Daman is a district of the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. It is on the west coast of India, next to the state of Gujarat, which is perhaps a more well-known tourist destination. It was under the control of Portugal from 1539 to 1961 - and as a result of this, Portuguese influence is still palpable today, particularly in the architectural and cultural spheres.
It may not have all the facilities that a tourist destination should have but it does have peace, relaxation, friendly locals and beautiful places to see. Local resorts and hotels are easily available and can be easily booked from Gujarat.
Portuguese established themselves in Goa in 16th century. For trade, they expanded their trade in Gujarat and established themselves in Daman. In 1531, the Sultan of Gujarat agreed to hand over Daman to Portuguese in exchange of a share in revenues. The port expanded and proved more important that Diu to Portuguese in terms of trade. It competed with Surat. The Daman became part of the Union of India only in 1961. The long history with Portuguese left lasting impression on the city.
Daman has a beautiful landscape and, partly due to being relatively close to Mumbai and some of the other majors cities of Gujarat and Maharashtra, it experiences a lot of tourist traffic every year. The city is worth of day's trip. It is also popular drinking enclave for locals from surrounding districts.
Flights are easily available for Daman from the nearby cities of Mumbai (170 km) and Vadodara (300 km). Daily flights of Gujarat State Airlines connect the place to these cities. The 1 Daman Airport (NMB IATA). is in the Nani Daman (Little Daman) area and has all the amenities for tourists traveling to the city. The nearest international airport is in Surat.
The nearest railhead for getting to Daman is at 2 Vapi. , located around 12 km away. It lies on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad route of the Western railway and is about 170 km from Mumbai and 90 km from Surat. Major Delhi-Mumbai and Mumbai-Ahmedabad bound trains halt at this station. People traveling to Daman by train can get down at the Vapi and then reach Daman by local buses, taxis or tongas.
Daman is easily accessible by road, and is connected to some of the major cities nearby, with a well-maintained system of roadways. Vapi at a distance of 12 km, lies on the National Highway 848A and is easily connected to Daman by road. The city is 170 km from Mumbai, 360 km from Ahmedabad and 768 km from Diu, 110 km from Surat and 300 km from Vadodara.
- 3 Daman Bus Station.
There are taxis and auto-rickshaws available to roam around in Daman. However, it may be better to hire a taxi for a day if you wish to explore; the reception desk at your hotel can arrange one.
Daman is split in north and south parts by Damanganga river. North part is known as Nani Daman and south part is known as Moti Daman. The both have forts. A new footbridge connects these two forts which was built alongside old collapsed bridge.
- 1 Fort of Moti Daman. Moti Daman fort was built by the Portuguese between 1559 and 1593 on the site of former Islamic citadel. It has an area of 30,000 sq metres and still has cannons on its walls. It has interesting polygonal layout.
There is a lighthouse inside the fort. A house of Bocage where the Portuguese poet Bocage lived is near the entrance of the fort. Inside the fort, there are three main churches, Church of Bom Jesus, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Church of Our Lady of Remedies outside. Church of Bom Jesus is the most famous of them all. Free.
- 2 The Chapel of our Lady of Rosary (Our Lady of Rosario Prathnalay). Built in 17th century, having simple exterior but stunning interiors. It has fine woodwork with golden cherubs and petals.
- 3 Church of Bom Jesus (Basilica of Bom Jesus Church). This church has decorated ceilings and carved gateways. Established in 1559 and consecrated in 1603. The shrine, the wooden altars and the intricately carved gateways give off the vibe of the olden days. The southern entrance has the statues of six saints and the whole monument shouts of traditional Roman architecture.
- 4 Daman Lighthouse.
- 5 Freedom Memorial.
- 6 Pargola Garden.
- 7 Dominican Monastery. Ruins of the 16th century massive church. Free.
- 8 The House of Bocage.
- Jetty Garden.
- 9 Jampore Beach.
- 10 Fort Jerome (Nani Daman fort). It is a small fort with high stone walls completed in 1627. It has two gateways with two huge human figures that face towards the Daman Ganga river. It covers an area of 12,250 m². You can climb and walk along the ramparts to have looks on all sides of the fort.
It is a site of Our Lady of the Sea Church and Portuguese Cemetery. Locals claim that the church had underground passage connected to Moti Daman fort on the opposite bank. Free.
- 11 Church of Our Lady of the Sea, in Nani Daman fort.
- 12 Jain Temple. This 18th-century Jain temple is in the northern region of Nani Daman Fort and is dedicated to Mahavir Swami. It is built with white marble. The walls have glass cover with 18th-century murals that represent the life of Mahavir Swami.
- 13 Mirasol Lake (Mirasol Waterpark & Resort), Kadaiya Village.
- 14 Devka Beach.
- 1 Play Nation, Somnath Plaza, next to G-Cinema Multiplex, Somnath Junction (2 km from Dabhel Checkpost), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Noon-10PM. Gaming lounge and cafe with international attractions like laser paintball, Sumo wrestling, professional shooting and archery aange. Also, there is a hut-themed restaurant serving vegan, Italian, Mexican and oriental cuisine. Rs 450.
You get a lot of non-vegetarian and sea food in Daman. Chicken Bullet is one of the recipes that is unique to Daman. You can get a really good Chicken Bullet at Hotel Miramar
- 1 Daman Delite, Seaface Rd, Dhamatne, ☏ . Huge range of seafood including lobster, crab, octopus, squid, shrimp and prawns along with other typical Indian non-veg dishes.
Being next to Gujarat a dry state Daman attracts lot of local tourist who want to enjoy alcohol. Daman is one of the few places in India where there is not much tax on alcohol nor there is any restriction on drinking. You might find beer being sold even at the beach by hawker. It is better to purchase your liquor from the shop to avoid adulterated liquor.
There are lot of budget and premium hotels at Devka. The only five star hotel in Daman is 'The Deltin'. The most preferred hotels here are those on the beach with beach facing rooms.
- Cidade De Daman
- 1 Sandy Resort, Devka (4 km north of Daman city). Not a beach side hotel, but the beach is just across the road.
- 2 Hotel Jazira, Devka (4 km north of Daman city). Beach side hotel
- 3 Fortune Park Galaxy, National Highway No. 8, Vapi (Daman border is 5 km from hotel, Daman Sea Beach, 12 km, railway station 1 km), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Only branded chain hotel in the region. Part of ITC group of hotels. Also on premises is Restaurant Orchid, which serves elaborate buffet breakfast, lunch & dinner & multi-cuisine menu with numerous dishes to choose from.