Jalandhar Temple situated at Diu testifies this tale. Moreover, it is also believed that the five Pandava brothers of Mahabharata had also visited this province during their exile. They stayed at the Mani Nagar area of Diu for some days and worshipped Lord Shiva. The five Shiva Lingam enshrined in the Gangeshwar Temple of Diu are assumed to have been sanctified by the Pandavas at this place.
The word ‘Diu’ has been coined from a Sanskrit word ‘Dweep’ meaning an island.
History of Diu
The earliest history of Diu is dated back to 4th century BC when it was ruled by the Mauryans Kings from 322 to 320 BC. Diu was a booming commercial heart on the Saurashtra Coast during this phase. Later, the sovereignty of Diu was shifted from Mauryans to Kshatrapas who governed the entire Saurashtra State including Diu between 1st century AD and 467 AD. Kshatrapas were succeeded by Gupta, Maitraka, Chavda and Chalukya dynasties. Diu came under the Sultanate of Oman during the 14th and 16th century AD when it came into limelight as a powerful naval base and a thriving trade center. When Portuguese came to India in 1513 AD, Diu was flourishing as an axle of prospering commercial activity. Subsequent to the multiple futile attempts made by the Portuguese to conquer Diu, this island was at last handed over to them by the Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in the year 1535 in barter as an exchange of the military assistance provided to him by the Portuguese against the Delhi Sultanate. Later on, many endeavors were made to reclaim Diu but Portuguese brutally suppressed every single attempt. Diu remained in the possession of the Portuguese from 1535 to 1961. Finally at the end of the victorious mission ‘Operation Vijay’ undertaken by the Indian Army, the Diu Island was seized from the Portuguese on 19th November 1961 and annexed to the Republic of India.