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Daman Diu Holiday Package

Daman and Diu is a union territory in India. Daman is divided by the Daman Ganga River into two parts, namely Nani-daman, Nani meaning "small" and Moti-daman, Moti meaning "big". Ironically, Nani-daman is the larger of the two towns.  A new bridge, Rajiv Gandhi Sethu, has been constructed that connects two parts of Daman i.e. Nani Daman and Moti Daman.  Daman is the twin town of the city of Coimbra, in Portugal and Diu Island is twinned with the city of Loures, also in Portugal.
 
There are many small villages around Daman, such as Bhenslore, Kunta, Bhimpor, Kadaiya, Devka Mangelad, Varkund and Khariwar. These villages mainly act as residential areas for lower-middle-class families. Varkund is the biggest village in Daman, which has a vast mega structure which is called "The Deltin",   India's ultimate lifestyle and entertainment experience. It provides an exceptional combination of a five-star resort, nightclub, speciality dining, spa, meeting services and member's club along with many more world class features in one trendsetting destination to create extraordinary experiences on the Daman and Diu Holiday Package!

It mainly attracts tourists from neighbouring areas like Vapi, Bhilad, Valsad,Surat and even Baroda. The two well-known beaches of Daman are Devka beach and Jampore beach, which are in Nani-Daman and Moti-Daman respectively.

 These seaside towns are far apart from each other and tiny Daman has two beaches, blessed by a sea, the Daman-Ganga creek that spreads into Nani Daman and Moti Daman and it is here that you can see colourful sea vessels moored on either side of the bridge. Moti Daman is the erstwhile Portuguese township with an old fort packed with ancient buildings. The most beautiful of these are churches of Bom Jesus and Our Lady of Rosario, A walk through the old town will reveal a burst of colonial houses, churches and official buildings. In Nani Daman visit the Damao Pequeno Jetty and the St. Jerome Fort. The Devka beach is rocky but touristy and at sunset, you will see the wet, black rocks glow red in the fading light!  The Devka Amusement Park here offers joyrides, a food plaza and a nice garden.  The Jampore Beach is sandy yet silent, with a pastoral quality about it.

Around Daman, you may take a trip to Silvassa, the capital of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and gets tourism mainly for its style sylvan surroundings. A reminder of Portuguese rule here is Our Lady of Piety Church in the Lion Safari Park where you can see lions that are not caged. The Vanganga Lake and Island Garden, Pipariya Van and Hirwa Van Gardens are popular spots.

Diu’s entire coastline is a beach, but Nagoa, Ghoghla, Jallandar, Chakratirth and Gomtimata beaches are its main attractions. Ghoghla and Nagoa are the best landmarks for swimming and water sports.

Move on to your next site! Bhavnagar-Palitana, is the capital of the princely state of Bhavanagar and is mainly visited as a base to go to Palitana, an important Jain pilgrimage centre, and to the tiny but lovely Velvadar National Park, home to a population of blackbucks. The famous ship-breaking port of Alang. Bhavnagar has some pleasant slowpaced bazaars and old havelis to offer tourists. The Takhteshwar Temple is located in the centre of the city on a hillock and offers panoramic views. The Barton Museum displays the archaeological finds of the region and the Gandhi Smriti Museum in the same building has a collection of the Mahatma’s photographs.  The Nilambagh Palace is a palace with lawns and gardens, now converted into a heritage hotel. Palitana is famous for its Jain marble temples and has more than a thousand temples here on top of the Shatrujaya Hills, and is considered one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for Jains where the temples are exquisitely carved, and there are great views from the top. The main temple is dedicated to Adinath. The Velavadar National Park, a sanctuary meant to protect the blackbuck and the nilgai, is an enthralling experience on the Daman and Diu Holiday Package!

You can move on to the Gir National Park, the only remaining habitat for the Asiatic Lion, which besides being a birdwatcher’s paradise, has a large population of leopards , and though the park is quite dry, crocodiles thrive around the few scattered perennial water sources. Gir was formally declared a Lion Sanctuary and a National Park and Nature Reserve. The forest here is one of the largest tracks of dry deciduous forests in the world, and there are jeep safaris arranged for tourists to get inside the park. It would be wonderful to visit Tulsishyam, the temple and hot springs drawing wildlife enthusiasts and pilgrims alike.

