Diu, one of the remotest points in western India, offer scenic delights that have wooed everyone from the Mughals and the British to the Portuguese. Hence most of the places that you will find yourself headed to are footprints left behind by the other rulers; a rather colourful motley. Don’t be misled by the size; despite its tinyness, this Union Territory has plenty to charm you. Hop on a bicycle and check out the massive Diu Fort and Panikotha, the ancient Gangeshwar Temple, the very Portuguese St Paul’s Church and some of the most solitary beaches that India has.
St. Paul’s Church
Saint Paul’s Church is one of the three main churches in Diu. A major attraction, it was built in the year 1601 and is dedicated to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Stained glass windows and frescoed walls are quite interesting if you have an eye for architecture. Other than its religious significance, this church is a stunning sight, painted in all white against the lush green of hoka trees.
The Gomtimata beach is located to the west of Diu. With its quiet environment, ceaselessly rolling waves and white-sands, this beach has a mesmerising effect on visitors. Swimming here is not a safe option as the tides are very high. It is very picturesque though, and ideal for those who’re seeking a quiet moment of repose away from town.
Even though it’s technically not in Diu, located to the south-west of the Union Territory in Gujarat, this beach is very accessible and worth visiting for its tepid waters and the gardens that abut the shore. There is an open-air auditorium which doubles up as a changing room for beachgoers. There’s also a well-known ancient Shiva temple in the beach’s vicinity.
This horseshoe-shaped beach is almost a twenty minutes’ drive from Diu and a perfect beach to bask in the sun. Located in Nagoa near Bucharwada village, this is an exceptionally beautiful and serene stretch of sand. Getting there is half the fun with the drive winding through pretty countryside and coconut groves. For those who’d rather get their adrenaline pumping the beach has various water sport outfits which take visitors jet skiing, water-skiing and para sailing.
A huge stone structure, Panikotha is a fortress in the middle of the sea. It also served as the main prison complex when the Portuguese ruled Diu. It can be accessed via ferry boats that leave every 30 minutes from the town jetty. Quite an impressive complex, it looks all the more stunning at night, bathed in multi-coloured lights. A major landmark of the town, it can also be seen from the top of the Diu Fort. It is a mile away from land and is home to a quaint lighthouse and a chapel dedicated to the Goddess of Sea. A secret passageway is believed to connect it to the fort, a way that still has not been found!
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