The next destination would be Junagadh, a rich, complex, multi-layered history, with an eccentricity that embellishes the folklore here. The Junagadh Palace celebrates the ancient kitsch with gothic arches standing next to Awadhi-style gateways and surmounted by a European clock tower. Inside the palace is the Doll House Museum, with an unusual collection of artefacts associated with the Junagadh nawabs. The Jumma Masjid with its gothic arches, chandeliers and colonial ceiling fans, can be easily mistaken for a ballroom, if it wasn’t for the mimbar, and the most bizarre of all buildings called the Mahabat Maqbara! Next to it is the Bahauddin Maqbara, with its elegant corkscrew towers straight out of a fairy tale. The Maqbara of Naju Bibi is fashioned in a distinctly indigenous Junagadh style and the dome actually looks like something akin to a UFO or an Unidentified Flying Object, so let your imagination spread its wings! Visible from here, are the century-old caves of Khapra Kodia, an erstwhile Buddhist monastery, also referred to as Khengar’s Palace.  Uperkot, the sprawling ancient fort that dominates the city with a superb archway, is layered thick with myths, and two colossal cannons on its western wall.  The Jama Masjid of the Uperkot Fort is built from the remains of a former Hindu palace.  A little further are Buddhist caves, with Grecho-scythian style carvings beautifying the lower hall, three storeys and underground? Around the caves are two breathtaking stepwells, the Adi-Chand Vav, a natural wonder, as the rock is cleaved by a narrow, wind-eroded staircase that descends to a broad well…..and the Navghan Vav, plunging deeper, as it has rock-cut circular stairs going to the bottom with occasional apertures in the shaft for light! 

The Girnar Hill here has a rock at the foot of its hill, where Ashoka’s fourteen edicts in Brahmi script are carved. The historically important Jain temples are numerous steps up the cliff, past some caves, after a thick deciduous forest with a breathtaking view. In the Jain temple complex of Girnar, the Vastupla Temple with an image of Mallinath is architecturally most striking. You may also visit Gondal, located a little away from Junagadh, and have a look at the Naulakha Palace.

The Daman and Diu Package would also take you further to Somnath, famous for its grand Shiva temple, which had a chequered history, and a fabulously wealthy temple and one of the twelve revered jyotirlingas.  Remains of the older temples are housed in a nearby museum. Gently cooled by ocean winds, the Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple gives a glorious sense of space and light. It is a real treat to participate in the aarti, as drums, cymbals and bells combine to orchestrate a symphony of music that rises to an inspiring crescendo.  A Sound and Light Show is held with an amazing ocean-view setting.  Other important sites are the Balukha Tirth shrine, a site where a hunter fatally wounded Krishna.  The Triveni Sangam is the scenic confluence of the Hiran, Kapila and Sarasvati rivers as they meet the sea.

On the way from Somnath to Dwarka, you have the spectacular beaches of Ghorvad and Porbandar, a small town, famous for being the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi.

Continue to Dwarka a small town, counted among the seven most defined teerths, and the famous temple of Dwarkadheesh is located right on the shore. The Chalukhya style temple has been constructed with local stone with a black idol of Krishna enclosed within. The `aartis’ are very special here. Right behind the temple, the river Gomti flows into the sea and a short walk from the temple is a lighthouse with great panoramic views. Other temples include the Siddheshwar Mahadev Temple, the Bhadkeshwar Mahadev Mandir, set enchantingly upon a rock in the sea and the Rukshamanee Mandir resting by a breezy stretch of backwater.

Around Dwarka, catch a ferry at the jetty at Okha to reach Beyt Dwarka, an island that is home to Dwarkadheesh ka Mukhya Mandir, a charming place. The Nageshwar Temple, dedicated to Shiva, is believed to host a revered Jyotirlinga, in which the Lord revealed himself as a column of light!  Away from the blend of temple architecture and the tantalizing beaches with white-grey sandy shores, go ahead to another exotic destination on the Daman and Diu Holiday Package!

Land in Goa's wildlife sanctuaries, that boast of species of plants, birds, animals and a  genera of reptiles,fox, wild boars and migrating birds are found in its jungles! The avifauna includes kingfishers, mynas, parrots, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, jellyfish, oysters and catfish, forming some of the piscine catch, from the rivers. Tourists must visit the famous National Parks, including the renowned Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, and other wildlife sanctuaries such as the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Madei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. Goa has two World Heritage Sites to enamour the tourists, the Bom Jesus Basilica and Churches and Convents of Old Goa. It also has the Sanctuary of Blessed Joseph Vaz in Sancoale, and the Pilar Monastery which holds novenas of Venerable Padre Agnelo Gustavo de Souza in November every year.

There are a number of Churches or Igorzo, like the Baroque- styled Nixkollounk Gorb-Sombhov Saibinnich in Panjim, the Gothic- styled Mater Dei, Mother of God Church in Saligao and each church has its own style and heritage with architectural wonder, besides the splendour of the Kopelam and Irmidi Chapels. There are many enigmatic forts to visit in Goa such as Tiracol,Chapora, Corjuem,Resi Magos, Nanus, Mormugao,Fort Gasper Dias and Cabo de Rama. 

A historic, adventurous, and musical  celebration  would take the tourists towards several parts of Goa, where mansions have been constructed in the Indo-Portuguese style structures, amply  prevalent,  and the  Fontainhas in Panaji, which has been declared a cultural quarter, showcasing Konkanese lifestyle and culture.   

Some influences from the Portuguese era are visible in Goa's temples, notably the Durga Temple, the Mangueshi Temple and the Mahalasa Temple, most of these reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style. Goa also has a few museums, the two important ones being Goa State Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum, which is one among three of its kind in India, the other two being in Delhi and Bengaluru. The Goa Science Centre, located in Panjim and The National Institute of Oceanography, at Dona, are important landmarks for a visit! Though it has a few rivers, the Mandovi river is the most popular with its steamer cruise offers, including a treat of Konkan folk dance and music on board with tourists joining the revelry, inclusive of the option of having drinks and dinner on board. The local ferries are very popular, where travellers can cross the river to-and-fro free of cost, though these may be crowded with cars, motorcycles, fisherwomen, flower-sellers and people on their way to work. In the area of Western music there are several pop stars, amongst them Remo Fernandes, having achieved recognition around the globe. Goan popular music is generally sung in the Konkani language. Another contributor to Goan music is the Canadian-Goan band, Goa Amigos, which has represented Goa at the largest south Asian festival in North America. The beach state has become a home for electronic music, especially a style called Goa trance.

Shopping:

Around Daman and Diu region, you may get Ahmedabadi block-printed textiles , such as saris, fabrics, home linen, cushion covers, pouches and quilts and some metal art and craft, besides sea shells and handicrafts made out of them!.

There is a wide variety of attractive Goan handicrafts to tempt the visitors to purchase souvenirs, from coconut shell carvings, silver jewellery, jute macramé, crochet, embroidery, mats made of banana, coconut, pineapple fibre to the famous Goan lace, or crochet.  Not to be left behind is the fine variety of wines, feni, plentiful fish food, aromatic spices and raw cashewnuts.  Goa also boasts of several sumptuous bakeries which began over a century ago, which make some of the best pastries, cakes and sandwiches, in the country, catering to the sweet and savoury palate!

Cuisine:

For food, around Daman and Diu and the temple regions, tourists can opt for delectable kathiawadi thalis, parsi food, and a variety of non-vegetarian and vegetarian cuisine, tasty home-style Gujarati dishes, and you can find Amul outlets selling milk products. In some places, you may also find a canteen for good meals. There is a fast food complex, and around the beach resorts there is sea food aplenty.

Rice is the main food crop with pulses and ragi and the main cash crops are coconuts, cashewnuts, sugarcane, besides fruits like pineapples, mangoes and bananas. The Hindu food of Goa is the unique Konkani vegetarian menu with exotic dishes like signature dali-thoy, varieties of ghashi, ambaat, sukke, saaru-upkari, kolombo, pathrado, patholi, paayasu, ubbatti, only few of which have been silently adapted in the vegetarian spread of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala, served in this state.The other cuisine is mostly seafood -based with the rich staple food being fish.  Kingfish or Vison or Visvan is the common delicacy, while other popular fish include pomfret, shark, tuna and mackerel. Among the shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid and mussels.  The food of the Goan Christians is influenced by the Portuguese! There are plenty of restaurants and roadside eateries offering a mix of Continental, Thai, Oriental, Meidterranean, Asian, Japanese and Indian cuisine throughout the town and countryside areas!

Climate:

Daman has a humid subtropical climate and the temperature ranges vary slightly in summer, monsoon, spring, autumn and in winter. It has heavy monsoons with lots of rain and the best to visit is in winter to avoid overflow of water on the seaside shores, though indoors may be and temple-visits may be enjoyed throughout the year!

Goa features a tropical monsoon climate, and being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid, but tolerable climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much- needed respite from the heat, lasting till late September. Goa has a short winter season between mid-December and February, with moderate humidity and further inland, due to altitudinal gradation, the nights are a few degrees cooler, when tourists flock to the fun and fiesta of the Goa Carnival! Recommended for a visit throughout the year, as the even the monsoons are stunning, gazing at the downpour from a room by the window in a lodge, or a hotel or even a guest house! 


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